Letter to the editor: When people self-regulate, there is no need for regulations | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: When people self-regulate, there is no need for regulations

Deb Hage

Kim McGahey’s column hit perfectly on the crux of the matter! “Government has limited responsibilities designed nationally to protect the citizens’ general welfare.” I agree completely. What is in dispute is what “protection of the citizens’ general welfare” entails.

I was at Rainbow Park with my granddaughters, and someone’s dog had defecated in the middle of the playground. I happen to think the owner of the dog considered his personal welfare superseded children’s general welfare, and putting the dog feces in a poop bag was a violation of his freedom. I also happen to think various public health directives to “protect the citizens’ general welfare” during the pandemic were reasonable and efficacious. I, and many others, agreed regulations in these and other areas were and are required.

When people self-regulate, there is no need for regulations. I am guessing the vast majority of regulations and laws are passed due to the failure of someone, group of someones or corporate someones to self-regulate in order to further “the general welfare.” People responsible for the “citizens’ general welfare” do not wake up every morning thinking, “Hmm, what law can I pass to further hamper the freedoms of citizens?” By and large, they are responsive to the concerns of citizens and their views on what constitutes “general welfare.” They respond to the voices and votes of citizens, and sometimes those voices and votes are in opposition to the voice and vote of other citizens. The “sacrifice of individual freedoms” is the flip side of protecting the “citizens’ general welfare.” I am not sure there is a way to do both.




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