This independent blog collects news about projects or achievements in regulatory reform / better regulation. It is edited by Charles H. Montin. All opinions expressed are given on a personal basis.
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05 March 2012

"Over-regulated America" (The Economist)

This blog has recently been trying to keep up with the fast pace of regulatory reform discussions in the US. But how effective is all this activity? In its Feb 18-24 number, The Economist takes a critical view, concluding that "the home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation" a trend aggravated by recent reforms, in spite of the White House's regulatory policy.
A recent article entitled "Over-regulated America" takes a dispassionate view of this flurry of regulatory reform zeal, with picturesque examples of laughable excesses, like the Dodd-Franck law of 2010 on financial services reform (848 pages, without counting implementation schemes), part of the Wall Street Reform. The Obama health care reform (2010) also backfires: every hour spent treating a patient in the US may be creating at least 30 minutes of paperwork, often more.
The newspaper recommends that the CBA be done by an independent watchdog, that sunset clauses be used systematically, and most important, that the drafting highlight broad principles, instead of trying to cater for all possible situations.
In the same issue, there is an article on the recent drift of cost-benefit analysis, where the benefits of new legislation are systematically over-stated ("the rule of more"), an indictment of the RIA system in operation.
See also an equallly critical and inspiring previous article in the same newspaper, reported on this blog on 16 May 2011.

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