Regulation of the Day 64: Starting a Business in Sacramento, California

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Sit back and think for a minute about what man has the potential to create. Think about the magnitude of our achievements in just the last century. Life expectancy has doubled. Population has sextupled. For the first time in history, famine is primarily a political phenomenon, not a natural one. The human mind is capable of creating limitless, endless wealth.

Unfortunately, the human mind is nearly as adept at preventing that wealth from being created. Sacramento, California is home to some of the experts.

Katy Grimes researched what it would take to open a small factory there. “By the time I discovered that 22 government agencies would be involved in permitting and licensing, I realized that Sacramento is not an easy place to do business,” she writes.

She’s right. And when doing business is difficult, there is less of it. That means less wealth is created. Opportunities vanish into thin air. One of the tragedies of over-regulation is the amount of wealth, opportunity, and prosperity that never come to pass. Think of how many plants are never opened because of over-regulation. How many jobs are never created. How many products are never invented.

Supporters of strict business regulations say the rules keep people safe. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it isn’t. But they do keep us poorer.

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