What Citizens Can Do

Issue 6 and Volume 126.

What Citizens Can Do Our society accepts the principle that “government ought to intervene to protect citizens when voluntary safeguards are inadequate,” the commission said, “and yet, two themes in American thinking about government run counter to acceptance of this principle. First, we as a people do not want government regulating every aspect of our lives. Second, we regard government regulation as a last resort, a morally inferior solution to voluntary safeguards.” The commission said that “a balance must be struck” and it “is public concern that encourages voluntary regulation and legitimates government regulations. “That concern is miniscule when compared with the magnitude of the problem,” the commission declared after saying it had “no illusions about the amount of public concern over the deaths, injuries, and property losses from the nation’s destructive fires.” It saw a task that should begin now to “educate and sensitize Americans to the problem of…

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