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Tag Archives: Costs of Regulation


Uber And Lyft Are Hurting Mass Transit? There’s Nothing Wrong With That

Investor’s Business Daily

Chicago recently started taxing users of increasingly popular ride-sharing services so it could spend more on its increasingly unpopular mass transit rail service. This sort of thinking only makes sense to government officials.

When app-based ride sharing services Uber and Lyft started to catch on, cities thought they posed a dire threat to their local monopoly taxi services and tried to thwart them. But while ride sharing did cut into taxi ridership, it is also having a big impact on mass transit.

In Chicago, for example, ridership fell almost 4% in 2016 and another 3.5% last year. Ridership on weekends has plunged even further.

New York’s subway system lost ridership in each of the past two years, something that is virtually unprecedented in the city.

In Washington, D.C., ridership on its buses and subway system was down 12% in February, compared with two years ago. And in Boston, ridership dropped 3.3% from 2015 to 2017. Continue reading


When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5,000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders

By Steve Eder • New York Times

ALTAMONT, N.Y. — For eight weeks every fall, Indian Ladder Farms, a fifth generation
family operation near Albany, kicks into peak season.

The farm sells homemade apple pies, fresh cider and warm doughnuts. Schoolchildren arrive by the busload to learn about growing apples. And as customers pick fruit from trees, workers fill bins with apples, destined for the farm’s shop and grocery stores.

This fall, amid the rush of commerce — the apple harvest season accounts for about half of Indian Ladder’s annual revenue — federal investigators showed up. They wanted to check the farm’s compliance with migrant labor rules and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets pay and other requirements for workers.

Suddenly, the small office staff turned its focus away from making money to
placating a government regulator.

The investigators arrived on a Friday in late September and interviewed the
farm’s management and a group of laborers from Jamaica, who have special work
visas. The investigators hand delivered a notice and said they would be back the
following week, when they asked to have 22 types of records available. The
request included vehicle registrations, insurance documents and time sheets —
reams of paper in all.

Continue reading


Obamacare’s Out-of-Pocket Costs for Specialty Drugs Increases 16% in One Year

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

Out-of-pocket costs for specialty drugs under the Affordable Care Act increased 16 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to a report from HealthPocket.

While prescription drug coverage comes standard with Obamacare plans, not all medications prescribed to individuals will be paid for.

“For a plan to help pay for a drug, the drug must first be included on the health plan’s formulary,” the report states. “Drugs that are off-formulary are not only paid for completely out-of-pocket by the enrollee but those expenses do not count towards the annual cap on out-of-pocket spending.” Continue reading


Sen. Warren’s Hearing Aid Gambit Helps Big Business, Harms Patients

By George LandrithNewsmax

When I heard that Sen. Elizabeth Warren had introduced the “Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017” claiming that she wanted to create an all new over-the-counter (OTC) category for personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), I knew something disingenuous was afoot.

Sen. Warren has not been a champion of deregulation or of making government less intrusive. So I dug a little deeper, and found that Warren’s bill expands the power of federal bureaucrats, eliminates state authority, and reduces consumer access to amplification devices by making them more expensive and highly regulated. That’s not how she advertises the bill, but that’s how it would be described if truth in labeling laws applied to Congress.

Today, without her proposed law, there are PSAPs legally available at Best Buy, Walmart, and thousands of other stores and outlets for very reasonable prices. Anyone can buy these devices. They simply amplify sound — some use them for bird watching, others to snoop on conversations that are ordinarily out of ear shot. Continue reading


Arizona Governor: Drop Charges Against Guy Giving Free Haircuts To Homeless

by Mary Katharine Ham • The Federalist

In Arizona, an act of charity became a possibly criminal act when a state board took issue with a cosmetology student giving free haircuts to local homeless people.

Juan Carlos Montesdeoca is a Tucson cosmetology student who used to be homeless. He organized a Haircuts for the Homeless event along with other classmates in a local park in January, offering barber services and manicures for people who hadn’t had such treatment in years. But an anonymous complaint to state officials for practicing this rogue styling without a license led to an investigation by the State Board of Cosmetology.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey sent a letter to the board Wednesday asking them to stop the investigation, calling Montesdeoca’s “an act of charity that we should be celebrating.” Continue reading


Business Owner Says Obamacare Prevented New Hiring as Health Care Costs Increased 51 Percent

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

A business owner told lawmakers on Tuesday that Obamacare has prevented new hiring because health care costs at his company increased by 51 percent.

Thomas Secor, president of Durable Corporation, a small manufacturing company that employs 37 individuals, testified at the House Small Business Committee hearing that the Affordable Care Act has made providing health care coverage for workers more difficult.

“Health care is certainly one of the most vexing problems facing small businesses. The enormous costs and ongoing uncertainty surrounding our health insurance system is a major cause for concern,” Secor said. “As a business operator, I am deeply troubled by the ongoing difficulties our health care system creates for my fellow small-business owners and their employees, and by the fact that the most recent national effort to reform the health care system has done very little to address the costs we, as small-business owners, face.” Continue reading


Insurance Commissioner: State Health Insurance Market Better Off Before Obamacare

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

A Wisconsin insurance commissioner told lawmakers on Thursday that the state was better off before it implemented the Affordable Care Act and that the law did significant harm to the state’s health insurance market.

J.P. Wieske, deputy insurance commissioner for Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, said the state had a well-functioning market prior to the Affordable Care Act.

