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The role of regulation in the US economy, society and government

The role of regulation in the US economy, society and government


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reefedjib

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I say that the role of regulation in our economy, society, government is that it be for safety. I also say that it be reasonable and not place undue costs or procedures on businesses. I say only for safety as I don't wish to see regulation used to "level the playing field" in any sense. I say be reasonable since we don't want to unduly burden business - we want a business friendly environment so that businesses can be created and thrive.

My core question is: is there such a thing as too much regulation? How do we determine where that point is, industry to industry?
 

Kandahar

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Depends on the industry. Some industries (e.g. health care, food processing) need more regulation because they deal with life-and-death situations, where the profit motive is not always in line with public safety. Other industries (e.g. insurance, finance) need more regulation because they pose a systemic risk to our economy, and the taxpayers have to foot the bill when the industry makes mistakes. Others (e.g. oil, automobiles) need more regulation for environmental reasons.

There is definitely such a thing as too much regulation. We see this in a lot of pro-union states with very stringent labor laws, that have no purpose for existing in a free market economy. Right-to-work states typically have stronger labor markets and are more productive. We also see some examples of too much regulation at the national scale. For example, the US legal system makes it incredibly easy to sue people, and to incur no penalty no matter how ridiculous the lawsuit is. As a result, businesses spend far too much money suing one another and defending themselves from lawsuits stemming from obscure regulations.

In general, I support the minimum amount of regulation necessary for business and society to prosper, and no more. People who think that the market can solve all social ills are incredibly naive, as are the people who think that we can solve all social ills by having the government micromanage every aspect of business.
 

phattonez

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No regulation. I mean, only pollution right now since we don't have adequate legal channels to deal with it yet.
 

samsmart

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Before I answer, I would like to more clarification on what you mean by asking about the government using regulations to "level the playing field," and "reasonable costs so businesses can thrive."
 
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When you say "level the playing field" I took that as not allowing monopolies and that sort of thing, am I right or were you refering to something else?
 

reefedjib

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Before I answer, I would like to more clarification on what you mean by asking about the government using regulations to "level the playing field," and "reasonable costs so businesses can thrive."
By "level the playing field" I have in mind the use of regulation to create equality of outcome for various minority groups. I don't think "level the playing field" applies to equality of opportunity since we have the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and so is protected by law.

By "reasonable costs so businesses can thrive", the regulation shouldn't be onerous. It should be affordable and not add too much cost to business operations. Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 is an example of what I would consider too much regulation. This is definitely a bit of a grey area and is connected to my questions "is there such a thing as too much regulation? How do we determine where that point is, industry to industry?"
 
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Jucon

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In my mind regulations should only be used to ensure worker safety and to keep businesses from taking advantage of workers and consumers.

I believe in letting the market decide but, for example, how can the market keep the banks from using sketchy tactics that as we all know lead to the downturn of the economy?
And how can the market ensure worker safety?
 

samsmart

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I voted "regulate for safety," "level the playing field," and "reasonable costs so businesses can thrive."

Regulate for safety is a given, so I don't think I really need to get into that too much.

By leveling the playing field, I think we should allow minorities and women entry to occupations they generally have difficulty in getting into. This is as much a problem in the military as it is in the private sector. I can't wait for the first female officers and enlisted to gain the experience they need to start putting all-female crews on submarines. I think that for some ethnic groups, they don't see how people of education and wealth act so they can't emulate it. Hell, I think that's the truth for areas with poor white people too, and I would like to help those regions break down barriers as well.

One idea I've been toying with is creating a financial center away from Wall Street and built elsewhere, such as in Atlanta, GA, or maybe somewhere out West. That way, NYC won't dominate the debate from the financial industry POV when Congress asks their input on financial regulations.

I also included reasonable costs so businesses can thrive. I think all regulations shouldn't be too damaging. However, I exempt punitive fines to be exempt from this. If you break a rule and you can't afford to pay the fine, then you should be put out of business for it. As simple as that.

While I believe in the nationalization of some industries, I do not believe that doing so by placing an undue burden on businesses is the answer. However, if the nationalization of an industry somehow puts an undue burden on business, then so be it.

For example, we have public railways in the form of Amtrak. Now while Amtrak may have put private railways out of business, I have no problem with that. However, I don't think we should put too much pressure on those private railways to coerce consumers to use Amtrak instead.

I don't believe in penalizing unwanted industry - if an industry is so unwanted, Americans will just make the whole thing illegal anyways.

Moderate to severe regulations to control industry, I didn't vote for either because it sounds too leading. For one, it depends on the particular industry. For another, if an industry needs to be severely regulated, I would think that it would be better to just nationalize it and have civil servants be employed there.

