Moratorium on federal regulation

Whatthedeuce
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Moratorium on federal regulation

I would like to discuss a moratorium on federal regulation.

People familiar with politics in the United States are probably aware that John Boehner recently suggested a 1 year moratorium on new federal regulation except under emergency circumstances.

Most of the Democratic discussion on this idea just completely ignores the issue entirely and just dismisses it as being crazy.

However, (at least at a very basic level) decreasing regulation makes sense in times in which we have a bad economy because regulations cause inefficiencies and possible future regulations cause market uncertainties. So, it seems to me like people should at least give it a second of thought before immediately dismissing the idea.

So, what do members of this forum think? Is it a good idea or a bad idea, and why do you feel that way?

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


BobSpence
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Sounds like a bunch of crap

Sounds like a bunch of crap to me.

EDIT:

At least my initial reaction...

Would that also include no change to existing regulations as well?

Because otherwise it would have little effect.

And any freeze on changing regulation would also stop fixing existing problems, which is really what needs to be done.

So such a call, without more details, would be pointless or even harmful.

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Ditto.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Sounds like a bunch of crap to me.

 

 

 

 

               It was an off-the-cuff  remark that was said by an off-his-rocker republican;

 

               http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#38286214  

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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

               It was an off-the-cuff  remark that was said by an off-his-rocker republican;

 

               http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#38286214  

 

I personally do not think that the House Minority leader is in any way mentally unstable...

As for the video, it clearly is not a very good discussion of Boehner's proposal. Most of it just involved them calling  Boehner crazy. Of their actual rejections to it, I see four specific things.

1. Public opinion polls show that a lot of people want more regulations

2. Boehner is corrupt and doing what big businesses want rather than what is best for the American people

3. big businesses would not want a moratorium on federal regulations.

4. certain current problems must be solved through new regulations

The main issue I have with taking that video seriously is that it is self contradictory. Numbers 2 and 3 contradict each other.

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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BobSpence1 wrote:And any

BobSpence1 wrote:

And any freeze on changing regulation would also stop fixing existing problems, which is really what needs to be done.

This is what I think is the main problem with Boehner's idea.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:
So such a call, without more details, would be pointless or even harmful.

 

I disagree that this is a pointless idea. IMO there are two clear points to making such a call.

1. regulations cause inefficiencies in the economy

2. the expectation of future regulations causes uncertainty in the economy

As per #1, a moratorium on new regulations would make the economy relatively more efficient compared to what it would otherwise be without new regulations.

For #2, when firms do not know what future regulations will be in their specific markets, it causes uncertainty. When there is uncertainty a firm is less willing to invest in capital and hire labor. Clearly, we are currently in an economic position where we would want to increase investment and labor. This means it makes sense to take measures which decrease uncertainty.

 edit: With a little more thought, #1 seems like a pretty bad reason. Even though regulations cause inefficiencies, (hopefully) we would never create a regulation which we did not think would have a net positive effect.

 

So, from my point of view, in order to assess this issue we have to address how much help new regulations are likely to provide in solving our current problems over the course of the next year and compare it to the negative effects of inefficiencies and uncertainties those regulations create. The answer to this question is not clear to me which is why I posted it on this forum.

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Whatthedeuce wrote: I

Whatthedeuce wrote:

I disagree that this is a pointless idea. IMO there are two clear points to making such a call.

1. regulations cause inefficiencies in the economy

2. the expectation of future regulations causes uncertainty in the economy

As per #1, a moratorium on new regulations would make the economy relatively more efficient compared to what it would otherwise be without new regulations.

For #2, when firms do not know what future regulations will be in their specific markets, it causes uncertainty. When there is uncertainty a firm is less willing to invest in capital and hire labor. Clearly, we are currently in an economic position where we would want to increase investment and labor. This means it makes sense to take measures which decrease uncertainty.

 

 

So, from my point of view, in order to assess this issue we have to address how much help new regulations are likely to provide in solving our current problems over the course of the next year and compare it to the negative effects of inefficiencies and uncertainties those regulations create. The answer to this question is not clear to me which is why I posted it on this forum.

 

I realize this is anecdotal evidence, but it is what I have experienced.  My family owned (and various cousins currently own) a trucking company.  When I was fairly young, the trucking industry in the US was deregulated.  The business almost folded.  The business is now only a small part trucking and a lot of other businesses.

