Class Warfare Blog

April 8, 2014

Republicans: “We Need Less Government Regulation and Here’s Why”

(Speech delivered at the Get Government Off the Backs of the Job Creators Conference in Lubbock, Texas)
We Republicans argue that if we, in the form of the government, would just “get out of the corporation’s way” by reducing or eliminating regulations, especially environmental regulations, the corporations would be unleashed job creators and we would all be better off. Recent events prove our case.

Just a few days ago the Anadarko Corporation paid the largest cash settlement of a government environmental suit against it ever levied, $5.15 billion dollars. For years and years a subsidiary company if its was disposing of deadly nuclear waste but doing things like burying it in the back yard instead of disposing of it “according to regulations.” There are now apparently thousands of these toxic and radioactively contaminated sites that need to be cleaned up. When the settlement was announced, the corporation’s stock price rose dramatically. Why? Because a previous judge in the case had estimated the cleanup costs at $14 billion dollars, leaving the government to foot the bill for the difference over the $5 billion. So, the corporation got “less regulation” and the people were happy and bought up its stock, so much so that the value of the corporation’s own holdings went up more than the $5 billion they paid. See?

“ …  corporations really are people, good people, who have your best interests in mind. ” 

In North Carolina, Duke Energy had to go to the trouble to get its corporate president elected Governor of the state to get all of the environmental problems with its handling of its toxic coal ash pits all over the state. (Coal ash being what’s left over when you burn coal, being liberally laced with toxic heavy metals.) So what if they have been illegally pumping water that accumulates in these ponds from rain, dissolving some of the toxins, untreated into the state’s rivers? So what if a couple of these ponds collapsed completely dumping thousands of tons of that heady brew in nearby rivers? Water always flows to the sea, no? We learned that in science class in school. It would be unnatural if it didn’t. Think of all the money spent on getting Duke Energy’s president elected North Carolina’s Governor. All of that money would have been better spent creating jobs, like coal ash pit pump operator and security guards for when they were doing that.

And all of those oil spills from the BP, uh, incident in the Gulf of Mexico, to the Canadian and U.S. pipeline ruptures, uh, leaks, to the rail car dumps of oil. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, such is the cost of doing business. And having to pay to clean all of that stuff up, even with the generous discounts our politicians and lawyers arranged, well that’s expensive, and the money would have been better spent creating jobs.

And don’t get me started about “fracking.” Every time a corporation comes up with a new, job-creating technology, the damned gov’mint regulators start champing at the bit to write new regulations … as if the old one’s somehow wouldn’t work. This just cannot continue this way.

You see, do you not, that corporations really are people, good people, who have your best interests in mind. And why would we want to shackle them with unneeded regulations?

The Republican Party is the only party that stands ready, eagerly so, to liberate our corporations from this unnecessary and counterproductive burden. A vote for a Republican is a vote for freedom!

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22 Comments »

  1. “The Republican Party is the only party that stands ready, eagerly so, to liberate our corporations from this unnecessary and counterproductive burden”

    For America and the free markets (wink, wink)

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    Comment by lbwoodgate — April 8, 2014 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  2. I disagree. The mainstream Republic party has betrayed this principle. Furthermore, the Libertarian party also wishes to liberate the markets. There is a difference is being “pro corporation” and being “pro free market.”

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    Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 8, 2014 @ 10:21 am | Reply

    • There hasn’t been a pro free market politician since Adam Smith. Their pay masters want regulations that favor them, protect them from lawsuits, hold them harmless of wrongs they do, protect them from competition, etc. they really, really, really want regulated markets. General Motors, for example, as part of its bankruptcy was held harmless for any mistakes made by GM prior to 2009. So, all of the people who died in their ignition switch travesty can go suck eggs. That kind of protection.

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 8, 2014 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

      • Not a Ron Paul fan then? I completely agree! Whether you want to call it crony-capitalism or corporatism, there is little denying that the game is stacked in favor of the politically well connected.

        (I thought you might be employing satire, but the last time I made that assumption on an online forum, it didn’t end well.)

