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Caution ‘Freedom’ mentioned.

Comment 27th August 2010

'Freedom' is a very seductive word. Regulation (telling people what they can and can't do) does have its plus side. Simply put, often when one party exercises its freedoms the result of that act or choice can be of detriment to the freedoms of another party. When we talk about regulation of buisiness for example, we can look at  the banks recent 'freedoms' to conduct buisiness as they saw fit and it's impacts on the freedoms of everyone else in the country. I do not want an Aston martin i just want a roof over my head, shelter is a fundimental human need. To own my own home i must get in debt for most of my life and constantly worry about reposession or eviction because house prices and with it rent prices have gone through the roof due to the existence of credit and its unregulated behaviour by those buisiness's in a position to lend/exploit (delete as appropriate). The freedom to lend money, we see here, has detracted from the freedom of feeling comfortable in our own homes. 'The common good of all' is the ultimate quest, we must remeber this. So when we talk about regulation we must seperate it into Arbitrary and necessary.  I would argue, that regulation around credit and the behaviour of money lenders is necessary to preserve the economic freedoms of the population. Credit pushes up prices and makes itself indispensible. Anyone selling anything is going to price it in between what will make them a profit and what people can pay. What people can pay is increased when people can lend, when people can pay more 'the seller' can charge more so those unwilling to lend, must in order to compete finacially with those who are willing to lend. You can always not compete if its for a luxury, but when the prices of necessities such as shelter and food rise because of this mechanism then you must compete or live a live in which the prospects for minimal happiness are vastly diminished homelessness and hunger do not make for a fertileplot for the cultivation of happiness after all. lets not be seduced by sexy words like 'freedom' as this word has been used in the past to manipulate people, Thatcher removed regulation from the banks gaining public approval by calling it a freedom, (and it is a freedom) just look at the impacts of one entitys freedom on anothers and wiegh them up using 'the common good' as the yardstick, this should be the purpose of regulation. I welcome your thoughts, disagreements and comments.

Why does this matter?

I think my idea is important as the link which brought me here was Nick Clegg talking about increasing freedoms. This sounds appealing, I just want to make the point that 'freedom'  (unbelievably) is not always a universal good. He mentioned 'More freedom to conduct your business'. I just want to state that this type of freedom has been granted before and the results have detracted from other freedoms. People are not participating democratically if their opinions and descisions are based on deception. If this is all about promoting democracy then lets have it right.

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