The idea that people can protect themselves from bad products by market choices evaporates without those choices. Try finding a bank that doesn’t clear the biggest checks first instead of the smallest or an airline that doesn’t overbook or or a credit card company that, in the absence of regulation, doesn’t charge excessive fees. Regulations set a floor of service above which companies can compete and below which they cannot go.

Essentially, libertarians want everyone to take the risk of bad products in the hope that there will be some price advantages. There may be or there may just be shoddier products priced lower to sucker people in. But the risk takers don’t get the right to force everybody else to take those risks. You may be willing to expose your family to the risk of listeria in order to theoretically save a few pennies by eliminating some health regulations but you don’t get the right prohibit those regulations and thus expose my family to those risks.

You don’t get a to make the rest of us live with your level of risk.

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

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