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        Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 8, 2014 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

        • Satire is difficult in that it must be done well enough to be recognized as borderline factual but also as satire. I got a little too close to believable apparaently. I though the lack of a name for the speaker would be a clue.

          On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — April 8, 2014 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

          • The sarcastic tone throughout the article was obvious. It wasn’t that you got a little too close to believable. I just found it ironic that a demonstration of the failure of the current regulatory system would be used to criticize those wishing to minimize and restrict it. Are corporations “good people” with everyone’s best interests in mind? Absolutely not! But stacking on more regulation that only the biggest and best connected corporations can escape only prevents them from facing market competition and entrenches them!
            A lot of the criticism of regulation as being costly and unjustified is justified. I took Administrative Law in law school and that fact was really hammered home! The ridiculous nature of many regulations is astonishing and truly serves no purpose.
            Regulation isn’t always “environmentally friendly.” Just consider what Tesla is going through right now and the battle Earthships faced!

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            Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 8, 2014 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

            • I would never argue “regulation good: no regulation bad” and that is what I argue against. But the bulk politics around the topic has nothing to do with cleaning up to bad and bolstering the good, it is focussed solely on “how can I make this pay.” The pro-regulation folks are in favor of stupid regulations and the antis are in favor of counterproductive regulations. I would liek to get it out of the realm of politics entirely, if that were possible (it is not).

              And, I trust a law school attitude about as far as I can throw it. If law schools and lawyers were so concerned about bad policy/laws where are their efforts to improve them?

              On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 1:40 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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              Comment by Steve Ruis — April 8, 2014 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

              • Law schools and lawyers aren’t concerned with bad policies. Lawyers seem to be in favor of any policy that leads to an increased need of legal services! Keep in mind that most politicians were lawyers! And we have already established that politics is not the solution. Law schools teach policies, they do not teach one to question them. If you do, it is a miserable 3 years! Don’t assume that all “law school attitudes” are the same though. Some of us were frustrated by what we were learning…

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                Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 8, 2014 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

            • “But stacking on more regulation that only the biggest and best connected corporations can escape only prevents them from facing market competition and entrenches them!”

              Pardon me?!? Stacking on?? There has been nothing but deregulation since Reagan. What regulations, especially the financial industry, pray tell have corporations been stacked on with?

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              Comment by lbwoodgate — April 8, 2014 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

              • Okay, first off his post said, “Every time a corporation comes up with a new, job-creating technology, the damned gov’mint regulators start champing at the bit to write new regulations … as if the old one’s somehow wouldn’t work. This just cannot continue this way.” I was referring to that

                Are you serious??? Regulatory agencies are created through legislation and are given the power to adopt regulations and rules. More “law” is created through these agencies than through the legislative process.

                Since you brought up the financial industry…how about Dodd-Frank or Sarbanes-Oxley? Here is a list of NEW regulatory agencies that were created by Dodd-Frank alone:
                Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
                Financial Stability Oversight Council
                Office of Financial Research and Federal Insurance Office
                Investor Advisory Committee and Office of Housing Counseling
                Office of Minority and Women Inclusion

                In 2013, 77 major new rules were added by federal regulatory agencies, 67 in 2013, 80 in 2011, and 99 in 2010! Some estimates suggest that a new regulation is made every three hours!! The Federal Register is like 10,000 pages long!

                Just this week the FDIC adopted new leveraging rules, the IRS Tax Court just announced a game changer in the ability to roll over an IRA, and IRS just announced crytpocurrency will be taxed as property.

                I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but whether you are conservative or liberal, the idea that “there has been nothing but deregulation” is laughable!

                Would you like some sources/links?

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                Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 8, 2014 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

                • “Would you like some sources/links?”

                  Yes I would please. I sure hope they are not all from the CATO Institutute and the AEI.