I didn't vote for "strengthen government" because I don't think regulations should be passed just for that reason. While increased regulations on an industry may indeed strengthen government, I don't think we should increase regulations purely for that purpose.

I'm against "no regulation" for a variety of reasons. One is that unregulated businesses would be just as harmful as unregulated individuals. I also think that no regulations actually hurts small businesses rather than large businesses, as large businesses can do activities such as price fixing, operate at a loss in order to put new small businesses it competes with out of business, and form monopolies that hurt competition and raises prices. Regulations are good for consumers and even other businesses, so I'm all for them.

I would like to say that I think regulations on labor are good. This includes such things as laws against child labor, limited work days, paid maternity and paternity leave, and regular vacations.
 

TurtleDude

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safety is a legitimate purpose of the government.

None of the others really are and no regulation would be anarchy

I voted for the reasonable costs meaning the government should move to lessening the amount of costs it imposes on our businesses
 

reefedjib

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By leveling the playing field, I think we should allow minorities and women entry to occupations they generally have difficulty in getting into. This is as much a problem in the military as it is in the private sector. I can't wait for the first female officers and enlisted to gain the experience they need to start putting all-female crews on submarines. I think that for some ethnic groups, they don't see how people of education and wealth act so they can't emulate it. Hell, I think that's the truth for areas with poor white people too, and I would like to help those regions break down barriers as well.

One idea I've been toying with is creating a financial center away from Wall Street and built elsewhere, such as in Atlanta, GA, or maybe somewhere out West. That way, NYC won't dominate the debate from the financial industry POV when Congress asks their input on financial regulations.
I am very surprised by your answer here. When it come to the military, I have no problems with changes to policy allowing women into new areas like submarine crews. The military has no problems with minorities. But to use regulation on industry for social engineering is very wrong. It is like Affirmative Action on steroids. If minorities and women are qualified for a position, they will get it and make headway for those behind them.

There already are other financial centers like Charlotte, NC. You were planning on having a planned city?
 

reefedjib

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My core question is: is there such a thing as too much regulation? How do we determine where that point is, industry to industry?

How do we identify too much regulation and deregulate?
 

Kandahar

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My core question is: is there such a thing as too much regulation? How do we determine where that point is, industry to industry?

How do we identify too much regulation and deregulate?
I guess the questions I would ask about any regulation would be:
A) Does this regulation effectively serve the public's needs in some way?
B) Are the public's needs for this regulation important enough that they outweigh the inherent economic burden that comes from increased regulations?

If the answer to either of those questions is "no," then I would probably oppose the regulation as being excessive.
 

samsmart

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I am very surprised by your answer here. When it come to the military, I have no problems with changes to policy allowing women into new areas like submarine crews. The military has no problems with minorities. But to use regulation on industry for social engineering is very wrong. It is like Affirmative Action on steroids. If minorities and women are qualified for a position, they will get it and make headway for those behind them.
I used to be against affirmative action, but not so much anymore. But it's not just minorities and women I think this should be applied to, but also those in poverty, no matter their race or gender. In fact it is those who I'd prefer affirmative action be applied to.

And the reason why I favor affirmative action is because, like I said, I think those groups should have better access to those occupations. I don't want anything like a quota system or anything, but I do think it would help in ending ethnic poverty. We have come a long way in this country, but I don't think we are yet where we need to be. That's all.

There already are other financial centers like Charlotte, NC. You were planning on having a planned city?
No, not making a planned city. More like making the finance industries more regionalized so Wall Street isn't the only place Congress goes to for advice on how to regulate our financial markets.
 

the makeout hobo

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No regulation. I mean, only pollution right now since we don't have adequate legal channels to deal with it yet.
The difference is that regulations are proactive while the legal system is reactive. If I eat a burger that's toxic and then sue, I've already been harmed and the makers already have my money. If there is a food inspector checking to make sure the restaurant is using proper sanitary practices, I don't get sick in the first place and the restaurant doesn't have to worry about being sued.
 

reefedjib

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I used to be against affirmative action, but not so much anymore. But it's not just minorities and women I think this should be applied to, but also those in poverty, no matter their race or gender. In fact it is those who I'd prefer affirmative action be applied to.

And the reason why I favor affirmative action is because, like I said, I think those groups should have better access to those occupations. I don't want anything like a quota system or anything, but I do think it would help in ending ethnic poverty. We have come a long way in this country, but I don't think we are yet where we need to be. That's all.
How would you implement this if not with a quota system. "Oh your poor and less educated but we'll hire you to help your socioeconomic prospects?" That's ridiculous. You can't regulate poor people to prosperity.

