I used to think of government's regulation of the business sector as similar to the role of referees in sports. Government lays down the rules, draws the lines within which the game must be played, and then keeps the players honest. Ideally, the rules and oversight will set limits that channel rather than overly inhibit the players' energy.
But the recent government bailouts of the financial and automobile sectors suggest more of a parent-child relationship, in which the offspring object to any parental interference, only to come back for money when the going gets rough.
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