Video: Economic freedom in America today

posted at 1:25 pm on October 12, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Every year, regulatory compliance costs U.S. businesses $1.75 trillion, according to a new video released by the Charles Koch Institute. With that money, businesses could hire 43 million workers or a quarter of the U.S. workforce. When again will the Senate vote on the regulatory reform component of the president’s jobs proposal? Oh, right. The plan doesn’t include such a component.

As the president continues to tout his second stimulus, let this video make the case as to why more government spending and excessive government regulation do nothing to grow the economy or create jobs:

Just to reiterate: The U.S.’ gains in economic freedom made over 20 years have been completely erased in just nine. For the first time ever, the United States ranks below Canada.

The majority of Americans understand that businesses and consumers are over-regulated — and they also understand that regulations have especially increased over the past few years. During its first 26 months, the Obama administration imposed 75 new major regulations with reported costs to the private sector exceeding $40 billion. During the same period, six major rulemaking proceedings reduced regulatory burdens by an estimated $1.5 billion — for a net increase of more than $38 billion.

If this were all just a theoretical or ideological matter, that’d be one thing. But less economic freedom translates to a lower quality of life. As the first video in this series explained, in countries with the most free economies, people earn, on average, more than eight times what people earn in countries with the least free economies — and the poor in the freest economies earn 10 times more than the poor in the most restrictive economies. People in the most economically free countries are happier, have better protected civil rights and cleaner environments. They live, on average, about 20 times longer. The freest countries also have less corruption, less infant mortality, less child labor and less unemployment. What’s to lose by rolling back unnecessary regulation — other than a power trip for regulators who frequently take advantage of the revolving door between regulatory agencies and industry?

If the president wants to prove he’s serious about job creation, he’d better get serious about regulatory reform and debt and deficit reduction.


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It’s time to play Cowboys & Communists
cool vid guys

deedtrader on October 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

The London political creeps want to confiscate living properties that are larger than “so much”. Watch carefully America.

Schadenfreude on October 12, 2011 at 1:34 PM

“If the president wants to prove he’s serious about job creation…”

BBBBBBWWWWWWWWWAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH…!!!

(chortle, snort)

Stop it Tina…

… you’re killing me.

/

Seven Percent Solution on October 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

This Charles Koch Institute, is it affiliated with those evil Koch Brothers we have been warned about?

Cindy Munford on October 12, 2011 at 1:37 PM

I think you mean they live 20 *years* longer, rather than 20 *times* longer. But other than that, I don’t find any of the stats hard to believe.

SoRight on October 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM

This Charles Koch Institute, is it affiliated with those evil Koch Brothers we have been warned about?
Cindy Munford on October 12, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Yes it is, and speaking of the Kochs, my toaster died today…and then this video appears on HA.

Coincidence? I think not.

Bishop on October 12, 2011 at 1:43 PM

live 20 times or years longer?

astonerii on October 12, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I don’t think it’s possible to calculate how many projects get scrapped due to local, state and federal “departments of compliance”, but I’ve seen it happen far too often.

And it gets really bad when a regulator gives a property owner incorrect information, and then it becomes the property owner’s problem later:

It’s a tree house, for crying out loud,” Grapin said.

forest on October 12, 2011 at 1:50 PM

The majority of Americans understand that businesses and consumers are over-regulated — and they also understand that regulations have especially increased over the past few years.

What the majority of Americans don’t understand is how these regualtions favor big business over small and start-up businesses.

Big companies have the personell and resources to deal with regulation, and especially have the scale of business to allow them to live with onerous regs. Small companies without full-time people to deal with the crap, and start-ups working with very limited resources don’t.

I would contend that some large businesses actually favor the harsh regulatory environment because it squeezes out potential growing competition. Which may explain why so many big businesses contribute to the Dems, it’s just good business for them.

iurockhead on October 12, 2011 at 1:54 PM

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

peski on October 12, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Be wary of this. Regulatory cost estimates vary wildly from as low as $300B/yr to $2.5T. While regulation is killing our economy via death by 1000 paper cuts. But these figures include useful regulations and laws whose costs we pay willingly.

SAMinVA on October 12, 2011 at 2:05 PM

If the president wants to prove he’s serious about job creation, he’d better get serious about regulatory reform and debt and deficit reduction.

Come on, now. When has Obama been serious about job creation that wasn’t union-related?

Danny on October 12, 2011 at 2:06 PM

People in the most economically free countries are happier, have better protected civil rights and cleaner environments. They live, on average, about 20 times longer.

True, countries with higher standards of living than the US- Norway, Sweden, and Germany- all have much more regulation. Countries that will soon pass the US, including Australia and New Zealand, also have higher levels of regulation. A ‘study’ that links the quality of the environment to lack of regulation is sheer stupidity and it’s amazing that you’d actually tout it. Go to any country that’s actually developed and has little regulation, and you’ll see a shelled-out, destroyed environment. China is an environmental hellhole almost beyond description.

