American Elephants

Overregulation Matters! Here’s Why, And How It Affects You. by The Elephant's Child
May 12, 2015, 6:34 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,


“Last week, 65 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, the same number as the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 35 minutes.”

The American people send $1.4 trillion to Washington D.C. every year in individual income taxes. Big numbers are inclined to leave us somewhat numb. It’s very big, but we can’t really relate. Yet we send even more to Washington for another obligation that never shows up on our tax returns. The annual cost that is imposed on us by federal rules and regulations adds up to nearly $1.9 trillion. That burden works out to a staggering $14,976 per household per year. It’s hidden in the costs you pay for the goods and services you use.

Nobody objects to the ruling about a railing at the edge of the stairs so you aren’t apt to fall, but when the federal government decides that the calorie count of each ingredient in your pizza must be posted in your favorite pizza parlor—think of the cost when every restaurant in a chain must now make and post a sign with who knows how many ingredients. And then all Americans must be policed to be sure you are following the rules. The cost of American rules now exceeds the Gross Domestic Product of Canada.

President Obama has racked up the two highest annual totals in U.S. history, exceeding 81,000 pages in 2010 and 2011. A “major rule” is one that has an economic impact of $100 million or more. Mr. Obama has averaged 81 major rules a year so far. Regulations are more burdensome for small employers than big companies, but regulations can even put small businesses out of business. If you wonder why the economy is doing so poorly, or why there is still so much unemployment, there you go.

It all sounds very abstract, and it’s hard to understand how it relates to us. Those who are so sure of their own superiority cannot resist the urge to try to fix the American people. In their demand for equality for everyone, they find it impossible to stop meddling. Republicans celebrate the free market, recognizing that millions of decisions about buying and selling, coveting and hating work out to different language — the wisdom of crowds. That’s why Progressives hate the free market. They can’t control it. Who knows what the stupid people might do.

Eliminate Excessive Regulation; Ignite an Economic Boom. by The Elephant's Child

American businessmen complain about government regulation. President Obama is quite sure that they are mistaken, but he is a progressive and regulating comes as naturally as breathing. “During Obama’s first three years, 105 major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. This is more than four times the number and more than five times the cost — of the major regulations issued by George W. Bush during his first three years,” according to a study by the Heritage Foundation.

In January 2011, President Obama announced —with much fanfare — a new get-tough policy on overregulation. He acknowledged that “rules have gotten out of balance” and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs. He pledged a comprehensive review. But the flow of regulation continued with 32 new major regulations in 2011 that increased regulatory costs by almost $10 billion annually along with another $6.6 billion in one-time implementation costs. Mr. Obama cites removing the regulation that designated a spill of farm milk as a hazardous oil spill, as a major accomplishment. But that seems to be the only one.

Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare add hundreds of new regulations. Neither Congress nor the Administration keeps track of the total number and cost of regulation. During 2011 the administration completed a total of 3,611 rulemaking proceedings according to the GAO, of which 79 were classified as major — meaning that each had an expected economic impact of at least $100 million per year. Thirty-two of those put new limits or mandates on private sector activity. Only five major actions decreased regulatory burdens.

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In an environment where increased regulation is considered to be a public good, states and municipalities do their share of regulating. The Institute for Justice explains in the following video how licensing can restrict the entrance to many occupations. In many cases, it’s just bureaucratic busybodying, in others those already in an occupation hope to cut back on the competition by making it harder to work in their field. It’s quite a racket. And very hard on those who just want to establish a small business, but can’t afford the required licensing regulations.

There was quite a bit of publicity a while back about hair-braiding in the African-American community. It is really an art, and takes long practice, with beautiful results. Beauticians, however, took exception to people without a beautician’s license taking away what might have been some of their business. Beauty schools are expensive, take quite some time and don’t teach that kind of hair-braiding. They teach hair cutting and curling, coloring and tinting —that sort of thing, which the hair braiders don’t do. I don’t know how it turned out, nor in what states it was a problem, but I hope the hair braiders won.

In Washington state, Interior Designers have fought a battle to disqualify anyone from being called an Interior Designer, who hasn’t had the requisite schooling and passed  certifying examinations. It has been on the ballot twice and lost both times, but they will keep trying to eliminate the competition.

Emergency Medical Technicians save lives with their training and skills. It seems absurd that licensing requirements for many simpler jobs should be so much more costly and involve more time..

It is not the nature of governments at any level to remove or repeal regulation. They’re there to make law, not get rid of old, unworkable or unwieldy regulation. It is going to take citizen involvement and a lot of pressure to help make it happen. The statist web of controlling regulations and requirements can eventually paralyze a society. That is what has happened to Europe. The free market that would save Europe is never tried because the vast web of governance is too entrenched to relinquish control.

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