Businesses would go out of business if and when the customer isn’t satisfied – so long as they weren’t protected by the government from competition. Government regulation actually prevents competition and thus bad businesses go unpunished in the market. There are many examples I could site.
The US auto industry should have long ago perished to foreign markets but government bailouts have prevented it. AT&T was allowed to operate a monopoly before the government decided to back out. There are many regulations that prevent mom-and-pop organizations from competing with big-business and thus never make it past infancy.
Government does not need to get involved in the market. The example you give of not having consumer information except by force of government is incorrect. If customers decide they want nutrition information, for example businesses will provide it as long as it is perceived as an economic benefit. Many restaurants do this without being told to do so by any regulation because they know customers demand it. There are also many non-profit consumer watch-dog organizations filling in where government has failed. If government were so good at this function we would not have these organizations.
If government were to simply follow its mandate and protect life, liberty, and property these extraneous regulations would not be necessary. Unfortunately, the only way our government perceives it can uphold its mandate is with newer and more specific regulation. Life, liberty, and property cover every domain of humanity. Regulations do not actually stop crimes against life liberty and property they just put more roadblocks in front of already law abiding citizens.[/quote]
That all sounds great in theory, and I really don’t know enough about economics to argue the specifics of any of it. I just know that in reality, it never works out that way. It’s sort of like abstinence only education. Sure, that’s the best way to avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancies, but people are going to fuck, that’s human nature.
Once an industry gets big enough, it buys off politicians, smothers the competition, and if they can’t smother the competition, they get in bed with them to fix the market to keep costs down, and profits up, at the expense of competition, and innovation. Remember, the competition is your friend, the consumer is your enemy. And when things go south, the free-market “true-believers” never stay true to their beliefs and tough it out, but always go running to the government for a bailout, and, because they funded the campaigns of everyone in power, they always get it.
Again, I’m against most government regulations, interventions, bailouts, etc. But I believe the government has to maintain some over-sight to keep the playing field somewhat fair.