Originally Answered: Can a liberal please explain wanting more regulations on businesses for me?
The BP explosion happened due to corruption and/or inattentiveness in the bureaucracy, not due to the regulations or lack thereof. Had the regulators been doing their job, the whole thing would likely not have happened.
The egg fiasco is a problem of deregulation, where the FDA has been compromised due to the lack of funding driven by political cuts based on industry re-writing of legislation, allowing the industry to "self-inspect." Had the FDA been properly funded and had actual inspectors and laws based on good science to enforce, the whole fiasco would never have happened. Eggs are only the most recent and visible case. The food industry has so many politicians in their pockets and has re-written and diluted so much regulation that the FDA that we know today is barely a ghost of what it once was, in terms of funding, manpower, meaningful regulations, and ability to enforce what regulations there are, much less what there ought to be. Think of enforcing law in NYC with a police force of, say, 50 police officers -- and all they are allowed to enforce with is their uniforms, no laws, no guns, no billy clubs. The improvements in the coming years are a step in the right direction, but it is going to take a great deal of political will to keep that momentum up.
I think the Bernie Madoff case could also be argued in the reduced workforce of the federal government, as well as relaxed regulations. But, to be honest, I think he would have done the same thing regardless of how tough the laws might have been. If anything, we might have stopped him sooner, at best.
So, why more regulations for businesses? Because the profit motive in businesses seems to be stronger than the do-the-right-thing motive in businesses. As soon as we can instill a sense of basic decency and community in the impersonal, limited liability, publicly traded, corporate profit mindset (which could be done by the simple elimination of the concept of limited liability), I think regulations could be relaxed. Even Google, with its motto of "Don't be evil" seems to have a hard time of it, can you imagine companies and industries with less benevolent founders or patriarchal/matriarchal leadership being better at being good for the community, doing better for more than just the stockholders? It is possible to be profitable and responsible, but few corporate entities even try.