The solution for the poor in America is to stop bitching about a "white man's education" or a "rich man's education" and get educated.

No, not making a planned city. More like making the finance industries more regionalized so Wall Street isn't the only place Congress goes to for advice on how to regulate our financial markets.
You want to use regulation to design the distribution of financial centers and where smart people educated in finance and securities live? :shock:
 

Jucon

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I used to be against affirmative action, but not so much anymore. But it's not just minorities and women I think this should be applied to, but also those in poverty, no matter their race or gender. In fact it is those who I'd prefer affirmative action be applied to.

And the reason why I favor affirmative action is because, like I said, I think those groups should have better access to those occupations. I don't want anything like a quota system or anything, but I do think it would help in ending ethnic poverty. We have come a long way in this country, but I don't think we are yet where we need to be. That's all.
I'd rather have the best candidate get the job. Screw their race. People focus too much on race. We are all humans.

I should say I am fully against discrimination of any kind, however businesses should not be required to prove they aren't discriminatory through the act of hiring minorities just to fill a quota. Many businesses in my field will hire a minority or a woman over a white man... who's being discriminated against now?
 
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samsmart

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How would you implement this if not with a quota system. "Oh your poor and less educated but we'll hire you to help your socioeconomic prospects?" That's ridiculous. You can't regulate poor people to prosperity.

The solution for the poor in America is to stop bitching about a "white man's education" or a "rich man's education" and get educated.
Not sure. I don't want to regulate poor people to prosperity. I want to regulate poor people so that have better opportunities for prosperity. There's a difference.

One thing I would like is to make the first 4 years, or the equivalent in credits, of college, university, or trade school paid for by taxes for all Americans instead of them relying on student loans or scholarships. That way we can ensure that all people have the opportunity for a basic college education. That will help people get the formal educational and occupational training they need for employment nowadays. By limiting it to only the first 4 years, anyone who screws up the first time and tries to go again will have to pay for it himself.

You want to use regulation to design the distribution of financial centers and where smart people educated in finance and securities live? :shock:
Maybe not regulate, but rather offer incentives. Instead of concentrating certain key occupations like that in one area, spread them out to other regions. I think doing so would help boost those particular regions and diversify the people we have involved in those industries, such as financial markets. Whenever Congress does investigations into the finance industry, I don't see why most of the feedback they get should be from NYC even though the laws will affect the entire nation. That was my point.
 

reefedjib

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Not sure. I don't want to regulate poor people to prosperity. I want to regulate poor people so that have better opportunities for prosperity. There's a difference.
To me, this is not a proper use of regulation. Here in America we have certain freedoms so that our hard efforts will be rewarded. Rewarding people who haven't earned it in hopes of changing their futures, through the action of the government, and this includes Affirmative Action, infringes on the freedom of others and is absolutely wrong. It violates Equal Protection.

Poor people can work hard themselves to change their fortunes. See any recent immigrant group to see how to do it. Hard work and education.

One thing I would like is to make the first 4 years, or the equivalent in credits, of college, university, or trade school paid for by taxes for all Americans instead of them relying on student loans or scholarships. That way we can ensure that all people have the opportunity for a basic college education. That will help people get the formal educational and occupational training they need for employment nowadays. By limiting it to only the first 4 years, anyone who screws up the first time and tries to go again will have to pay for it himself.
Absolutely not. This is another entitlement. It is bad enough that K - 12 is funded by tax payers. If someone without means wants a college education, they will have to do well in high school. That will make them eligible for scholarships. Then there is always the military. I earned $40,000 in the Army and payed for half of my school. There are loans as well. If they have the drive they can accomplish it. The problem largely rests with the fact that the poor do not have the drive to do well in high school or shoot for a college education. If they are lucky, they will learn a skill and be plumbers, electricians, construction, or other trades. You can make decent livings in those fields.

Maybe not regulate, but rather offer incentives. Instead of concentrating certain key occupations like that in one area, spread them out to other regions. I think doing so would help boost those particular regions and diversify the people we have involved in those industries, such as financial markets. Whenever Congress does investigations into the finance industry, I don't see why most of the feedback they get should be from NYC even though the laws will affect the entire nation. That was my point.
This happens by the regions themselves. Charlotte spends money to entice financial companies to do business there. This should not be something the federal government gets involved with.
 

samsmart

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To me, this is not a proper use of regulation. Here in America we have certain freedoms so that our hard efforts will be rewarded. Rewarding people who haven't earned it in hopes of changing their futures, through the action of the government, and this includes Affirmative Action, infringes on the freedom of others and is absolutely wrong. It violates Equal Protection.

