Government Regulations

From the left, this is seen as an essential function of government which ensures that corporations respect workers rights and the environment.  From the right, this is all too often an unnecessary interference with business activity that imposes absurd and unreasonable burdens on business.  

The libertarian right often sees regulation as a business strategy used by large companies to eliminate competition.  Yandle argues that behind almost every instance of “public interest” regulation one can discover a private interest who will benefit from it and who is bankrolling the passing of that regulation. For instance, liquor companies have contributed to anti-marijuana legislation and chemical companies have worked to restrict exports of natural gas - which benefits their business.  

Both right and left recognize the problem of the “revolving door” between Washington and the entities allegedly regulated by government agencies.  Too often, it would seem, one-time regulators end up working for the companies they used to regulate, and vice versa, raising the obvious problem of “conflict of interest”.


Conversation Catalysts: 

Bruce Yandle’s “Bootleggers and Baptists:  The Education of a Regulatory Economist”


Michael Strong, Arthur M. Peña

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