Here’s a letter I recently sent to Businessweek:
Elizabeth Dwoskin and Mark Drajem’s February 9 article “Regulations Create Jobs, Too” points out that regulation doesn’t so much create jobs as redirect them somewhere else.
Lobbying, politicking, and special favors are part and parcel of the regulatory process. The result is that many regulation-created jobs are not created on the merits. If a job requires a regulation to be created, that usually means the job it replaced created more value for consumers. Regulations may not destroy jobs on net, but they do destroy wealth.
Markets respect no special interest; agencies like the EPA and SEC exist solely to cater to them. This is wonderful for politically connected companies like Breen Energy Solutions and Nol-Tec Systems, but the rest of us are poorer for it.
Fellow in Regulatory Studies
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Over at The American Spectator, I break down the debate over regulation’s impact on the job market and propose one regulation that could create countless jobs:
As everyone knows, winter is coming. And many of the nation’s least-employed states will see a lot of snow this year. Already, giant snowplows are beginning to traverse the highways and byways of Michigan, Ohio, and other states going through hard times. With these plows, one man can do the work of a hundred.
I say we ban snowplows and hand out some shovels.
Think about it for a minute. In Michigan alone, nearly 520,000 people are looking for a job and can’t find one. Tens of thousands of miles of roads zig and zag across the state. If this winter lives up to lofty Midwestern standards, it’s possible that every last one of those 520,000 could work at least part time clearing the way for their fellow citizens. And all because of regulation!
I do enjoy economic humor. Read the whole thing here.
Over at RealClearMarkets.c0m, my colleague Ryan Radia offer some ideas for how to create more high-tech jobs. Our main points:
-Do more with less. This often involves cutting workers who aren’t productive enough to offset their wages. Sounds like bad news. But it’s actually crucial to job creation. That’s because in the long run, automation frees up resources — and employees — for new opportunities.
-Hiring new employees means jumping through countless regulatory hoops. According to a 2005 study by economist W. Mark Crain, compliance costs average $5,282 per employee at large companies. Small businesses pay $7,647 per employee. Some of those resources could have been spent hiring more employees. Over-regulation causes unemployment.
-Politicians can’t create jobs. But they can help to foster better conditions for wealth and job creation. Regulations cost businesses and consumers $1.17 trillion last year alone. Congress should roll them back. Some companies fear potential clampdowns on their businesses. Congress should leave them alone. Some failing businesses are eating up resources that could be better used elsewhere. Congress should stop bailing them out.
Posted in Business Cycles, Economics, regulation, Technology
Tagged creating jobs, deregulate to stimulate, deregulation, economic liberalization, employment, high tech jobs, job creation, jobs, realclearmarkets, realclearmarkets.com, regulation