B: A business is just something that somebody, or a group of people, created, like a club. Within the club people engage in various activities. The owners of the club can do whatever they want with respect to the club. If they want to kick people out of the club, or be exclusive in some way, that’s their prerogative. As soon as trade is involved, however, the government feels the need to be involved, at the very least through sales tax. But government doesn’t stop there, instead feeling the need to impose its own sanctions, or regulations, on each business. For instance, the club isn’t allowed to be discriminatory, especially in the acceptance (“hiring”) or dismissal (“firing”) of certain members (“employees”), and also not with trading (with “customers”). There’s also a lower limit to the amount of compensation the employees receive (“minimum wage”). In the U.S., if employees work 40+ hours in a week, they are considered to have “full-time” status and thus must receive particular benefits from their employers. In most cases of firing, or being “laid off” (due to business “downsizing”), the employee is entitled to receive an “unemployment package;” that is, a certain amount of compensation intended to help the dismissed employee brace for an indefinitely long period of employment.
A: Um, buddy…these “regulations” are actually good things.
B: These supposedly “good” things have perhaps unintended consequences. Take the hiring/firing process for an example. If the government hadn’t made it so costly for a company to dismiss an employee, the company wouldn’t need to be so careful about hiring new employees. It wouldn’t necessarily be as difficult for people to find jobs, and hence unforeseen unemployment periods wouldn’t have to be as unbearably long for people.
Because of the government’s dedication to what it calls “equality,” each business must conduct a candidate search in a certain highly-regulated way. Job interviews must have the same questions asked of each candidate. Extra care must be taken by the employers to make certain that they satisfy the government’s requirements for “equal opportunity” and non-discrimination. There are also the government-sponsored labor union laws for employers to deal with, that have taken away the rights the employers once had with respect to their own “club” or business. With all these extra hassles, it’s little wonder that it’s so hard for people to find jobs.
A: Wasn’t it hard before they added the regulations?
B: No question there were difficulties before, yes. However, this is just one example of how regulations slow the economy down.
A: …but yet they watch out for the little guy, especially when he runs into trouble.
B: If the economy wasn’t slowed down so much due to the regulations – that is, if it was “booming” – the “little guy” would likely have plenty of opportunities waiting for him in the case of his unexpected dismissal, especially if he’s prepared himself for rainy days by being as employable as possible. This helps encourage people to be more responsible by being prepared.
If all these regulations from business were removed, the economy, and each individual business, would therefore do better, in general. Furthermore, if a business is doing well, it must be providing something citizens like, or something “good,” and they are rewarded with extra monetary prosperity. The especially nice thing about this is that it doesn’t just benefit the business, but all of its customers as well, because of the extra of that “good” they can continue to provide: with the excess profit, the business can expand and offer its services to many more potential customers, and with increasing efficiency.