Jobs And Regulation — More Complicated Than Republicans Say

Posted by | April 14, 2011 18:20 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Republicans trying to deregulate often lead their argument with the idea that “regulations cost jobs.”  I don’t really blame them.  This argument has the attractiveness of plausibility, and certainly in some cases it is also true.  But the Republicans are not known for nuance and it turns out that the real world is more complicated than they argue.  According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute:

Careful review of the available evidence indicates that regulations do not tend to significantly impede job creation. To the contrary, the evidence shows that an emphasis on deregulation can contribute to enormous economic dislocation. Moreover, regulations have generally and consistently struck a reasonable balance, with their benefits to health, safety, and well-being far exceeding their costs.

This follows on the heels of an EPA report (admittedly not an entirely unbiased source) about the economic benefits of environmental regulations.  Now if only we could get the critics of regulation to acknowledge that there are two sides to the regulation argument, maybe we could get somewhere.  Probably too much to hope for though.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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