America’s free market system has led to great prosperity as entrepreneurs compete to innovate and produce many of the best products and services in the world.
Many regulations, though surely well-intended, do more harm than good. Bad regulation or too much regulation can:
- Stifle job growth and innovation
- Raise the prices and reduce the quality and variety of products and services
- Increase the difficulty of earning a living and providing for oneself
Let’s take just one example.
Utah requires professionals to obtain a license if they want to work in any of 75 different occupations, including nursing, geology and even “deception detection.” These licensing regulations can be unnecessary, burdensome and a way for people already in the industry to shut out potential competitors.
True, government does need to regulate some things to help maintain order and a humane economy, but government’s role should be as limited as possible so businesses and consumers acting in good faith can decide what’s best for them.
What can we do about it?
Overall, Utah is doing pretty well at keeping business regulation to a minimum. But we can always do better.
In 2011, Governor Gary Herbert reviewed state rules and regulations to determine which ones should be kept, modified or scrapped. He recommended 368 changes to various laws and policies on the state level.
This kind of review is helpful and should happen more regularly on the state and local level. Most regulations should include a sunset provision that requires elected officials to review the regulations often and thoroughly, and to solicit feedback from parties affected by them.
Newsletter: Is Government the Solution?
Blog: Cutting through the red tape
Video: A License for Hair Braiding?
Blog: City regulations cut into homeowners’ options