Job Killing Regulations

The President of the United States presides over a government that employs a huge number of people who write regulations that either slow down job creation or are actual job killers. In these times of high unemployment, the President could, by executive order, instruct these employees to use their existing discretion in favor of the interpretation that would save or create the most jobs.

There would be no need to wait for the Congress. There would be no need to spend the public’s money on this initiative. This executive order would be entirely ‘shovel ready’ and its impact on the deficit is overwhelmingly likely to be positive. So far as I know, President Obama has not signed such an order, nor has he given any evidence that he is even considering it.


12 thoughts on “Job Killing Regulations”

  1. Because this idiot POTUS doesn’t WANT job creation. Business is the ENEMY!!! Business is to be used for their monies, and then thrown under the bus. He has made that abundantly clear from his actions. Who cares about his words…if he’s talking, he’s lying.

    The people presently running our government are sharks and jackals. They want the masses to be scared of losing their jobs so that they can control us.

    Got news for you idiots in Congress. WE ARE COMING. And you aren’t going to know what hit you!!!

    Check out the statistical surveys. Dims are going DOWN…DOWN….DOWN.

    Get the popcorn.

  2. Charlotte – I think that little could be more effective at forging large non-Democrat majorities in 2010 and 2012 than to beat up this administration for not doing all they could to create jobs, even when such action wouldn’t increase the deficit but would likely ease it by increasing tax revenue from the increased economic activity.

    So why aren’t the congressional GOP taking up this cudgel? It really is a mystery to me.

  3. TM,

    The default position of both parties is more government.

    I’m pretty certain the GOP hasn’t taken “up this cudgel” because they are, by and large, in favor or regulation. Witness the devolution of political thought in the last 50 years; there was time when the destruction of programs like social security, and elimination of the department of education and energy were top priorities of the right—now SS is the “fourth rail” of politics and the “does” are safe and secure. And to make matters worse, Bush, under the rubrick of “compassion,” gave us yet another unsustainable entitlement.

    I’m afraid neither party has the poltical courage or incentive to decrease national regulations, because for the most part, national body-politic has said, “yes” to more government—particularly when that government is sending money.

    This is a battle that cannot be waged exclusively at the national level. The Several States need to take efforts to repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments in order to wean the “beast” from the pockets of Americans and get effective State representation at the national level…and I’m not holding my breath.

  4. The recent Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) requires testing items for lead, intended for use by children. This zero tolerance regulation has closed 10,000+ small businesses that make children’s goods such as quilts, clothing, toy blocks, and books.

    Even bicycles have been banned, because there are some parts in them which contain lead. How many children have suffered lead poisoning from chewing on their bicycle?

    A great tragedy of this idiotic law is the banning of all children’s books published before 1986. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Obama have arranged for a national book burning, all in the name of “the children”.

    Stop the Death from Quilts and Food

    This is the type of nuanced regulation and gentle nudging that you can expect from the regulatory state. Our all-seeing government will be watching and making life better for us all, as implemented by a thoughtful bureaucracy.

    Don’t expect them to make any judgments or allowances. Bending the law could interfere with getting their pensions and healthcare.

  5. There are indeed a lot of regulations which are job killers: however, it’s not clear how many of these have been drafted in a way that provides significant discretion in their interpretation…Consumer Prods Safety Commission, for example, has indicated that the “no lead” requirements mentioned by Andrew above are written in such a way that there is no room for an interpretation of “safe levels of lead.”

    Also, to the extent that there is a valid need to regulate something at all, it may not be wise to make all other criteria secondary to “job creation.” The regulations of certification of new aircraft types, for example, could be interpreted in a way that would speed new types into production and thereby increase employment in aircraft manufacturing, but at the possible cost of safety.

    Rather than across-the-board call for discretionary interpretation, I think it would be both better policy and better politics to attack specific regulations, such as the CPSIA insanity.

  6. We have stripped regulations and created the economic debacle. The answer is not the old nonsense about a make-believe free market (we never fully had one),and the economy is now turning around. the simplistic notion that ridding the nation of regulations creates jobs is simply another piece of wishful thinking for those who believe
    the govt is the enemy. It is not. It is not efficient, for sure, but it works, and old bromides have been shown to be whistling in the economic dark.

  7. To Charles M. Silver,

    Would you cite one of the regulations that was stripped from our society, thus creating the financial debacle? And, who did the stripping?

    By who, I dont mean during which administration, but who sponsored the bill or took the action that eliminated the suspect regulation? I would like to blame the people who actually did it.

