“How do you combat the claim that without government there would be no regulation and companies would have people working for slave wages, long hours, etc?”
Your question assumes a few things, which must be addressed; that regulations function to protect workers, the existence of “slave wages” for those willing to work for them, and the historical reason regulations exist at all. Regulations protect no one other than the special interest groups who already have political ties to “government”. Through regulatory capture they are able to not only remain practically immune from the regulatory agency. This is known as sovereign immunity of the corporation. Moreover they are also able to virtually write the laws themselves to ensure their continued benefit from them in terms of squashing small business competition and erecting gargantuan barriers to entry for their particular field. Regulations function only to strangulate employers and entrepreneurs by preventing them from running their business efficiently and smoothly. Due to the existence of such laws they must now divert precious time, energy, and resources to complying with “government” regulations, which necessarily destroys in proportionate manner their business. The fact that businesses are still able to function at all, even with the massive number of regulations on the books today, is testament to the hardy resilience of man’s desire to produce wealth amidst such stultifying forces. With more and more regulations made as time passes the clear trajectory taken by the US is towards complete control over the means of production AKA blatant Communism/Socialism. This would be the death knell to our comatose economy.
The term “slave wages” is a nebulous term that is often used by Socialists/Communists to describe what is equally as nebulous a term, the “living wage”. They both are meaningless since we all have different conceptions of what a suitable wage is for which to sell our labor. Our labor and time is a product like any other and when we sell it to an employer he gives us monetary compensation, which is known as a salary or wage. To a man who is unemployed and makes $0/hour, making $2/hour is significant improvement; however under the current minimum wage laws this voluntary arrangement would be an illegal agreement and punishable by State penalties. Nobody can tell you what is an appropriate price for your time and labor. We must all as individuals, make that decision for ourselves. It is immoral and violent for “government” to forcefully compel an involuntary agreement or prevent a voluntary agreement from taking place between employer and employee. That is a personal agreement that must be decided by employer and employee alone.
Even the “sweatshops” that pay “slave wages” in distant lands must be employed by people who have concluded those wages, long hours, and work environment to be superior to their other options. Therefore these “slave wages” are not slave wages to them but rather the best of all possible options. Such free market capitalism is the best method for a region to lift itself out of abject poverty and raise it’s standard of living. We all must start somewhere.
Historically it was not “government” regulations that protected the workers from the evil Capitalist pigs, improved worker environments, or minimum wage laws that increased wages. This is the skewed history that “government school” would have you believe. Rather the increased efficiency of machinery, technological innovation, and improvements in production and distribution is what did these things. Worker environments and wages were all steadily improving already, before “government” rode in on its white horse with its violent mandates to cruelly shackle such a magnificently functioning organism as the Free Market. Institutionalized violence can never claim the manifold victories and accomplishments of peaceful people engaging in voluntary relationships.
Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their governmental schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations! And now that the legislator and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty.
Just do good things