A Regulatory Whodunnit

Posted by | June 20, 2011 11:52 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Last week in the Republican debate (and over the past year), repeated reference was made to “job-killing” regulations.  So which regulations are killing jobs?  Which ones should be repealed?  Cary Coglianese takes a look at the rhetorical overkill.

But as with suspects in a real murder mystery, we shouldn’t disparage all regulations when there are only some individual culprits. Yes, some regulations can be unnecessarily burdensome. But most environmental, health, and safety rules have been in place for decades, long before our current economic woes. As much as the EPA makes for an easy target, it simply doesn’t explain the nation’s current unacceptably high unemployment rate.

And many of the regulations from the statutes passed in the first two years of the Obama Administration are not yet in place, so they can’t really be guilty either.  Some regulations are overly burdensome and the Obama Administration has started to repeal some of them (only time will tell if this effort is successful).  But don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.  It’s much easier to decry regulation as job-killing than to find actual regulations that kill jobs.

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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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