Wieske said that while Wisconsin was not the least expensive market in the country before Obamacare was implemented, it often ranked in the lowest third of states in terms of cost. In addition, Wisconsin offered consumer protections, guaranteed access for the most vulnerable, and had state authority to enforce the laws. The state also offered high-risk pools and subsidies for families with incomes up to $34,000 per year. Continue reading


Manufacturing CEO Says Obamacare Costs Negatively Impacted Jobs, Investment, Product Development

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

A manufacturing CEO told lawmakers on Wednesday that costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act had negatively impacted his company’s ability to hire new workers, make capital investments, and develop new products.

Joe Eddy, president and CEO of Eagle Manufacturing Company, testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers, a trade association that represents more than 12 million Americans.

“Manufacturers appreciate your attention to the burdens of the Affordable Care Act that are impacting the competitiveness and growth of manufacturers around the nation,” Eddy said. Continue reading


Obama Administration’s Midnight Regulations to Total $44 Billion

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

The Obama administration has put forth 25 so-called “midnight” regulations, which will cost the economy $44.1 billion, according to a report from the American Action Forum.

Midnight regulations are rules that are published after Election Day and before the next president is inaugurated in January 2017. Earlier this year, the administration estimated that there would be $5.2 billion in regulatory costs incurred during that time.

The $44.1 billion in regulatory costs have overshot that estimate by more than eight times. Continue reading


Record 600 Major Regulations Imposed Under Obama

New burdensome regulation issued every 3 days

By Elizabeth HarringtonWashington Free Beacon

The federal government has imposed a new major regulation every three days since President Barack Obama took office, as the administration has shattered the record for implementing regulations costing the economy $100 million or more.

The Obama administration has now issued 600 major regulations, the center-right policy institute the American Action Forum noted in a recent report.

“One year ago, the American Action Forum (AAF) celebrated a regulatory milestone, of sorts: 500 major regulations,” wrote Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy. “A major regulation has an economic impact of $100 million or more and can significantly affect prices for consumers.” Continue reading


Government Regulations Add $84,671 to New Home Prices

Average cost of regulation is rising more than twice as fast as ability of Americans to pay for it

by Ali Meyer     •     Washington Free Beacon

Government regulations are responsible for adding $84,671 to the final price of a new single-family home, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders.

According to the report, regulations implemented during the lot’s development are responsible for 14.6 percent of the total, while 9.7 percent is due to costs that accrue after the builder has purchased a finished lot.

“Regulations come in many forms and can be imposed by different levels of government,” explains the report. “At the local level, jurisdictions may charge permit, hook-up, and impact fees and establish development and construction standards that either directly increase costs to builders and developers, or cause delays that translate to higher costs.” Continue reading


The Nanny State does not know better

By Peter Roff      •     Washington Examiner

The bureaucratic impulse to regulate nearly everything that moves has brought what former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to call the Nanny State home to our shores. (AP Photo)

As a general rule, Americans do not like to be told what to do. They will tolerate it, especially when the government makes threats or issues some rule that make sense in the infinite scheme of things, but they’re not happy about it most of the time. This country was founded as a sort of experiment in entrepreneurship — in the commercial sense as well as in the political arena.

Over time, however, the entrepreneurs have given way to the paper-pushers. The bureaucratic impulse to regulate nearly everything that moves has brought what former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to call the Nanny State home to our shores.

As a result, the ordinary American businessman who was once a virtual king of all he or she surveyed has been forced to turn to the courts to seek relief from the stranglehold that regulatory agencies, legislative bodies and the do-gooders among us have on American small business. Continue reading


Why Liberals Hate Uber

By Rich Lowry     •     RealClearPolitics

Grandmothers may know best, as Hillary Clinton has put it in tweets, but judging by her latest economic speech, they don’t necessarily get or like Uber.

The ride-sharing service is synonymous with the new efficiency and convenience enabled by information technology, and is anathema to regulators and entrenched interests everywhere. Add to the list of its critics the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Hillary Clinton didn’t mention Uber by name but warned about the disruption caused by it and other companies in the so-called sharing economy. Her husband wanted to build a bridge to the 21st century; Hillary worries about the downsides of “advances in technology and expanding global trade.” Continue reading


How Repealing And Replacing Obamacare Would Help Restore Booming Economic Growth

ObamaCare Launchby Peter Ferrara   •    Forbes

One of the biggest drags on economic growth under President Obama has been Obamacare, enacted on a strictly partisan basis in 2010. That drag has come primarily from the sweeping overregulation of Obamacare.

The biggest culprit has been the employer mandate, which requires all employers of 50 or more full time workers to buy them health insurance with the terms and benefits as specified by the federal government. That is effectively a tax on employment of well over $10,000 a year per worker for family coverage.

Even for employers that already provide health insurance, the employer mandate will likely be a big tax increase on employment. That is because the mandated health insurance will most likely cost more than what the employer is already providing. That results first because the government responds to political pressure to require generous benefits most people will think the employer is paying for, to be include in the mandated health insurance. That drives up the cost of the mandatory health insurance. Continue reading


Regulators Wreck Innovation

Ride-share services benefit consumers, but the taxi commission doesn’t want to give us a good deal.

costs-of-over-regulationby Glenn Harlan Reynolds

The regulatory knives are out for Uber and Lyft, two ride-sharing services that make life easier for consumers and provide employment opportunities in a stagnant economy. Why are regulators unhappy? Basically, because these new services offer insufficient opportunity for graft.

Services like Uber and Lyft disrupt the current regulatory environment. I have the Uber app on my phone. If I need a car in areas where Uber operates, it looks up where I am using GPS, matches me with participating drivers nearby, and in my experience gets me a Town Car in just a few minutes. It’s the comfort of a limo service, with the convenience of a taxicab. I get a better service, the driver gets a job, but now there’s competition for those entrenched companies. Continue reading