About those job-killing regulations
The Kansas City Star
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney echoes the pleas of other Republicans for Democrats to repeal job-killing regulations, get government out of the way and put America back to work.
This seems like a really good idea, though it’s not clear exactly what regulations everyone has in mind.
Environmental regulations are sometimes vaguely mentioned as bad, but which specific regulations, environmental and otherwise, should be eliminated seems not to get put into a campaign speech. So I decided to make my own list of job killing laws and regulations I’d like to eliminate.
My friends, what few of them are left after my rants, have heard my beef about state and local subsidies for professional sports. But why should the federal government give an antitrust exemption to professional baseball? Repeal this job-killing exemption, I say. Why not let any town build a stadium and start a team.
Maybe more cities would go into hock to field a team, but franchises wouldn’t be able to extort government by threatening to move to another city; franchises only have great value when their number is artificially limited.
Think about the construction jobs, the peanut vendors, parking lot attendants and ticket sales personnel jobs that would be created. Of course there would be jobs for shortstops, too. The Yankees would buy up the big talent, but they do that already.
Then I’d eliminate job-killing restrictions on marijuana. I’m not a user myself, but you’d have to be stoned not to see the market for this product. And there’s a lot of home-grown stuff already, so American agriculture could compete on a level playing field with foreign producers. (I know I’m mixing my metaphors here with the level playing field bit, but baseball was on my mind, so leave me alone.) Marijuana sales would be great for the small farmer, too, and for roadside stand sales.
Here’s another job-killing regulation to eliminate: requirements that prescriptions be written by a medical doctor. I know the difference between a cold and an allergy, and I know better than to take so much Tylenol that it destroys my liver. Why shouldn’t I be able to buy what I want in a free market. Is it really my problem if my neighbor’s kid in college overdoses on easily obtained Oxycontin?
While we’re at it, let’s eliminate licensing for doctors. Shouldn’t I be able to consult with anyone I believe has the ability to help me? Nurses could set up walk-in clinics at lower costs than medical doctors. Optometrists could likely do lasik eye surgery cheaper than opthamologists.
By now, I hope, you’re wondering if I’m kidding or serious about reducing regulations that stifle job creation, and I assure you that I am serious. The problem is that what seems like a job-killing regulation to you or me may look like an important safety or environmental protection to someone else.
And regulations that protect personal interests will be protected by special interests. Baseball team owners would balk at efforts to end the antitrust exemption. (Got the metaphor right there, don’t you think?) Hordes of Republican medical doctors would howl about efforts to end licensing regulations for their profession.
So my request to those who want to repeal regulations is to ask them to be specific. Say which specific law or regulation you want to repeal.
And then get ready for the howling, which will come alternately from both sides of the aisle.