The Regulation Red Herring

Written by: Matt Seyer

When we check up on our economic progress, we find that the situation still isn’t all that great.  Unemployment is holding steady at around 9%.  Jobs are still not being added at a satisfying rate.  Although President Obama’s policies have made some gains, the recovery has been slow and at times stagnant, while the nation steadily grows more and more impatient.  Conservatives are quick to jump on this, claiming that President Obama’s strategies have failed.  They even go so far as to pinpoint the reason(s) why – they work hard to persuade Americans that government regulation is at fault for the slow pace of domestic job creation. This is clearly a straw man set up to pull our attention away from the fact that they have no credible strategy of their own to boost employment.  This straw man additionally serves to distract us from their opposition to the American Jobs Act, which independent economists say will create as many as 1.9 million jobs.

Thankfully, the more conservatives push this idea, the more it is scrutinized, and the results don’t bode well for them.  Over the past several weeks, numerous reports from official government agencies, nonpartisan think tanks, and even national media outlets expose this antiregulatory agenda for exactly what it is – baseless nonsense

Here’s a quick reading list on the evidence:

U.S. Department of Treasury: “Exposing the uncertainty canard

Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employers say regulation does not cause job losses

Bloomberg: “Fewer new regulations under Obama than under Bush

The Washington Post: “Economists say regulation doesn’t cause job losses, even in high-polluting industries

The New York Times Economix Blog: “Misrepresentations, Regulations and Jobs

Slate Magazine: “Permission to Pollute

Economic Policy Institute: “Regulatory uncertainty: A phony explanation for our jobs problem



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