Thursday, December 6, 2012

The coming regulatory cliff

Reuters has gotten around to telling us about the looming "regulatory cliff." It is not pretty, and it will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs aborning:

As Washington debates a fiscal cliff on spending and taxes, we should not forget the regulatory avalanche that awaits businesses in the New Year. Roughly 4,100 new regulations are in the pipeline, according to the government’s website. Not all these regulations will affect small businesses. Many will, however ‑ and the compliance costs for small firms will exceed that of their large competitors by some 36 percent.

There are now more than 400 regulations in various stages of development and implementation that will affect small businesses. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s top priority is an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) regulation that will require employers to develop and implement plans that “find and fix” all recognized workplace hazards, including ergonomics hazards, and meet criteria established by OSHA.

You can have the most expansionist fiscal and monetary policies in the world, but you will not secure their benefits -- as we have not done -- if your regulatory policy sucks the entrepreneurial energy right out of the economy by boosting huge bureaucratic corporations over the start-ups. Anyway, read the whole thing only if you have a strong stomach.

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