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No Freedom without RegulationThe Hidden Lesson of the Subprime Crisis$
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Joseph William Singer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300211672

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300211672.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 11 August 2020

Democratic Liberty

Democratic Liberty

(p.177) 6 Democratic Liberty
No Freedom without Regulation

Joseph William Singer

Yale University Press

Democracies promote liberty by outlawing subprime practices and setting minimum standards for market relationships and for property rights. What we should be against is not “the free market” but subprime markets premised on unfair and deceptive practices. What we should be against is not "regulation" but subprime regulation that undermines freedom, equal opportunity, and prosperity. What we should be for is sensible regulation and just markets. We should embrace democratic liberty. That means freedom, equality, democracy, and the rule of law. We need a legal infrastructure that works and is consistent with the values of a free and democratic society. It is true that bad laws impair our liberties and deprive us of our rightful property. We should never forget that. But sensible regulation takes away neither our freedom nor our property. Rather, regulation, properly structured, can enable every human being to become an owner, to have a home, to live a life of comfort and joy, and to make a place in the world. It is time we Americans understood that regulation is just another word for the rule of law. The rule of law neither degrades nor imprisons us; it makes us free. And because we are a free and democratic society, we need a political system that enables us to combine government by the people with our fundamental normative commitment to the idea that each person is free and equal. Regulation does not impede these goals; it is the way we achieve them.

Keywords:   subprime, subprime markets, subprime regulation, just markets, sensible regulation, liberty, freedom, equality, democracy, minimum standards, rule of law, normative, philosophy, morality, politics, law, regulation

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