Reduce regulations? That means reducing protections! Protections for pure food, clean water, clear air. Protections for health and safety. Protections against abuse and fraud.
We live in a world where protections are necessary for the public good – protection against greed, discrimination, and cutting corners for higher profits. Protections against corruption in business and government, unscrupulous mortgages, exploitative loans, usurious interest rates. Protections for free speech and honest information.
I am grateful every day that food is inspected, restaurant kitchens are clean, and that drugs are approved only after sufficient testing. I am grateful for zoning, and sanitation requirements, for licensing and certification of professionals, and for rules that protect the air I breathe and the water I drink or swim in.
Thus I am frightened by the new president’s intention to reduce “regulations” by 75 percent, as if they were bad things that need to be eliminated. We need more protection, not less, in this complex world where corporations often have more power than national governments, and where lobbyists monopolize the ears of legislators.
Our water is still vulnerable, bad air still causes asthma, and campaign finance reform is a pressing need. Above all, the real and growing danger of climate change demands strict rules for reducing emissions, as well as movement toward non-polluting power sources. If we fail to do this, the world becomes ever less hospitable to human life and civilization.
When you hear “regulations,” think “protections.”
Fish Creek, Wis.