Poor people can work hard themselves to change their fortunes. See any recent immigrant group to see how to do it. Hard work and education.

Absolutely not. This is another entitlement. It is bad enough that K - 12 is funded by tax payers. If someone without means wants a college education, they will have to do well in high school. That will make them eligible for scholarships. Then there is always the military. I earned $40,000 in the Army and payed for half of my school. There are loans as well. If they have the drive they can accomplish it. The problem largely rests with the fact that the poor do not have the drive to do well in high school or shoot for a college education. If they are lucky, they will learn a skill and be plumbers, electricians, construction, or other trades. You can make decent livings in those fields.
It's not that the poor don't have the drive to do well in high school or shoot for a college education. Or rather, that is not the only reason. For some, it's cultural; for others, it's because of family influence; for others, it's because they have disabilities, such as mental illness; for yet others, it is because of regional differences in industries.

And yes, we do give PreK - High school education paid for by taxpayers. And we do that because we have an economic interest in providing opportunities for education to our people. Originally, public schools was formed so that children would be able to do basic reading, writing, and arithmetic so that they would be able to read directions on the use of such things as fertilizers and calculate how much of which components they would need to apply the fertilizer to their fields.

We started public school in order to have an educated populace that is easier to train for occupations necessary for our well-being. As our society has advanced, so has the requirements for basic occupations. For example, plumbers no longer learn how to put pipes together. They also have to learn the environmental impacts of sewage. This requires even basic tradesmen to have a higher quality of education than previous.

I'd also like to point out a report I read one time. They took different factors of death row inmates and calculated common factors between them. The number one common factors between criminals sentenced for death was a lack of education.

So providing easier and better opportunities for education will not only help reduce criminals (since most criminals commit crimes because it is an easier way they can make an income, and thus there's an economic factor to crime) it will also ensure that we have an educated and trained populace that can pursue occupations and thus earn a living.

Basically what I'm saying is that the best way to get people off of food stamps is to ensure they get professional occupational training and education so they have the opportunity to get hired. Considering this will increase the economic benefits of the entire country for having an educated and skill populace, and it will reduce the crime rate, I think that's tax money well spent.

This happens by the regions themselves. Charlotte spends money to entice financial companies to do business there. This should not be something the federal government gets involved with.
Okay. Good point.
 

reefedjib

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I guess the questions I would ask about any regulation would be:
A) Does this regulation effectively serve the public's needs in some way?
B) Are the public's needs for this regulation important enough that they outweigh the inherent economic burden that comes from increased regulations?

If the answer to either of those questions is "no," then I would probably oppose the regulation as being excessive.
I like this formulation, both A and B. Now the question becomes how do you define the public's needs and its importance?

As an example, does the public need the detailed financial reporting, from a publicly traded company, specified by Sarbanes-Oxley in order to attempt to stop another Enron scandal from occurring? Is it important enough to outweigh the reporting burden on companies. Many companies would say no as it is a heavy burden.
 

reefedjib

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It's not that the poor don't have the drive to do well in high school or shoot for a college education. Or rather, that is not the only reason. For some, it's cultural; for others, it's because of family influence; for others, it's because they have disabilities, such as mental illness; for yet others, it is because of regional differences in industries.

And yes, we do give PreK - High school education paid for by taxpayers. And we do that because we have an economic interest in providing opportunities for education to our people. Originally, public schools was formed so that children would be able to do basic reading, writing, and arithmetic so that they would be able to read directions on the use of such things as fertilizers and calculate how much of which components they would need to apply the fertilizer to their fields.

We started public school in order to have an educated populace that is easier to train for occupations necessary for our well-being. As our society has advanced, so has the requirements for basic occupations. For example, plumbers no longer learn how to put pipes together. They also have to learn the environmental impacts of sewage. This requires even basic tradesmen to have a higher quality of education than previous.

I'd also like to point out a report I read one time. They took different factors of death row inmates and calculated common factors between them. The number one common factors between criminals sentenced for death was a lack of education.

So providing easier and better opportunities for education will not only help reduce criminals (since most criminals commit crimes because it is an easier way they can make an income, and thus there's an economic factor to crime) it will also ensure that we have an educated and trained populace that can pursue occupations and thus earn a living.

Basically what I'm saying is that the best way to get people off of food stamps is to ensure they get professional occupational training and education so they have the opportunity to get hired. Considering this will increase the economic benefits of the entire country for having an educated and skill populace, and it will reduce the crime rate, I think that's tax money well spent.
College is not and should not be mandatory. We should not offer it for free. We are not a social democracy. You can make a fine living without a college education.