  8. To David Foster,

    Congressional proponents of each job-killing regulation respond to critics that the enforcing agency can make reasonable exceptions. Of course not, they have to follow the exact law. And, I think that is fine with the bureaucracy, which doesn’t want to make independent decisions.

    Airline safety is interesting. Parents of infants can still carry them on their lap, not buying an extra seat. The analysis has been that the infants are in more danger of a long automobile trip than in flying, regardless of having an infant seat on the airplane. Requiring parents to buy an extra seat moves them into cars. This is an unusual case of reasonable rules.

    The government is more clueless when setting other aspects of airline safety. First, airlines want to be safe to preserve their reputation and ridership. Then, to the extent that government makes flying more expensive, some people are moved into cars where they are in greater danger.

    The engineering motto is that zero tolerance leads to infinite costs. A rational government would place a value on safety in $/life, and realize that resources in excess of this can be applied to other areas which are less safe and in more need of engineering.

    Even better (wishful thinking), the government could declare that it is not going to regulate airline safety, and let the airlines find means of showing that they are safe, to the tastes of their clients. I believe that government regulation is actually a shield for the airlines. No one can do anything about airline safety because “the govt is doing it”, and the government is expensive and clumsy.

  9. J. Scott – There’s a reason I said non-Democrat in my first comment response. If the GOP does not step up its game, both parties are leaving an opening for somebody else to come on the scene.

    The BRAC process gives me some hope. Everybody is aware that there are some stupid regulations. If there were a commitment to shut down the dumb ones and a bipartisan commission were formed to bundle enough that the general interest would outweigh the special interests we’d be in business. It would be lather, rinse, and repeat on this formula until we’d right-sized the regulatory state. And all the while, we’d be insisting on just getting rid of the ‘dumbest’, ‘least effective’, ‘worst’, ‘most job destroying’ regulations. And who could be against that? And what challenger wouldn’t love to have their incumbent on record saying that there were no more dumb regulations left.

    David Foster – If Congressional leaders say that there is discretion, the President should take them at their word and let the lawsuit come, pressing the Congress to issue clarifying legislation while the courts grind through their work.

    Charles M. Silver [Fred Lapides] – By law, there are only 8 firms permitted to rate the type of securities that blew up the financial markets. They were overwhelmed by the volume and started taking shortcuts. In an actual free market, insiders would call bullshit, leave the firm, and open up competitors, taking enough business to make shortcuts unnecessary. This would not have prevented the bubble but would have popped it far earlier and with much less damage.

    Is this the regulation you would have us keep? Or would you agree with me that we should deregulate the ratings market sufficiently to allow an orderly entry of new players.

    There are other examples but this one is the most egregious. Companies are born, live, and eventually die. Not allowing new entrants into a market by law ensures that the incumbents will eventually make huge errors and not be taken down before truly bad things happen.

  10. TM,

    Don’t hang hope on BRAC; I worked in the last round and it is very political.

    There is no incentive to restrict anything with incumbency all but guaranteed at the national level.

    A third party will put the national gov’t in the hands of Democrats for years. The GOP will have to be transformed internally, and the basic processes of national governance will have to change (preferably back to more of what the Founders had in mind; hence my closing comments above).

  11. Obama would never do this, because he and others like Charles Silver need to maintain their belief that the government is a benevolent guardian angel protecting us from all the evils of society. Admitting that the government is at least as corrupt, incompetent, and self-serving as the private sector runs counter to the core belief of their ideology.

  12. J. Scott – Of course it’s political, I wouldn’t expect the process to be anything else. If you’ve got a mandate to cut 3%, the ones that are going to be cut are the ones that are the pet project of mid level and lower congressmen. But you’re still going to get a 3% cut and we’re still going to get a benefit in economic efficiency and job creation.

    And then you have another round, and another round, and another round. You keep forcing major members to defend the indefensible and let them pay the price for it. Eventually they’re going to die or retire or get knocked off by a challenger and then the next round of cuts is going to include all those easy cuts that had been held up by the powerful old bull.

    It’s reversing the ratchet, it’s salami slicing the fabian edifice.

    Mike – Would you like to run for re-election on the platform that “nothing government does is stupid, counterproductive, or worth deregulating”? They may very well believe that but it’s not a winning political theme. The process I propose forces them to say they don’t believe there’s any changes needed by the present crisis, or at least pay lip service to the idea of change and provide some sacrificial lambs to satisfy the common sense notion that there’s always room for improvement.

    Besides, I think that there’s plenty of poor regulations that plague DoD that Democrats would have no problem cutting in a BRAC type process or applying differently to enhance job creation. I’ve no illusions that our military is as efficient and effective as it could be. It may be the best military on the planet but the best it can be? Who believes that?

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