There Is No ‘Good Regulation’
by Michael Moeller, American Thinker
According to the Small Business Administration, the total cost of regulations in 2008 was $1.75 trillion dollars. In other words, over 13% of the U.S. economy is chewed up just so services can be delivered, or just to get goods on the shelves.
Advocates of economic regulation will claim that regulation is a necessary cost of doing business and will reduce the costs of harm created by businesses. Let’s dig a little deeper into that claim. [snip]
For instance, consider that the average cost of getting a new drug past the FDA is $1.3 billion dollars, and can be as much as $11 billion dollars.
How many live-saving and life-enhancing drugs are never developed because of the prohibitive cost of regulation? How many other products are never produced because of the capital wasted in complying with government edicts, which would otherwise be put to productive enterprises? The number is inestimable. And this is just one product market.
Classical economist Frederic Bastiat referred to this phenomenon as “the seen, and the unseen”. The “seen” being the allegedly prevented harms, the “unseen” being the development of new life-enhancing technologies that were never undertaken because of the prohibitive cost of regulation. [snip]
What of the claim that regulation keeps us “safe”? Not only do FDA-approved drugs kill 106,000 people per year, but the increased FDA regulations in 1962 increased the number of deaths — due to increased delays and expenditures — by a 4:1 margin over the allegedly live-saving benefits of the new regulations, according to this study. [snip]
But this is not primarily a cost/benefit analysis. The essential issue is an individual’s moral and constitutionally-protected right to the possession, use, and disposal of property. The goal of statists is to condition individuals to placidly accept paying tribute to the government for the privilege of exercising their inalienable rights.
Read the article here.