Back in the day when to be a conservative didn’t generally mean being a raving lunatic my views tended to be conservative on some economic issues. I have no doubt that the saner conservatives are right that there are a number of regulations on the books which we could do just fine without, and even a few government offices which should be closed. The problem is that modern conservatives tend to oppose pretty much any government action which doesn’t involve invading another country, torture, or imposing the views of the religious right upon others.
Rand Paul provides an example of how extreme the right wing now is with regards to government regulation. The Hill reports that Paul opposes mine safety rules:
The Republican running to replace outgoing Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) in the coal-mining hub of Kentucky said recently that Washington has no business formulating mine safety rules.
“The bottom line is: I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules,” Paul said at a recent campaign stop in response to questions about April’s deadly mining explosion in West Virginia, according to a profile in Details magazine. “You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.”
“I know that doesn’t sound … I want to be compassionate, and I’m sorry for what happened, but I wonder: Was it just an accident?”
Yes, the free market will protect the workers. I can just picture Adam Smith’s invisible hand reaching in to pull the workers to safety when needed.