Regulation, Jobs, and Creating Wealth

Here’s a letter I recently sent to Businessweek:

Editor, Businessweek:

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Mark Drajem’s February 9 article “Regulations Create Jobs, Too” points out that regulation doesn’t so much create jobs as redirect them somewhere else.

Lobbying, politicking, and special favors are part and parcel of the regulatory process. The result is that many regulation-created jobs are not created on the merits. If a job requires a regulation to be created, that usually means the job it replaced created more value for consumers. Regulations may not destroy jobs on net, but they do destroy wealth.

Markets respect no special interest; agencies like the EPA and SEC exist solely to cater to them. This is wonderful for politically connected companies like Breen Energy Solutions and Nol-Tec Systems, but the rest of us are poorer for it.

Ryan Young
Fellow in Regulatory Studies
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Washington, D.C.