Video: Robinson wants Obama to explain why regulation creates jobs
posted at 3:35 pm on January 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
I’d love to hear that explanation as well. The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson worries that Barack Obama’s pledge to reduce damaging and redundant legislation will give up too much rhetorical ground to Republicans, whose arguments against the encroachment of the regulatory Leviathan certainly resonated with voters in the midterms. Robinson tells Rachel Maddow that Obama has to rebut that argument or else watch as Republicans dismantle the regulatory state (via Greg Hengler):
Maddow wisely turns Robinson away from the “regulation creates jobs” argument by recasting it as government fulfilling its mandate, but the genie’s out of the bottle by that point. What jobs do regulations create? Well, they create lots of government jobs, certainly, which adds to the burdens shouldered by businesses and taxpayers alike.
They also create the need for compliance personnel, which sounds like a great way to stimulate private enterprise until one realizes that the costs don’t go towards production or efficiency but instead impact against both. It makes products and services more expensive without adding any additional value — and consumers pay the price through the erosion of buying power. Worse, businesses with high competitive pressures will shed jobs to make room for compliance costs instead of passing costs along to consumers, meaning that we’re not actually creating jobs, but merely shifting jobs from production to non-production.
So yes, we’d love to hear why more government regulation means more jobs, even though our experience over the last century has shown deregulation preceding massive upticks in job creation. Enlighten us.