Here's why.  When regulated, business owners could rely on rates for particular work.  Their competition was based on quickness, lack of breakage or loss and personal service.  If you moved x thousands of pounds of goods for a family y number of miles, you could expect z in payment.  Consistently.  Across the US.  Many companies and the military moved their employees using commercial moving companies.  U-Haul was a very small company then.

Now, you are expected to move yourself, with no or little assistance from your company.  Even the military encourages you to move yourself.  U-Haul and Budget and other truck rental companies are very big business now.

When you regulate or deregulate an industry, you create winners and losers.  Whether regulation is a good thing depends which side of the coin you are on.  If you examine any deregulation, you can see this.  Airlines - SW Airlines wins, Pan Am loses.  Telephones - Ma Bell loses, AT&T almost lost it then wireless saved the day, QWest wins.  Railroads - BNSF and Union Pacific won, many small and large railroads have lost independent identity.

It is never as simple as "all regulation causes inefficiencies" because it doesn't.  Regulation just favors one business model over another.  Maybe inefficient, maybe efficient. 

Take restaurants - regulations in most areas require certain steps to wash dishes.  Why?  To kill bacteria.  Is this inefficient or efficient?  Depends on your goals - fast dish washing with higher risk of sick customers or slower dish washing with fewer illnesses.  Now, you need to know that it takes 2-3 days for food poisoning symptoms to appear.  So it isn't what you had for dinner last night, but what you had 2 days ago.  Most people will not associate their restaurant meal 2 days ago with the illness they are experiencing tonight.  So food illnesses do not usually affect repeat customers.  The inefficiencies of dish washing regulations keep all of us healthier.  Which is more efficient for society as a whole.

And while expectation of regulations may cause some uncertainties, there are a lot of other expectations that are probably higher on the list of a business owner's worries.  Like having enough customers to cover payroll and other expenses.

The only value I see in shutting down regulation changes is to allow certain senators to dodge controversial votes.

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BobSpence1 wrote:Sounds like

BobSpence1 wrote:
Sounds like a bunch of crap to me.

 

EDIT:

 

At least my initial reaction...

 

Would that also include no change to existing regulations as well?

 

Because otherwise it would have little effect.

 

And any freeze on changing regulation would also stop fixing existing problems, which is really what needs to be done.

 

So such a call, without more details, would be pointless or even harmful.

 

Yes, it is a bunch of crap BobSpence1. This is an election year and Bohener being a member of the House, his job is automatically on the line. The House can in theory see a 100% replacement every two year, although I don't think that that has ever happened.

 

Anyway, summer of even numbered years is the time for empty promises from politicians. If the balance of power does not shift in a significant way, then the empty promises will become something along the lines of “I really wanted to do good things for you but the opposition would not let tat happen”. If the balance of power did shift enough that the politician in question could have his feet held to the fire, well then, I would be willing to bet that he has also made many other promises in a scattershot fashion. Whatever ones did come true are his great success stories and the ones that did not happen are the “But I did all of these things for you” stuff.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Also, a note on what federal regulations really are:

 

Congress tends not to write laws that are not at all that specific. The more vague they are, the less they have to actually know about the matters at hand. That is what the various departments/commissions/bureaus etc. are for. They have the real experts on matters and congress just provide the general over site/direction for what they have to do.

 

As an example, a century ago, anyone could mix a bunch of whatever in the kitchen and sell it as medicine. After someone made up a batch of “cherry flavor cough medicine” with a lethal substance as the cherry flavoring, congress passed a law enabling what is now known as the Food and Drug Administration.

 

At first, they were charged with making sure that “medicine” was safe. Later, congress added a duty to make medicine effective to the mandate. Later still, they were charged to make sure that food will also be safe. It is the job of the FDA to decide what that means and create regulations to assure that food and drugs meet the somewhat vague congressional mandate.

 

So in the case of the FDA, if they want to make a new regulation, they have to publish it in a perodical called the Federal Register. After they publish that, there is a mandatory period for comments to be filed and the FDA has to take the comments into account. If a comment from anyone is reasonable, then they may just decide to change the proposal as appropriate. If nobody comments, then after the mandatory waiting period, the proposed new regulation becomes a real regulation and generally is considered to have the full force of the law behind it.

 

Generally the system works fairly well. This being the USA, we tend to elect a bunch of bozos who don't really know jack. They provide general guidance to the people who really know what is going on and the second level passes the real rules.

 

I could go on but I will pinch this here for now.

