The Nature of Transactions

Conservatives are concerned about the moral behavior of individuals, but not about their economic behavior unless it is a transaction between two consenting adults which violates conservative moral sensibilities.  For that reason, many conservatives vote for laws banning prostitution, the use of drugs, and homosexuality, to name a few. 

Liberals are concerned about the moral behavior of companies, but less concerned about the moral behavior of individuals.  Conservatives and liberals have fundamental conflicting views of the nature of a transaction.

Conservatives tend to idealize process so they often view a transaction between two parties as a voluntary trade.  Liberals view a transaction as a process whereby one party gains some advantage, however slight, over another.  Because of their view, conservatives want little regulation of the economic behavior between people or between companies and people.  Liberals often mistake this view as a sympathy for companies but is a conservative reverence for the sanctity of transactions between parties that leads them to reject regulatory laws.

Because of their view of the nature of transactions, liberals want more regulations in an effort to reach a “fair” transaction where one party’s advantage over another is kept to a minimum.   What is the proper number of referees in a football game?  Conservatives want fewer referees, liberals want more.

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