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Federal Regulations Cut Standard of Living by 75 Percent Over 56 Years
The New American ^ | 27 June 2013 | Bob Adelmann

Posted on 06/27/2013 5:00:41 PM PDT by VitacoreVision

The 75 percent reduction in Americans' standard of living shows just how costly the regulatory state has been for the country over the last 56 years.

Federal Regulations Cut Standard of Living by 75 Percent Over 56 Years

The New American
27 June 2013

The 20th annual snapshot of the federal regulatory state published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) last month announced the arrival of an unhappy milestone: Regulatory costs now equal more than half of all federal spending. Put another way, the real cost of government in the United States is half-again as much as the federal budget. It is approaching a third of the country’s economic output. Said CEI in its Ten Thousand Commandments 2013 report: “Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions — perhaps trillions — of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the [current] policy debate.”

Just how many billions and trillions the regulatory state costs, and has cost, the American economy has been put into perspective by two economists in their paper, “Federal Regulation and Aggregate Economic Growth,” published in the June issue of the Journal of Economic Growth. Rather than count the cost in dollars, the authors, John W. Dawson and John J. Seater, take a unique approach and attempt to measure how much lower Americans’ standard of living is today compared to what it would be if regulations had stayed at the level they were in 1949, the starting point of their study. Their conclusion? The average American household’s income would be $27,500 a month instead of the $4,400 a month that it is currently.

In their study they count the pages of federal regulations from 1949 through 2005 and discover that they have grown by 600 percent, slowing the economy by an estimated two percent every year. In simple terms, today’s economy, which produces about $17 trillion in goods and services every year, would instead be producing almost $55 trillion. And the authors apologize that their study doesn't reflect state and local regulations during that period as the effort that would have been required to collect and analyze them as well would have greatly exceeded their time and resources.

In a word, incomes and standard of living for the average American family would be even higher than they estimate, had that data been available. They also note that the avalanche of regulations under the Bush and Obama administrations were not included as part of their study.

There were only four years in that 56-year span when federal regulations declined: once under Reagan, and three under Clinton. In every other year, regulations increased, moving from 19,335 pages in 1949 to 134,261 in 2005.

Ronald Bailey, the science correspondent for Reason magazine and the author of "Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths," evaluated the loss in standard of living in a different way but came to same conclusion. By adding two percent to the real historical 3.2 percent annual rate of growth in America’s economy from 1949 through 2011 — and then doing the math — he found that America’s economic output would be $49 trillion, just slightly below the $53.9 trillion estimated by Dawson and Seater. Bailey notes coyly:

Whatever the benefits of regulation [may be], an average household income of $330,000 per year would buy a lot in the way of health care, art, housing, environmental protection, and other amenities.

Bailey then speculated as to why governments do this to their citizens. He came up with three theories: politicians attempting to improve social welfare by correcting “market failures”; companies capturing control of the agencies regulating them in order to exclude competitors and increase their profits; and politicians seeking to increase their power.

There is, of course, a fourth theory not mentioned by Bailey but supported by the political reality of the emerging totalitarianism extant in the country. David Horowitz, in his explosive pamphlet "From Shadow Party to Shadow Government," tracks the intents, purposes, and actions of a primary driver behind the current political scene, George Soros, and concludes that his agenda could essentially be distilled down to three overriding themes: the diminution of American power, the subjugation of American sovereignty in favor of one world government, and the implementation of a socialist redistribution of wealth.

This has been a common theme for decades, first exposed to light when a committee of Congress, the Reece Committee, investigated tax-exempt foundations in the early 1950s. Norman Dodd, the chief investigator for the committee, talked with Rowan Gaither, then-president of the Ford Foundation, who explained:

Mr. Dodd, all of us here at the policy-making level of the foundation have at one time or another served in the OSS (the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA) or [in] the European Economic Administration, operating under directives from the White House.

We operate under those same directives....

The substance of [those directives] is that we shall use our grant-making power to so alter life in the United States that we can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union [in a one-world government].

All that the authors of the report published by the Journal of Economic Growth and the analysis by Bailey have done is to show just how successful those directives have been, and what they have cost Americans in unattained standards of living far beyond those being enjoyed today.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cei; livingstandards; overregulation

1 posted on 06/27/2013 5:00:41 PM PDT by VitacoreVision
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To: VitacoreVision

While the U.S. Government props up half the planet, America declines...

2 posted on 06/27/2013 5:02:48 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: VitacoreVision

Winston Churchill said; “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”

3 posted on 06/27/2013 5:04:51 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: VitacoreVision
Like Greece where 1 in 3 work for government...The government workers started to riot when the easy big money ran out...

Same will happen here eventually.

In fact, most everything wrong in America today, is directly caused by government and those in it.

4 posted on 06/27/2013 5:08:48 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: VitacoreVision

Where is the peace dividend that was supposed to come after the end of the Cold War? Where are the fruits of the amazing gains in efficiency that technology has afforded?

It has been eaten by the bureaucracy that manages our every move on this earth. The voracious and insatiable monster here is called the Federal Code that calls on thousands of agencies to exercise the police power to prevent us from living free lives.

It is as Bastiat said: the real cost of the state is the prosperity we do not see, the jobs that don’t exist, the technologies to which we do not have access, the businesses that do not come into existence, and the bright future that is stolen from us.

The state has looted us just as surely as a robber who enters our home at night and steals all that we love.

Bill Bonner

5 posted on 06/27/2013 5:16:59 PM PDT by Former MSM Viewer
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To: VitacoreVision


6 posted on 06/27/2013 5:40:45 PM PDT by lowbridge
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To: VitacoreVision

Can I question this a bit

In 1957 who had:

A color TV

A car with AC/Power windows/Power steering - At lest the 55 Chevy I had in High School in the 1970’s didn’t have those things

The Internet

A clothes dryer

A home computer

Microwave oven

Central HVAC in their home

Flown on an airliner

Traveled abroad for a vacation not because of a war

Survived heart surgery

Had cataracts removed

Lasik to improve eyesight

Do I need to go on?

How can you measure the standard of living today against then and not look at the materials advantages of living today versus then. Granted this does not take into account the moral and family issues but neither does the article.

Just eyeballing how people live today versus how they lived then, it appears that the standard of living has risen considerably in the time frame

7 posted on 06/27/2013 6:39:37 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: Fai Mao

I’d give up everything you listed to have my God given freedoms back.

8 posted on 06/27/2013 6:42:29 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

Woo Hoo!!! Slam Dunk!!!

9 posted on 06/27/2013 7:07:46 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Today, June 26, 2013 is the blasphemous heyday of the Sodomite Gay Bay!!!)
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To: Fai Mao

I’m with you. We have abundant food, cheap clothing, affordable roofs over our heads, reasonably affordable transportation, infinite sources of amusement. Life is good. It would sure be nice if we didn’t have perpetual war.

10 posted on 06/27/2013 7:10:59 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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