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Here's my

Here's my take....

 

De-regulation of the financial industry is what put us in this mess...

The problem we are faced with now, is that the Political Left is NOT calling for reasonable regulation, rather they have imposed the government into variopus industries themselves... While the Political right is painting insuance companies, banks and brokerage firms as victims, and calling for an abscence of regulation...

Somewhere in between Socialis corperate takeovers..., and collusion inspired Corperate facism there lies the rational approach to how to deal with the financial industry...Regulating corperations in order to maintain competition in the marketplace is essential to capitalism... Yet any attempt to regulate is being portrayed as Socialism... When companies are "Too big To Fail"... it undermines the fabric of capitalism, and the nation's national security...


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cj wrote:It is never as

cj wrote:

It is never as simple as "all regulation causes inefficiencies" because it doesn't.  Regulation just favors one business model over another.  Maybe inefficient, maybe efficient. 

Take restaurants - regulations in most areas require certain steps to wash dishes.  Why?  To kill bacteria.  Is this inefficient or efficient?  Depends on your goals - fast dish washing with higher risk of sick customers or slower dish washing with fewer illnesses.  Now, you need to know that it takes 2-3 days for food poisoning symptoms to appear.  So it isn't what you had for dinner last night, but what you had 2 days ago.  Most people will not associate their restaurant meal 2 days ago with the illness they are experiencing tonight.  So food illnesses do not usually affect repeat customers.  The inefficiencies of dish washing regulations keep all of us healthier.  Which is more efficient for society as a whole.

 

I may have misspoke. When I said regulations cause inefficiencies, I should have said: assuming every firm in the economy acts rationally, regulations cause net inefficiencies when production is added up over entire markets. Since most firms do act as rationally as they can, and some irrational firms cancel each other out, in general most regulations should cause inefficiencies. There also may be winners and losers, but when the entire economy is considered, regulations will  cause a net decrease in efficiency.

 

I can't really comment on the trucking example because I don't know anything about it, but for the restaurant example dishwashing regulations would decrease efficiency. Goals of a particular person are irrelevant because the long run goal of a restaurant which is acting rationally will always be to maximize profits in the long run. Efficiency is the ratio of accounting profits to accounting costs. There will be one specific amount of dish washing which maximizes that ratio. If a government decides that this amount of dish washing is not enough to ensure the public health, it will impose a regulation requiring restaurants to increase dish washing. Since a lower amount of dish washing is more efficient, this regulation will decrease the restaurant's efficiency.

 

cj wrote:
And while expectation of regulations may cause some uncertainties, there are a lot of other expectations that are probably higher on the list of a business owner's worries.  Like having enough customers to cover payroll and other expenses.

So, it appears that you think that decrease in uncertainty  caused by a moratorium on regulations will cause a fairly small change in the behavior of the private sector. This would likely imply that the negative effects outweigh  the positive ones and it is a bad idea. Am I correct with this assessment of your opinion?

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


Whatthedeuce
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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

 

Yes, it is a bunch of crap BobSpence1. This is an election year and Bohener being a member of the House, his job is automatically on the line. The House can in theory see a 100% replacement every two year, although I don't think that that has ever happened.

To be fair, though Boehner technically has to be reelected to keep his job, it is incredibly unlikely that he will be voted out of office. He is not just a random congressman that no one has ever heard of. He is the House Minority Leader. Also, he won his previous elections by huge margins, support has likely increased for him recently, and his opponent is just some random unknown guy who has never held public office.

On another note, this is a pretty boring thing to say. I could literally say this about anything any politician (besides a second-term president) ever says. When people talk about politics it is just understood that politicians say things that they think will get them reelected. Otherwise any political discussion about anything would probably include that observation hundreds of times.

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Anyway, summer of even numbered years is the time for empty promises from politicians. If the balance of power does not shift in a significant way, then the empty promises will become something along the lines of “I really wanted to do good things for you but the opposition would not let tat happen”. If the balance of power did shift enough that the politician in question could have his feet held to the fire, well then, I would be willing to bet that he has also made many other promises in a scattershot fashion. Whatever ones did come true are his great success stories and the ones that did not happen are the “But I did all of these things for you” stuff.

