Government Intervention And Public Policy Term Paper

The Justification of Government Commerce and Trade Regulation

When viewed from the micro level, it is easy to understand why government regulation and exercise of authority over jobs, wages, industry practices, and the importation and exportation of goods and services might seem overly paternalistic. However, when compared to the alternative, it becomes very clear why such regulation is necessary, or at least why it is, by far, the lesser of two evils.

Without government regulation in these areas, the individual citizen would be at the mercy of decisions made by non-government entities acting purely out of their own self-interests. Among other things, wages would remain as low as could be maintained by the demand for jobs; essential industries and services would be susceptible to monopolization for commercial profit at the expense of the general public; prices would be inflated artificially by collusion and price-fixing; and domestic production would be threatened by cheaper foreign products and labor (Hill,...


In principle, the use of government authority to influence foreign affairs through trade policy is justified for the same reasons. However, in practice, there are significant potential issues, such as those arising in the context of exactly what commercial interests (or, more specifically, the commercial interests of whom) those policies reflect.

Undoubtedly, there are reasons for concern that national policies in those areas can be unduly influenced by big business and other powerful lobbies. However, those concerns do not conflict with the notion that national government entities are the appropriate authorities to regulate trade and commerce issues that affect the nation. If anything, the risk of undue influence from private entities only reinforces the justification by offering a small glimpse into the comparative problems associated with the absence of any government regulation.


Hill, C. (2009). Global Business Today Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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