Finding the most appropriate balance between individual rights and the public good is an ongoing challenge. It’s ongoing because we’re never dealing with a static environment. If there’s a new opportunity, the markets will find and monetize it. Markets are dynamic things, driving change as much as responding to it.
Even as our free-market system has raised living standards to levels once unimaginable, the backlash against the markets has gotten louder. And the markets, in the purest sense, aren’t listening. They tend to follow mathematics, not morals. So it’s our job as citizens to turn their cold calculus into social good.
We enact laws to rein in the more extreme behaviors of unfettered self-interest in order to protect the social fabric. Our society says you can be as ambitious as you want; you can achieve as much as your abilities allow; but you have to play by the rules. And we try to structure the rules to make the markets more open, more transparent and more fair.