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OpenMarket: Regulatory Reform

  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations 

    February 18, 2019
    Congress and President Trump passed a spending bill to avoid another shutdown, but President Trump’s national emergency declaration over a non-emergency provides a troubling precedent that future presidents could also abuse, regardless of how this battle plays out in the courts. Republicans are forgetting a cardinal rule of politics: never give yourself powers you don’t want the other side to have. Meanwhile, new regulations for the week range from telling time during emergencies to electronic olive grower meetings.
  • Unmeasured Meta-Costs of the Administrative State

    February 13, 2019
    In my recent Forbes column “Rule of Flaw and the Costs of Coercion: Charting Undisclosed Burdens of the Administrative State,” I discuss some of the roots of bureaucratic governance and checks/non-checks on the administrative state. Given substantial gaps in what is known about the regulatory state, an overhaul of an archaic 20th century regulatory taxonomy that neglects and obscures regulatory burdens is warranted, so I presented an outline inventorying undisclosed and unfathomed costs of regulation, intervention, and burdens.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   

    February 11, 2019
    The delayed State of the Union speech happened on Tuesday, but contained no surprises on the policy front. The length of the Federal Register doubled this week, as did the number of final regulations and agency notices. The number of new final regulations on the year also hit the 100 mark on Thursday and exceeded it on Friday, with new rules for the week ranging from arts penalties to “civil disturbance intervention.”
  • Administrative Procedure Act Limitations: Process and Oversight Shortcomings

    February 5, 2019
    The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (APA) set up the foundation of the public consultation rulemaking procedure. Part one of this two-part glance at APA limitations covered rule cost categories prone to escaping measurement and disclosure; this column identifies some process/oversight shortcomings. There are far more extensive costs with respect to the administrative state as a phenomenon beyond mere execution of the APA (some are outlined here) that will be covered elsewhere.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    February 4, 2019
    The Midwest froze, but the Federal Register began to heat up. As I predicted earlier, the first three post-shutdown editions were slow. Then Thursday’s edition alone had 220 agencies notices and 447 pages, both well above normal levels. Thursday also saw the year’s first economically significant regulation, a 70-pager for H-1B visa applicants. On February 1, the Federal Register cracked 1,000 pages, which might be the latest date that has happened since 1959.
  • A Brief Outline of Undisclosed Costs of Regulation

    January 30, 2019
    In my recent Forbes column “Rule of Flaw and the Costs of Coercion: Charting Undisclosed Burdens of the Administrative State,” I discussed checks on the administrative state, as well as some of the roots of bureaucratic governance. While there is always heated discussion about the costs of regulation, it is apparent that less is known than unknown about the scope of federal regulation and its social and economic effects.
  • Administrative Procedure Act Limitations: Cost Measurement and Disclosure

    January 30, 2019
    U.S. Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III noted in a 2017 journal article that regulation sometimes contains “too much detail,” changes too “frequently and capriciously,” creates backlogs and delay of work and decisions, or even results in “imperiousness” and “jerk[ing] people around.”
  • The Shutdown Is Over: How Does that Affect Regulation?

    January 28, 2019
    During the partial shutdown, the Federal Register slowed to a crawl. Published every weekday, an average day’s edition consists of about 270 pages and contains a dozen or so new final regulations, plus proposed regulations, agency notices, and presidential documents. Compare this with 18 final regulations and 436 pages published all year through January 28.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   

    January 28, 2019
    The partial shutdown ended on Friday, though only on a three-week deal. This likely will not show up in the Federal Register’s page and rule counts until mid- to late-week, given that it usually operates on a 2-3 day lag. Regulations that did appear during the week range from cockpit displays to crabbing vessels.
  • What If Trump's Regulations Exceed His Regulatory Rollback Savings?

    January 23, 2019
    President Donald Trump has pruned rules and costs at a quicker pace than other presidents. But could his other policies torpedo that?

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