This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Regulators were relatively quiet during the week before the midterm election, though CEI wasn’t, with our colleague Ted Frank arguing a case before the Supreme Court on class action legal abuses. New regulations from the last week range from farm mortgages to military acquisition mentors.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 79 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,782 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,344 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,066 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,349 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 54,227 pages. It is on pace for 65,167 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Five such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is a net savings ranging from $348.9 million to $560.9 million.
  • Agencies have published 90 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 527 new rules affect small businesses; 22 of them are classified as significant.

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

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Basics of Antitrust Regulation

From p. 69 of Richard Posner’s Antitrust Law, 2nd Ed. (2001):

There is no sound basis in economic theory for thinking that if there are just a few major sellers in a market, competition will disappear automatically.

It’s an empirical question, not an a priori one. Too many analysts and regulators forget that.

 

October Brought 250,000 New Jobs, Despite Bad Trade Restrictions

This press statement is cross-posted from CEI.org. See the original here.

The American economy added 250,000 jobs in October, the U.S. Labor Department announced today. The unemployment rate was meanwhile unchanged from last month, at 3.7 percent – a 50-year low. That’s good news for the economy – it shows that even President Trump’s costly trade tariffs aren’t eclipsing growth, says Ryan Young, CEI fellow:

“Politicians don’t actually run the economy, and hence don’t have that much influence over employment rates or the business cycle. The fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong, and it is showing in the 250,000 new jobs created in October. In a further show of strength, even with President Trump’s trade policies slowing economic growth by as much as 1.8 percentage points, the economy still grew by 3.5 percent last quarter.  The President’s supporters and critics alike should be delighted at today’s jobs report, and should work together on a range of beneficial policies, from lowering trade barriers to stronger central bank independence to reining in executive branch regulatory excesses.”

Young co-authored a recent report making the case for free trade, Traders of the Lost Ark

Rediscovering a Moral and Economic Case for Free Trade.

 

There’s a Metaphor in There Somewhere

DCist: The National Zoo’s Naked Mole-Rats Still Have Not Chosen Their Queen

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Lots of contentious issues are in the news, from the midterm election to immigration to a disturbing rash of bombs sent to politicians and media outlets critical of the president. The initial third quarter GDP estimate showed healthy 3.5 percent growth, but factors from Federal Reserve independence to government-managed trade threaten future growth. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations last week ranging from non-metallic panels to soybean boards.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 79 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,782 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,344 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,066 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,349 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 54,227 pages. It is on pace for 65,167 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Five such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is a net savings ranging from $348.9 million to $560.9 million.
  • Agencies have published 90 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 527 new rules affect small businesses; 22 of them are classified as significant.

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The fall 2018 edition of the semi-annual Unified Agenda was released on Wednesday. It lists upcoming regulations from every rulemaking agency. This marks the first time since 2005 that document has been released on time; Wayne Crews has more here. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from orange containers to teacher technology.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 79 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 51 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 8 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,714 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,343 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,349 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,337 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 53,066 pages. It is on pace for 65,353 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Five such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is a net savings ranging from $348.9 million to $560.9 million.
  • Agencies have published 88 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 509 new rules affect small businesses; 22 of them are classified as significant.

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

Slogans and Nationalism

A passage from p. 562 of Ian Kershaw’s Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris contains an interesting political slogan:

He was replaced by Wolf Heinrich Graf von Helldorf, up to then police chief in Potsdam, of Saxon aristocratic descent, former head of the Berlin SA, with a reputation deeply sullied by scandal about his financial affairs and private life, but–compensating for everything–a radical antisemite who, the Propaganda Minister reckoned, would help him ‘make Berlin clean again’.