There are two clear and present dangers to liberty. One is known as the Left, and the other is the Right. They seek to use government to mold society into a form they seek, rather than the form that liberty achieves if society is left on its own.
We often hear that various government policies are justified because "the people want" this or "we want" that. This belief assumes that dissenting minorities don't matter at all. "We want" is usually nothing more than rank majoritarianism.
According to the usual justification for government regulation of externalities,almost everything we do is ripe for regulation. Even worse, regulators never admit their prohibitions prevent an incalculable number of positive externalities.
Business owners have always made errors, and external factors can lead to economic crises of various sorts. But the cyclical pattern of booms and busts we now see are a result of government interventions not seen in a free marketplace.
There is a myth that Progressive humanitarians agitated for meat-packing regulations which now protect us from disease. The reality is that the big meat packers themselves wanted regulation to help crush the competition.
One of the great and most persistent errors of classical liberals is to believe in "good government," a government that does "what it is supposed to do." But no state empowered to do what is supposedly necessary will restrain itself to those things. It will expand as much as public opinion will...