A MORATORIUM WE NEED

July 29, 2010

We need House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-Ohio) proposal for a one year moratorium on new regulations affecting business, says Iain Murray, vice president for strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). 

According to a report by Wayne Crews, vice president for policy and director of technology studies at CEI: 

  • Regulation now costs the U.S. economy over $1 trillion a year.
  • Regulation eats up 8.3 percent of the U.S. economy and its cost is equal to 63 percent of corporate pretax profits.
  • The burden of regulation on business dwarfs the burden of the corporate income tax. 

So the one year moratorium is probably a good idea, slowing if not halting the regulatory juggernaut.  However, we can go further and provide the stimulus the economy provides at zero cost by getting rid of some of this burden, says Murray.  We should: 

  • Allow freer trade in skilled labor: Bright foreign workers want to stay and create U.S. jobs after graduating here; to address global competition, allow them to stay.
  • Avoid safety regulations that make us less safe: Many frontier technologies like nanotech can make our environment cleaner; exaggerating risks overlooks the hazards of stagnation.
  • Liberalize capital markets: Capitalism ranks among the world's great democratizing forces, but post-Enron Sarbanes-Oxley regulation has severely distressed smaller companies.
  • Privatize: During the 1990s, it was proposed that commercial aspects of federal labs be offered to the industries they benefit, or to allow research employee buyouts; do that.
  • Relax predatory and anti-consumer antitrust activism: Constraining productive firms in ways the market never intended hobbles entire industry sectors and undermines the wealth creation process itself.
  • Reduce overregulation generally: More than 60 agencies issue 4,000 regulations a year within some 70,000 Federal Register pages.  

If we're going to get America back on the road to recovery we need to free up business, not set further roadblocks in its way.  The time has come to liberate to stimulate, says Murray. 

Source: Iain Murray, "A moratorium we need," Washington Examiner, July 22, 2010. 

For report:

http://www.cei.org/cei_files/fm/active/0/Wayne%20Crews%20-%20Ten%20Thousand%20Commandments%20-%2010KC%20-%202010.pdf 

 

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