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June 21, 2011

Free Market Regulation vs. Federal State Regulation

Would you be better off under State regulation or market regulation?

Studies show that . . .

  •  Federal regulations are passed on to consumers and cost an average of over $15,000 per household per year   
  • One federal regulator costs the economy 98 jobs and $6 million in productivity  
  • Slashing the near-$60 billion funding for federal regulatory agencies by ONLY 16% will increase GDP by $238 billion and create 3.7 million jobs per year  

    Imagine how much more the economy would grow with even greater regulatory cuts?

    Indeed, if we removed most federal regulations . . .

    * Unemployment would drop drastically, as the cost of hiring workers would fall by as much as $7,500 to $10,500 per employee
    * Prices in heavily-regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals and healthcare would drop considerably because they would be open to competition
    * The price of many consumer goods will fall as well, benefiting the poor and middle class most of all

    But, you may protest, won’t these unregulated goods and services be more dangerous?

    * Won’t there be airline crashes every day?
    * Won’t there be poison in the baby food?
    * Won’t there be countless deaths in our mines and factories because of unsafe working conditions?

    Perry Willis explains in his post “How to Think About Regulation” why we shouldn’t be afraid at all. He explains how consumers, insurance companies, and legal liability will regulate businesses far more effectively than do politicians and bureaucrats.

    But let’s set that aside for a moment. Even if the case can be made that State regulations may save lives and prevent accidents, we must ask, at what cost?

    Because of regulations:

    • Life-saving drugs are often not permitted to go to market
    • Other life-enhancing goods and services are prevented from getting to market in a timely fashion
    • Families pay thousands of dollars extra in goods and services – money they could have saved and invested, or could have used to purchase other things
    • Millions are denied the right to work and improve themselves, and this leads to poverty, social dysfunction, and crime

    Federal regulations may save some lives and prevent a few mishaps. But ultimately they COST far more lives and make life worse off through higher prices, lost productivity, stress-related health problems due to poverty and unemployment, and many other unseen problems. In comparison, there is very little to fear from free market regulation.


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