 

Actually, the balance of powers does not have to shift nearly as much as most people think in order for a moratorium on regulations to become a reality. Even though Republicans are likely to gain members of the House of Representatives it is unlikely that they will get enough to capture a majority of the House. However, even though it's unlikely I don't think it is completely unrealistic to think it is possible. If the Republicans gain a majority of the House then they could effectively vote against any new regulations and an unofficial halt of regulation would be put in place because the House would not approve any new regulations. It would be unofficial so it wouldn't change uncertainty as much as an official moratorium but I think this scenario is possible if support for the Republican party grows in the next few months.

(I find this scenario to be very scary because it would effectively render Congress incapable of performing a lot of its duties.)

 

 

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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OK, if you want no federal

OK, if you want no federal regulations, then do what you have the power to do. Read the fucking federal register. If a proposed regulation does not work for you then comment on it. Your voice is as good as anyone's. Since hardly anyone even knows that the federal register even exists, your voice can actually be pretty powerful.

 

Stop those pesky regulations, like no booze being bought on Sunday in federal parks and stuff like that.

 

Don't get me wrong here. If you want to vote for the empty promise of no regulations, well your vote is as good as anyone's. However, if that is what you want to vote for, do so knowing that you are voting for something which is simply not going to happen.

 

The fact is that 99.99% of all federal regulations are over trivial things that matter at best to hardly anyone. Even if your vote meant an end to that type of crap, you would never know that it happened nor would you care.

 

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Rich Woods

Rich Woods wrote:

De-regulation of the financial industry is what put us in this mess...

The problem we are faced with now, is that the Political Left is NOT calling for reasonable regulation, rather they have imposed the government into variopus industries themselves... While the Political right is painting insuance companies, banks and brokerage firms as victims, and calling for an abscence of regulation...

Somewhere in between Socialis corperate takeovers..., and collusion inspired Corperate facism there lies the rational approach to how to deal with the financial industry...Regulating corperations in order to maintain competition in the marketplace is essential to capitalism... Yet any attempt to regulate is being portrayed as Socialism... When companies are "Too big To Fail"... it undermines the fabric of capitalism, and the nation's national security...

 

De-regulation of the financial sector certainly contributed to the recent financial meltdown; however so did a lot of other things. I am currently of the opinion that even though there needs to be financial reform, most assets are no longer severely overpriced and it will take time before markets bubble again. Meanwhile, there are other more urgent problems (such as unemployment) which can potentially be addressed on the short term independently of the financial crisis.

However, I would think that addressing all problems right now would be the ideal thing to do. The problem is that I currently doubt that the government will be effective at doing so which is why I find Boehner's proposal to be so intriguing.

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Just to show how federal

Just to show how federal regulations work, let me propose one:

 

Anyone who wants to drill for oil needs to provide a way to shut down the well in an emergency.

 

What is that going to cost, like a million bucks or so per well? That will translate into your cost at the gas station going up by a penny or two.

 

Some lawyer for big oil who actually reads the federal register will scream about how it is going to cost big oil a million dollars per well. Because you are not part of the process, nobody will hear about the fact that a million bucks is nothing. So the regulation will die.

 

Now consider what is going on in the gulf of Mexico right now. I don't think that anyone has a real number for all the oil that has been lost. But let us call it a loss because that is what it is. BP could have spent a million dollars to keep all that oil in the ground until they felt like selling it to us.

 

I know that I would be willing to pay like USD $5.00 to drive to Yankee Stadium. Heck but if BP had spent that million, I would have spent it on gas that is, right now, fucking stuff up.

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Whatthedeuce wrote: cj

Whatthedeuce wrote:

cj wrote:

It is never as simple as "all regulation causes inefficiencies" because it doesn't.  Regulation just favors one business model over another.  Maybe inefficient, maybe efficient. 

Take restaurants - regulations in most areas require certain steps to wash dishes.  Why?  To kill bacteria.  Is this inefficient or efficient?  Depends on your goals - fast dish washing with higher risk of sick customers or slower dish washing with fewer illnesses.  Now, you need to know that it takes 2-3 days for food poisoning symptoms to appear.  So it isn't what you had for dinner last night, but what you had 2 days ago.  Most people will not associate their restaurant meal 2 days ago with the illness they are experiencing tonight.  So food illnesses do not usually affect repeat customers.  The inefficiencies of dish washing regulations keep all of us healthier.  Which is more efficient for society as a whole.

I may have misspoke. When I said regulations cause inefficiencies, I should have said: assuming every firm in the economy acts rationally, regulations cause net inefficiencies when production is added up over entire markets. Since most firms do act as rationally as they can, and some irrational firms cancel each other out, in general most regulations should cause inefficiencies. There also may be winners and losers, but when the entire economy is considered, regulations will  cause a net decrease in efficiency.

