FedEx founder: It is way more difficult to start an industrial company with today’s regulations

posted at 6:51 pm on March 29, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Via National Review, this kind of thing sincerely hurts to read. Frederick Smith, founder of FedEx, is definitely not the first major business leader to attest to how much more difficult it is to get new companies off of the ground today, and I shudder to think of all the would-be businesses (and would-be jobs!) that would have had a much better shot out of the starting gate if not for our woefully stagnant economy and the ever-growing costs of regulatory compliance. As Mr. Smith notes, after he founded his company in 1971, a transportation-related regulatory rollback was what allowed his business to grow and thrive, and the regulatory environment today is nothing short of prohibitive. President Obama’s economic priorities, meanwhile, are in finding new and improved ways to tax more money out of the private sector so that the federal government can keep right on spending it for us, all while piling on thousands and thousands of pages to the already tottering record books.

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When one considers how the departments of JustUs, Labor, Transportation, EPA, OSHA etc. have become protection rackets which would embarrass the Mafia I agree with Frederick Smith completely.

viking01 on March 29, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Free Business!

Flange on March 29, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Nonsense! All he’d have to do is bundle for the 0bamajugend and power his trucks with solar panels.

CurtZHP on March 29, 2013 at 6:59 PM

He already has an advantage over UPS since FedEx is a “Airline” that happens to deliver packages, rather than a ground shipping company, that happens to use airplanes to deliver some of it’s packages.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on March 29, 2013 at 7:08 PM

HE didnt build it.

TX-96 on March 29, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The russians living under communism didn’t know what they were prevented from having until they saw blue jeans & the rolling stones.

lorien1973 on March 29, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Starting businesses 2.0

tom daschle concerned on March 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM

the progressive goal is to move steadily toward the state since it profiles a good life to so many people. Corporations can be ok, but they only make things good for themselves…and not the common good…or the General Welfare.

the bureaucracy is a pleasant place where people have the Freedom from Want…and the Freedom from the fear of being outsourced or fired. The freedom of the cocoon. Their are millions of people who would love to be with them…but in the meantime, the affluent society will provide a comfortable living

this is pretty much ingrained in the US now.

r keller on March 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

It’s way more difficult to start any kind of business today.

Curtiss on March 29, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Right. My brother in-law had a thriving mobile wash biz (washing fedex, ups and other truck fleets) during the 90’s and up until about 2005 he did really well. The EPA has all but shut him down with regulations. It happened slowly over time but he’s in bad shape now. They never actually contacted him but told the companies he contracted for that they were going to have to make changes. They made changes alright. They just stopped washing them in house and don’t do it as often as they would like.

kahall on March 29, 2013 at 8:20 PM

STAGNANT is Barry’s “new normal”.

GarandFan on March 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM

…I shudder to think of all the would-be businesses (and would-be jobs!) that would have had a much better shot out of the starting gate if not for our woefully stagnant economy and the ever-growing costs of regulatory compliance.

I hope you’re not really that naive, Ed. The “ever-growing costs of regulatory compliance” are a major, if not the largest reason that our economy is woefully stagnant.

gryphon202 on March 29, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Home Depot

And now…FedEx.

22044 on March 29, 2013 at 11:31 PM

There were >2,400 new regulations posted in the last 30 days and 116 posted today alone! See for yourself at

Obama is crushing all of us with these regulations.

John Stossel demonstrated starting a business in the USA and in Singapore. In the USA, with all the permits, inspections, etc, it would take over a year. IN Singapore, he was up and running in less than a week.

nazo311 on March 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Semper Fidelis, Devil Dog!

Living4Him5534 on March 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM

The new socialist paradigm, the western European version, features big business cronyism that protects large businesses by helping to drive smaller competitors out of business and inhibiting the creation of new small business competition. This makes it much easier for the government to control businesses and use them to implement socialist policies.

Formerly the US economic system was friendly to the creation of new businesses and competition from small businesses.

Compare the number of successful new corporations created in the US in the past 30-40 years with the number created in Europe over the same period. The number in the US dwarfs the European number. Just a few — Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Ebay, Amazon, etc, etc. The list is almost endless.

Also, new large businesses that made mistakes died. See Digital Equipment Corp for a prime example. It went from a start-up to being the second largest computer manufacturer to disappearing in only a few decades.

In the big business cronyism of the new socialism in the US this kind of healthy, efficient, and wealth producing economic activity will all but disappear.

farsighted on March 30, 2013 at 7:29 AM

It is easier to control a few big companies than a lot of small companies. Besides new business are started by uppity proles.

Slowburn on March 30, 2013 at 7:59 AM

It is astonishing for Fed-Ex to say this, given that they are a service company and not a manufacturing plant.

That means that even service businesses are so tied in regulations that the chances of a successful start-up are dismal, let alone a high precision manufacturing business, which America is known for.

Bulletchaser on March 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM