Business Economists: Current Regulatory Environment Good for Business and Economy
by Rick Melberth*, 8/25/2011
The August 2011 Economic Policy Survey from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that a large majority of business economists have a positive perspective on the regulatory environment in the United States, contradicting the overheated, anti-regulatory rhetoric coming from Big Business lobbying shops.
According to the survey:
Regulatory activity has gained a lot of attention, with many groups suggesting that American businesses are overregulated by the current administration. With that said, 80 percent of survey respondents felt that the current regulatory environment was "good" for American businesses and the overall economy.
Moreover, according to these experts, many of whom work hands-on in the business world, the watchword "uncertainty," when used by many businesses, refers to anxieties over the weak economy, not so-called "regulatory uncertainty." Nearly 75 percent of survey respondents said that "once the economy starts to improve, such anxieties will go away." NABE also noted, "The majority of survey respondents indicated that while uncertainty might be a concern, it is not a major one."
The NABE survey is the latest piece of evidence that the sky is not falling when it comes to regulations or the regulatory environment. In fact, recent studies from the independent Economic Policy Institute clearly show that regulations do not have a significant impact on job loss overall, that some rules can help create jobs in certain sectors, and that specific regulatory protections, including a series of environmental and public health standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), can have significant economic and quality-of-life benefits. Other studies and reports, including pieces from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Research Service (CRS), and the Clean Air Council, illustrate that industry messaging on regulations is misleading and that the benefits of key public protections far outweigh their costs to business.
The bottom-line take-away from all of this evidence, coupled with common sense? The American people simply do not have to – and should not be asked to – choose between job creation and protecting their families and communities from environmental, workplace, and consumer product hazards.