 

I don't know where you have worked, but from my experience, all firms act irrationally.  Because all firms are run by humans - who are largely irrational.  The stated goal may be to earn profits, and the company may actually manage to do so.  But from what I have seen, it is in spite of irrationality, not because of rationality.  My apologies for not having facts on this one since it is largely an opinion based on an amalgamation of experience working at many different types of organizations over the last 40 years.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:

I can't really comment on the trucking example because I don't know anything about it, but for the restaurant example dishwashing regulations would decrease efficiency. Goals of a particular person are irrelevant because the long run goal of a restaurant which is acting rationally will always be to maximize profits in the long run. Efficiency is the ratio of accounting profits to accounting costs. There will be one specific amount of dish washing which maximizes that ratio. If a government decides that this amount of dish washing is not enough to ensure the public health, it will impose a regulation requiring restaurants to increase dish washing. Since a lower amount of dish washing is more efficient, this regulation will decrease the restaurant's efficiency.

 

The most efficient wash - in terms of time and costs - would be scrapping off the big chunks and reusing the dirty dishes and glassware without using soap or hot water.  My immune system would probably not be able to cope with the resultant pathogenic growth.  Unless you grew up where this is a common practice, you probably wouldn't survive either.

You are missing the hidden (or societal) costs.  The restaurant may be more efficient, but it won't do them a heck of a lot of good if 50% or more of their customers are in the hospital with e. coli or salmonella or hepatitis A or ....  And it will cost in productivity in other sectors of the economy as well.  I highly recommend these books such as these for descriptions of the last cholera outbreak in London, Typhoid Mary and food poisoning.

http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Map-Steven-Johnson/dp/1594489254/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279498198&sr=8-8

http://www.amazon.com/Medical-Detective-Cholera-Mystery-Street/dp/1862079374/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279498198&sr=8-9

Dr. John Snow did the very first epidemiological study during this outbreak.  Cholera is generally caused by contaminated water.  Outbreaks occur when a person with an active case of the disease cross-contaminates drinking water - ice is a good example of a substance often very contaminated in restaurants.

http://www.amazon.com/Typhoid-Mary-Anthony-Bourdain/dp/0747566879/ref=pd_cp_b_3

http://www.amazon.com/Food-Poisoning-Policy-Politics-Typhoid/dp/1843831384/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279501665&sr=1-16

There are other histories of enteric diseases available if you are interested.  We do not remember the epidemics of the previous centuries.  Having an outbreak of one of the highly contagious enteric diseases would severely stress all areas of our society including economically as productivity dropped.  A little inefficiency at restaurants is a small price to pay for good health.

 

Whatthedeuce wrote:

cj wrote:
And while expectation of regulations may cause some uncertainties, there are a lot of other expectations that are probably higher on the list of a business owner's worries.  Like having enough customers to cover payroll and other expenses.

So, it appears that you think that decrease in uncertainty  caused by a moratorium on regulations will cause a fairly small change in the behavior of the private sector. This would likely imply that the negative effects outweigh  the positive ones and it is a bad idea. Am I correct with this assessment of your opinion?

 

I think the effects would largely be indiscernable moratorium or no.  Regulations are truly way down the list of causes of uncertainty if you are running a business.  And I say this from growing up in a business.  Soaked daily in profits, margins, costs, revenues, taxes, personnel issues, and regulations and no regulations and changing regulations.  We might as well let the nasty bureaucrats get on with their jobs so that people running businesses will know how the laws passed by congress are going to be implemented.

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regulation causes moral

regulation causes moral hazard, people assume the govt has it taken care of instead of doing their own due diligence

 

in the case of the oil rig, the govt told the company where to drill, supposedly inspected the rig and the govt set the liability cap at 75 million

in a free market the company probably would have drilled in a much safer area, where a spill would have been easier to deal with, the company would have had to sign contacts with those who had the fishing rights to the area and land owners and the insurance company overseeing the well would have probably made the company put up bonds or the like, and the company would have been liable for every cent of damages caused, which would have been a huge incentive to have much more safety precautions

also federal regulation has made the clean up process much more cumbersome, states and individual property owners havent been able to do what they deem neccessary to protect their shores and land due to federal red tape and various agency regulations whose approval hasnt been forthcoming at speed

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