The basic problem I see with what you are saying is that you think you can produce an educated populous by mandating it. The reality is that the drop-out rate is skyrocketed. People who need it are not getting educated through the capable school system already in place. There is no way to wave a wand so that they are suddenly ready for college.

It is a situation that is impervious to regulation.
 

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I say that the role of regulation in our economy, society, government is that it be for safety. I also say that it be reasonable and not place undue costs or procedures on businesses. I say only for safety as I don't wish to see regulation used to "level the playing field" in any sense. I say be reasonable since we don't want to unduly burden business - we want a business friendly environment so that businesses can be created and thrive.

My core question is: is there such a thing as too much regulation? How do we determine where that point is, industry to industry?
Contract law and environmental (aka, property crime) law should cover just about everything.
 

hazlnut

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All Government Regulation should be based on 'public interest and safety'. Under that I would include not only health codes but banking regs. A bank that engages in overly risky behavior for short terms gains is putting their depositors at risk. Also, any misleading or unethical business practices (price-fixing, bait and switch advertising, false advertising) is not in the public's interest.

I don't like the "level playing field" idea, but I think ensuring fair competition and pricing is in the public interest.
 

Jucon

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One thing I would like is to make the first 4 years, or the equivalent in credits, of college, university, or trade school paid for by taxes for all Americans instead of them relying on student loans or scholarships. That way we can ensure that all people have the opportunity for a basic college education. That will help people get the formal educational and occupational training they need for employment nowadays. By limiting it to only the first 4 years, anyone who screws up the first time and tries to go again will have to pay for it himself.
We can barely afford to pay the teachers K-12... now is not the time for this. Besides, like Reef said... we don't need another entitlement program.

I made it through 5 years of college basically paying for all of it with loans. Now that I have a degree, I will get a job and pay back my loans. It may take some time to pay them back, but it was all worth it. Money is not an issue here... you just need decent grades.

It's not that the poor don't have the drive to do well in high school or shoot for a college education. Or rather, that is not the only reason. For some, it's cultural; for others, it's because of family influence; for others, it's because they have disabilities, such as mental illness; for yet others, it is because of regional differences in industries.
Everyone is given choices in life. If you decide to waste your life with video games, gang involvement, drugs, etc... you have only yourself to blame. Every child in the U.S. is given the opportunity to make something of themselves. They just need to grow up and learn how things work in this country.

And yes, we do give PreK - High school education paid for by taxpayers. And we do that because we have an economic interest in providing opportunities for education to our people. Originally, public schools was formed so that children would be able to do basic reading, writing, and arithmetic so that they would be able to read directions on the use of such things as fertilizers and calculate how much of which components they would need to apply the fertilizer to their fields.
Yes... but that doesn't mean kids will take advantage of the great opportunities they are given.

We started public school in order to have an educated populace that is easier to train for occupations necessary for our well-being. As our society has advanced, so has the requirements for basic occupations. For example, plumbers no longer learn how to put pipes together. They also have to learn the environmental impacts of sewage. This requires even basic tradesmen to have a higher quality of education than previous.
I bet a majority of those in poverty never strove to do well in high school and don't know any applicable skills anyways... besides pushing a button on an order taking screen.

So providing easier and better opportunities for education will not only help reduce criminals (since most criminals commit crimes because it is an easier way they can make an income, and thus there's an economic factor to crime) it will also ensure that we have an educated and trained populace that can pursue occupations and thus earn a living.
Sorry but this is ridiculous. Like I said... everyone is given an opportunity to learn in this country. But each person needs to make the choice to work hard and make something of themselves. Why would kids who don't try hard in high school try to get into college? You try hard in high school to get into college... THEN after high school and you have proven you are responsible and are able to handle the task of learning, you are given the opportunity to get into college. This opportunity doesn't, and SHOULDN'T, just fall in your lap. These people choose crime because it's easier than studying or reading a book. Life is full of choices, and these people have made theirs.
 

Kandahar

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Contract law and environmental (aka, property crime) law should cover just about everything.
No it won't. There are plenty of necessary regulations which don't fall into either of those categories. Do you think it should be legal for health insurance companies to discriminate based on genetic profile? Do you think it should be legal for companies to monopolize an industry and suppress any competition by selling below cost? Do you think it should be legal for financial firms to make enormous gambles that threaten to bring down the entire economy? Do you think it should be legal for food processing companies to use any unsanitary conditions they want, as long as they don't advertise otherwise?

I think most people would agree that the answers to all of these questions is no. Therefore, we need more regulations than just the two you mentioned.
 
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