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Reblogged:Regulatory Drag Down 0.07% Under Trump

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Katherin Timpf of National Review reports that Donald Trump's first year of "deregulation" saved a total of $1.3 billion economy-wide over the last year. (That's a YUGE four bucks per person!) Her rather generous conclusion follows:

postal_competion.jpg
Will that extra Big Mac burning a hole in your wallet lead to, say, competing postal carriers? I doubt it. (Image via Wikimedia Commons.)
Really, the only bad thing about all of this is that it doesn't go even further. As the Wheaton Business Journal notes, it costs Americans a whopping $1.9 trillion to comply with federal regulations every year. President Trump's administration has already been eliminating those regulations in record numbers, but let's just hope that this trend continues so that we can give businesses -- and the Americans associated with them -- the best shot at financial prosperity.
Amen! was my first thought, but then cold logic kicked in. I did the math, and remembered further a couple of problems with both the trimming-around-the-edges amount and the President's "a pen and a phone" method. Not only can this tiny amount of progress be undone by the next abuser of executive orders, both of the shortcomings are symptomatic of his -- and his party's -- unprincipled approach to the whole question of regulation.

Consider the fact that nobody in power even questions the propriety of economic regulation. How much regulation is "too much" to such a person? And if such a person does not see that the government ought to be protecting our right to make our own decisions -- the exact opposite of dictating to us what we ought to do? Why would he adopt the agenda we clearly need, which is a systematic phasing out of regulation altogether, with standards bodies and watchdog groups (for example) taking over those legitimate activities that have been subsumed by government regulators -- and which gives the whole idea of regulation a false credibility it doesn't deserve?

To be fair, I think both the rollbacks and the perception of a decreasing regulatory burden have helped the economy in other ways. But why stop there? Why not consider the question more deeply and adopt a principled, systematic approach that will truly protect American rights and foster prosperity? Until and unless Trump or a significant political faction adopts a principled, individual rights-based opposition to regulation, we can expect any such effort to bring about small, short-term gains, and ultimately fizzle.

-- CAV

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The internet has been competing with the feds for mail delivery since the 1990s, and most successfully.

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On 9/22/2018 at 3:33 AM, Reidy said:

The internet has been competing with the feds for mail delivery since the 1990s, and most successfully.

A competition implies that the side with the lesser performance loses. The US Postal Service is not a competitor for private companies, it is an obstacle. The goal of private companies isn't to beat it in competition, it's to treat it like any other obstacle that can't be removed: work around it. Just like you would go around a mountain that's in your way.

 

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Competition implies that the lesser performers lose market share and revenue (as the USPS has of late). This may even be a tautology (since lesser performance is failure to gain market share and revenue). Competition doesn't entail that they'll go out of business, though. Otherwise we'd have only one TV network or make/model of car. Second- and third- and nth-place performers can still prosper.

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