                  And for the record, Dodd-Frank is a washed down version of what it started out to be making it essentially ineffectual

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                  Comment by lbwoodgate — April 8, 2014 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

                  • I happen to like the CATO institute, but okay…

                    I am going to select 3-5 links from a variety of sources and try to avoid politically charged news sources, but some might be from credible think tanks:

                    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324021104578551291160259734
                    (About half way down is the relevant portion)

                    http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/bloomberg_inflates_the_regulat.php
                    (Columbia School of Journalism: Some of the comments are well-informed, as well)

                    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/03/red-tape-rising-regulation-in-the-obama-era
                    (Just skim and look at charts)

                    http://www.economist.com/node/21547789

                    https://pages.wustl.edu/files/pages/imce/soks/regulatory_state.pdf

                    Your comment about Dodd-Frank made me laugh. It is true, you are right. Dodd-Frank was a reactionary response in the first place and was’t very well thought out. Still, watered down just means that it is ineffective, not that it is inexpensive!

                    From a legal perspective though, administrative law is one of the fastest growing areas of law and many others are in industries that are heavily regulated, like employment, healthcare and energy!

                    We can have a discussion about whether regulation is needed and productive, but to say that it is not increasing is just wrong…anyway, hope the sources are interesting…

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                    Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 8, 2014 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

                    • Okay perhaps I stepped into this in a way that should have been pointed in another direction. In terms of sheer numbers there has indeed been an increase in regulations and Obama like all Presidents before him has had his share. But suffice it to say that where large corporations have been deregulated like financial institutions, the airlines and fossil fuels, more damage has been done to consumers and the environment had regulations remained in place and enforced. So let’s get to your other argument that regulations per se cost, not only in terms of business revenue but in jobs.

                      On the one side there is the evidence that implemented regulations do increase costs for companies and some would argue this always is the primary factor for job losses or at best keeping businesses for hiring more. From what I have found on this subject there is more rhetoric about this than there are facts.

                      In one piece on the subject of “job-killing regulation” they found that “vociferous opponents of regulation are often unable or unwilling to offer any such evidence, even in the area of regulation — environmental protection — that is the ground zero of current Republican fury.”

                      In another piece it was even suggested that regulations not only help but are not the biggest concerns of business. Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald that “Government regulations are not ‘choking’ our business, the hospitality business”. When the U.S.Chamber of Commerce asked “what specific regulations harm small businesses _which account for about 65 percent of U.S. jobs — the Chamber of Commerce points to health care, banking and national labor. Yet all these issues weigh much more heavily on big corporations than on small business.”

                      And finally a third piece from Bloomberg Business News headlines with “Regulations Create Jobs, Too”. In this report is says that though its true that “Government regulations do kill jobs, often by the thousands … Government employment figures also show that those same regulations usually wind up creating about as many jobs as they kill. “We find there is no net impact,” says Richard Morgenstern, the EPA’s director of policy analysis in the Reagan and Clinton Administrations and now a researcher with Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan energy think tank in Washington. “The job creation and the job destruction roughly cancel each other out.”

                      Let me add another perspective to this too that I haven’t researched enough and perhaps you have and can shed better light on it. Of those thousands of regulations that tend to hurt jobs, do these job losses result sometimes from regulations that hurt small business but are supported by and help bigger businesses? In other words, do government regulations often result from people within government who are beholding to corporate interests? Are their such people who actually create numerous regulations that not only side-step a business’s moral and social responsibilities to consumers and the communities they operate in but aid in removing some of their competition, which of course kills jobs when such businesses are forced out of the market?

                      And laugh all you want about toothless regulations but when something on paper does less than its critics claim after amendments have been attached to it then isn’t it really to laugh when people are up in arms about regulations that often hurt more people outside of business for their lack of effectiveness?

                      The human trait often touted by free-marketers about self-interests is not always as benign as those advocates espouse in their crusade to rid the world of all regulations. If men and women were always honest then the thought of creating and implementing regulations would be but a footnote in corporate history.

                      BTW, The Heritage Foundation is a very conservative think tank so I wouldn’t count it as an objective source. And today’s WSJ is a far cry from the “fair and balanced” meme it’s new owner, Rupert Murdoch, would have us buy into.

                      Like

                      Comment by lbwoodgate — April 9, 2014 @ 1:46 am

                    • Larry, I would add that while regulations cost companies money, there are externalities associated with those companies that cost us money. I mentioned the company that illegally buried radioactive toxic waste on their grounds as an example. Another example is Wal-Mart not paying its workers enough to live on and that costs us in the form of tax credits, housing assistance, food stamps, etc. Companies do not count these externalities on their bottom lines. They are like “free money” as far as they are concerned and they want more. The shifting of private pension liabilities to the government is another such freebie. Consequently, these companies balance sheets don’t show the cost savings (in externalities they really are responsible for) when they comply with regulations.

