Over Regulation in a Free Market Economy

Original Post

Regulatory committees, whether talking about organizations like the FDA, EPA, or local groups can hold up progress completely. Between required permitting, the cost of applying or that permitting, the cost of having someone come out and re-survey your project after undoubtedly failing it the first time, and then the time it takes to get through the bureaucracy along the way all slow down the development of projects which can dramatically benefit an area or local business. Not to mention the cost. There is no reason that it should cost as much to apply for permitting and approval to place a bench in front of a small business as it does for the bench itself.

These are the types of things that cost businesses money and don’t get discussed on a relevant or significant level. This cost is a form of further taxation that doesn’t get regularly considered when discussing the taxing of small business owners. These funds then go to the government that then turns around and uses them as a means of funding further jobs in places like the regulatory commissions, which provides more manpower to create more regulations, thereby costing more money to the small business owners.

Think of it like this. Presidential orders are largely unable to be check-and-balanced. Sure some blatantly obvious issues can be approached and reproached but, on a large scale, they are unable to be reformed or redetermined. A great example is our continued involvement in the Libyan and other Middle Eastern conflicts. Regulations over businesses, home owners, and individuals are similarly ungovernable. In fact, these regulations are largely considered to be the check to the check and balance system.

The regulatory czar for the White House wrote in his book Nudge that the position was his dream job and that he cried when the position was offered to him. Now why would anyone cry about a position like a regulatory czar? Well the political implications that go along with a position like this are unfathomable to a country that believes in a democratic republic approach to governing the people. Being able to dole out regulations which implicitly govern business and personal development of property, goods, products, services, and everything in between with minimal legislative and judicial power to keep it in order with the constitution allows for tremendous opportunity to allow for preferential treatment in particular circumstances and cases over others. Not to mention the opportunity to build a bigger home for your family with money, stained by the grease found in palms.

Many argue that regulations are necessary to make sure that businesses aren’t cutting corners and to ensure the safety of the consumer. The belief that we must have a government entity to look over our shoulders to ensure that corporations and small businesses aren’t looking out for the safety and well-being of their customers promotes a belief that capitalism in and of itself is broken and evil. Beyond the idea that if a company is offering an unsafe product or service it will soon be eliminated by the market choosing not to support them, believing that individuals are willing to put others in jeopardy in order to gain a profit is unfortunate. People are inherently good people who are not out to benefit at the fault of others. Of course there are some of those out there (Al Gore) who want to cause issue for others for their own personal gain, but the vast majority of businesses don’t start based on the idea that they are going to exploit people or businesses. Instead they want to succeed by providing a quality good or service that people will want and be satisfied to have.

In fact, it is far more likely that over-regulation CAUSES corners to be cut in order to keep cost of production effective to compensate for the cost of permitting, inspection, and surveying. It is possible that businesses are more likely to engage in unsafe practices when the cost of operation runs higher than necessary due to bureaucratic over-governing as well as not being able to develop new goods and services, due to a lack of funding staying internal. Regulations are a burden on the individuals who are trying to create jobs for individuals. Each $300+ permit that a company must apply for in a given week is a $300+ paycheck that they could be giving to an employee who can help their business grow, and thereby create another job in the private sector.

While some level of regulation may be necessary to protect against unsafe business practices as a whole, it may be easily said that over regulation is the enemy of a free market economy. Bureaucratic oversight does not it into the capitalist system. We, as conservatives, MUST be asking the questions necessary to ensure that we are advocating for and promoting into office the candidates who are aware of these types of costs to businesses and individuals and who are standing strongly in opposition to their growth and development. Ask your local representatives their opinion on regulation before you cast your ballots.