Yes, there are too many regulations, I agree entirely. But regulations have nothing to do with the balance sheet recession and massive household debt that’s holding back consumer spending. It’s proven by the numbers- even industries that have NO new regulations are suffering. The myth of a few regulations holding back the economy is absolute nonsense. It’s not even a serious topic of conversation in the financial press.

bayam on October 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

They live, on average, about 20 times longer.

You might want to check that; it doesn’t quite seem possible.

Midas on October 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM

The myth of a few regulations holding back the economy is absolute nonsense. It’s not even a serious topic of conversation in the financial press.

bayam on October 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Dude, seriously – what are you smoking?

Over-regulation *is* a topic in the financial press, and it *is* holding back the economy.

Quit being an idiot. No one’s suggesting there should be little to no regulation – what they’re suggesting is that we have a) too much, and much of it is (like you) b) stupid and unproductive.

Midas on October 12, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Over-regulation *is* a topic in the financial press, and it *is* holding back the economy.

Even the WSJ’s CEO Council tended to emphasize far, far more than regulation.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903648204576554473003946728.html

But if you truly believe this claim, then name the industries that have seen growth because new regulations have NOT impacted their business- after all, new regulations have not been placed on all sectors of the economy.

Instead of blaming the government for our problems, people need to wake up and start asking why our competitors with far more regulations are beating us with lower unemployment and better growth.

bayam on October 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM

The myth of a few regulations holding back the economy is absolute nonsense. It’s not even a serious topic of conversation in the financial press.

bayam on October 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

It’s not a few regulations. It’s many regulations – at all levels of government. I’ve been doing almost nothing but dealing with nuisance regulations for the past few months and I’d really rather be doing productive work again. Unfortunately, it gets worse every year as local, state and federal agencies keep tacking on new requirements without eliminating any.

forest on October 12, 2011 at 2:35 PM

They live, on average, about 20 times longer.

Is that like how insurance premiums are going to decrease by 3000% under ObamaCare?

RachDubya on October 12, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Even the WSJ’s CEO Council tended to emphasize far, far more than regulation.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903648204576554473003946728.html

But if you truly believe this claim, then name the industries that have seen growth because new regulations have NOT impacted their business- after all, new regulations have not been placed on all sectors of the economy.

bayam on October 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM

a – emphasizing more than regulation isn’t the same as not talking about it, which was your first BS claim. Your mid-course correction demonstrates that you were full of sh1t to begin with, thanks.

b – what a feeble strawman. An industry/sector not being targeted with specific regulations doesn’t mean it’s not suffering from general economy-wrecking regulations that affect other sectors (eg: energy). Sure, it may be doing better than others, but doesn’t mean it has “seen growth” at all, even absent being called out explicitly for its own set of onerous regulations.

If you believe that these other competitor nations have more regulations, you can start by documenting it rather than making more general statements. If it turns out to be categorically and undeniably true, then we can enter a conversation that compares and contrasts the situations – but until then, well, no thank you, I won’t be spending time barking up the tree you suggest just because you say there’s a cat up there. You’ll forgive us if we insist on something more than “because you said so” when your track record is almost exclusively in making sh1t up to suit your needs.

Midas on October 12, 2011 at 2:45 PM

bayam on October 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Germany, Norway etc have a higher standard of living than the US? No way. They just get to pretend their spending is sustainable longer than us because they don’t need to seriously fund a military because we do it for them.

And to suggest that regulations don’t hamper job creation is idiotic – it has a big impact on small and mid-sized businesses. Large corporations will also support more regulations in some cases because it will hurt their competitors more than themselves.

gwelf on October 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM

When I was young school kid my teachers would send home my report cards with the comment “Dose not pay well with others!”, always thought that was one o my better traits, so when I grew up I decided to make it work for me and became a self employed small business owner with two Economic degrees. With that all over, your article hit wright on the problems we have today.

1. The US Government is providing no (-0-) stability to business so they can make the necessary 10 and 20 year plans that all business great and small need to do. Right now your lucky if you can do 2-4 months ahead.

2. All the regs coming down are killing us. Spread them out 10-20 years and let us plan for them.

Joe Price

jpcpt03 on October 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Obama is concerned with one thing and one thing only. Class warfare. It is the only thing that works for Democrats and it’s keeping the flea baggers off his ass.

mike_NC9 on October 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Not only is there an economic cost, there is a quality of life cost. Frankly, I’m tired of dishwashers that don’t, clothes washers that can’t, dishwasher soap that leaves behind white powdery residue on everything and clothes detergent where one’s clothes come out smelling little better than they went in. All courtesy of new regulations. Next year, we get to buy only ice-cream cone lightbulbs because the powers that be have decided us little people are using too much energy with incandescent bulbs and are incapable of making our own buying decisions.

I’m extremely disappointed that the Republicans in congress have not started working to roll these regulations back or defunding agencies that create and enforce them.

AZfederalist on October 12, 2011 at 9:47 PM