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Home Issue Index Issue: Bailouts

Bailouts

Pro/Con Articles

ECONOMIC POLICY AND FINANCIAL REGULATION:

Should the government play an active role in the economy? 

SUPPORTERS ARGUE

The government has a significant role to play in making sure that all members of society have the tools they need to compete in the economy. As a practical matter, government intervention can smooth bumps in the economic road, speed up recovery from recessions, and ease human suffering. Government efforts to fund major construction projects and public works can provide much-needed jobs and stimulate the economy. Strong regulatory oversight is essential to a healthy financial system.

OPPONENTS ARGUE

Government can best help the economy by enforcing contracts, keeping taxes and regulations to a minimum, and allowing a vigorous free market. When combating a recession, aggressive government interventions like jobs programs and extended unemployment insurance can be counterproductive and have unintended consequences. Market forces place more consistent and meaningful discipline on the financial system than government regulations.

SUPPORTERS ARGUE

Any new screening method that can increase the likelihood of safe air travel should be employed. Modern terrorists use explosive powders and liquids that they know will be missed by conventional metal detectors. The room where the scanned images are viewed is far removed from the airport security checkpoint, and the scanners themselves are able to blur subjects' faces. The scanners are safe, noninvasive and faster than manually "patting down" every passenger.

OPPONENTS ARGUE

The images the scanners create clearly represent an invasion of privacy, and could be in violation of pornography laws. Rather than spending money on new scanners, security officials should direct more resources toward collecting and distributing intelligence on potentially dangerous passengers. Finally, adding an additional layer of security to airport security checkpoints will lengthen lines and increase flight departure delays.