                      Am I in favor of all regulations? No. Do I look stupid? I am against stupid anything! But to have companies complaining about the cost of regulations without comparing them to the costs of externalities like toxic waste cleanups is grotesque. Maybe we should invoke a solid business practice and have them post a bond to cover any of the potential liabilities associated with their violation of regulations in lieu of enforcement of those regulations. That company which buried it’s nuclear waste should have posted a $20 billion dollar bond to cover any potential violations (obviously $14 billion is minimally needed to fix the problem they created, and well, there will be cost overruns I am sure, as businesses regularly prey on government contracts that way). Now if they didn’t want to post the bond, they would have to file reports and be available for inspections … wait, that’s the system we have now! ;o)

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                      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 9, 2014 @ 11:12 am

                    • “do government regulations often result from people within government who are beholding to corporate interests?”

                      I would say yes. For example, when you go to the airport and can only carry on two backs, that is actually mandated by law. It is the result of some major airline companies attempting to diminish the competitive advantage of Southwest. Even more recently is the example of the union that represents car dealers lobbying to prevent Tesla from selling directly to customers. In short, yes our government is run by corporations, but the answer is not to increase the power of the government! That solution really is absurd if you accept the premise!

                      I just have two points about the rest of your point. If your argument against opponents of regulation is that regulation doesn’t cost jobs, you have misunderstood the argument. The issue is productivity. A job is not an end. It is a mean. Replacing a productive position with a government bureaucrat and then pointing out that there is no net loss in employment is only acceptable if our goal is simply to employee, but not to actually produce. But given what I have seen and learned, I highly doubt that is the case. Every year less and less companies want to cross-list on our markets and every year US corporations are opening locations abroad instead of in the US due to costs.

                      Furthermore, it isn’t just about existing companies not creating new jobs, it is about people not creating new companies. If you want to start a corporation, you go to Canada or you go double dutch with an irish sandwich.

                      The second point is that everything you pointed out suffers from a common economic mistake – it fails to account for the unseen. Not to go all Bastiat, but it is hard to point to a job that would have been created! That job is unseen, but that doesn’t mean that it would not have been but for the regulation.

                      Can you really say that you don’t see how growth in this country is slowing? Can you really say that we aren’t losing our global competitiveness. I think time will prove that the regulatory state in the US was a disaster.

                      Like

                      Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 9, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

                    • “I would add that while regulations cost companies money, there are externalities associated with those companies that cost us money.”

                      Very good point Steve

                      “Maybe we should invoke a solid business practice and have them post a bond to cover any of the potential liabilities associated with their violation of regulations in lieu of enforcement of those regulations.”

                      What an excellent idea though highly unlikely to be popular with corporate-friendly legislators

                      Like

                      Comment by lbwoodgate — April 9, 2014 @ 11:22 am

                    • None of my ideas will fly politically … too sensible. ;o)

                      On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 11:22 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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                      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 9, 2014 @ 11:33 am

                    • How do you feel about the ability of insurance (instead of government) to regulate an industry?

                      You seem so concerned with the environment. I believe that if it is allowed to, the private market will solve environmental issues. This is about an hour long, but it is worth watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNYFlcV9R1w

                      Like

                      Comment by freedomfail1923 — April 9, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

  3. This is an actual speech, not satire?

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    Comment by Ignostic Atheist — April 8, 2014 @ 11:54 am | Reply

    • No it is satire, but nunaced and subtle, apparently. ;o)

      On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 11:54 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 8, 2014 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

      • It gets harder and harder to tell the difference each day.

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        Comment by Ignostic Atheist — April 8, 2014 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

        • I took it as a compliment! ;o) (But you are right, it is getting too easy. Like the GOper who wants to eliminate “days off.”)

          On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 12:38 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — April 8, 2014 @ 12:44 pm | Reply


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