The Big Government Economy-Killer

From Real Clear Politics:

From Peter Schiff’s prepared remarks to Congress. Schiff is the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital.

In my own business, securities regulations have prohibited me from hiring brokers for more than three years. I was even fined fifteen thousand dollar expressly for hiring too many brokers in 2008. In the process I incurred more than $500,000 in legal bills to mitigate a more severe regulatory outcome as a result of hiring too many workers. I have also been prohibited from opening up additional offices. I had a major expansion plan that would have resulted in my creating hundreds of additional jobs. Regulations have forced me to put those jobs on hold...

Not that I’m too interested in bigger financial firms…but the main thing is to understand that more people would be working today if government didn’t have insane regulations.  It is like this all up and down the economy…pushing up costs, driving down wages, ensuring that businesses either never get started, or don’t expand if they already exist.

It is time, I think, for a re-codification of US law.  Figure out what we really want as law, pass that and in that same act repeal every other law and regulation on the books.  A bit of wisdom and we can probably do the whole thing in a couple hundred pages…and dispose of tens of thousands of pages which serve only to empower un-elected bureaucrats and give lobbyists the ability to create or expand loopholes for those who have deep pockets and no honor.  This isn’t, by the way, about changing the Constitution in any way…just repealing all the laws and regulations we currently have and replacing them with a smaller number of laws, easily understandable by all Americans.

Simplicity and predictability of law is required for their to be justice…and, indeed, respect for law.  By doing things like fining someone for hiring “too many” employees, all we’re doing is engendering contempt for law.  The next firm so situated will just try to bribe their way out of it (via donations and lobbyists to write special rules just for them), or they’ll open up the firm in a foreign country.  The average people are also losing their respect for law…and how can it be otherwise when each of us likely violates several federal laws and regulations each day?  Tear down the legal and regulatory structure and replace it…that is the only way we’re going to clear out this part of the mess.


18 thoughts on “The Big Government Economy-Killer

  1. js September 22, 2011 / 5:50 am

    deregulate the socialist empire?

    good luck with that eh?…but thats what need be done…start with the tax code…simplify it and quit taxing the widows and childrens paycheck…that poor woman cant feed her own children on minimum wage…and what use to tax the poor…except to use it as an excuse for wealth redistribution…if you wanna give money to them, increase the amount of food stamps they get…im sure it would be far more valuable than a huge cash influx once a year

  2. bardolf September 22, 2011 / 9:05 am

    “I was even fined fifteen thousand dollar expressly for hiring too many brokers in 2008”

    Just to remind B4V. Obama was not president in 2008.

    “but the main thing is to understand that more people would be working today if government didn’t have insane regulations.”- Mark

    If Mr. Schiff was the only employer of brokers that might be true. According to standard economic theory, if there was a need for those brokers somewhere in the economy other companies would have hire them.

    • dvindice September 22, 2011 / 11:42 am

      However, by 2008, then democrats were in charge of the congress and it is congress that sets the tax rates.

      • Leonard L'Farte September 22, 2011 / 12:07 pm

        It’s also the Congress that passes regulatory laws.

      • bardolf September 22, 2011 / 2:02 pm

        So WHICH congress passed the particular law Schiff is complaining about?

    • Leonard L'Farte September 22, 2011 / 1:24 pm


      From your linked article:

      “We asked experts, and most told us that while there is relatively little scholarship on the issue, the evidence so far is that the overall effect on jobs is minimal. Regulations do destroy some jobs, but they also create others. Mostly, they just shift jobs within the economy.”

      Which begs the question: what is the ultimate purpose of most regulations; to pick winners and losers or to actually have a positive effect on the economy, the environment, etc.?

      In the short time I’ve been here, this is the first thought-provoking thing I’ve seen you post. Are you actually trying to be part of the conversation, or was this just a brain fart?

    • Allan_Yackey September 22, 2011 / 1:35 pm

      “They found that when new environmental regulation was applied, higher production costs pushed up prices, resulting in lost sales for businesses and some lost jobs, but the job losses were also offset by new jobs created in pollution abatement.”

      Each of the documents referenced in the article referred to here suffer from the “Broken Window Fallacy.” They totally ignore the macro effect of higher prices for any commodity. By forcing more resources into paying for the commodity under consideration, they fail to account for the other purchases that the consumer could have made with the money needed to pay the higher price. Aside from job losses in the regulated business, additional job losses will be found in lower consumption of other things that would have been purchased with money that the consumer would have had with the lower cost product or service.

    • Leonard L'Farte September 22, 2011 / 3:35 pm


      So then it WAS just a brain fart. Too bad.

    • Leonard L'Farte September 22, 2011 / 6:16 pm

      If you think that’s a weird outlook to have, then good, at least you aren’t as deep into delusion as the right-wingers here are.

      Excuse me if I don’t take your word for it, Bodie. The Conservatives I’ve encountered here are, I think for the most part, pretty well grounded. It’s your motives I’m having trouble getting a handle on. Could you give some examples of specific regulations that you say conservatives demagogue, that you think are honestly intended to accomplish something good?

    • Leonard L'Farte September 22, 2011 / 6:55 pm

      But the talking point is the talking point, and it won’t be going away any time soon.

      Bodie, how is what you do here any different. You don’t seem to ever provide any proof for your allegations. I’m beginning to see why no one here cares much for you.

    • Leonard L'Farte September 23, 2011 / 8:29 am


      I always try to see the good in everyone. I’m not sure that’s possible with you. You don’t really seem to have much to add other than categorizing conservatives as a group as hateful, deranged people, and you do so by sounding hateful and deranged yourself. What’s sad is that you don’t even realize it.

      • Bodie September 25, 2011 / 3:02 pm

        It’s unfortunate you had to go crying to the moderator, Leonard. But it’s also unfortunate that you asked for evidence while replying to a post that, you know, supplied evidence. And it’s unfortunate that you repeatedly refused to explore the archives of this blog–even after I got you started by providing a choice quote–most likely because you knew that if you did so, you would find that I was absolutely correct.

        For somebody who claims to want “conversation,” you sure do go out of your way to avoid it.

  3. Green Mountain Boy September 22, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    Yeah, it’s all a conspiracy. Especially this regulation.that will cause me to get commercial insurance on my one small tractor that routinely crosses over a county highway to get from one small plot to another. Money that I would rather spend on my family.

    Oh well. D.C. establishment needs it more than I do. Somebody has to pay for $40,000 dollar earrings and multi million dollar vacations. Bodie sure as hell isn’t.

  4. Green Mountain Boy September 22, 2011 / 8:40 pm

    I have given an example of a needless regulation that is going to cost a lot of farmers money. Bodie is worried about what conservative say about the situation. Please Bodie tell me how this regulation is going to improve the economy.

    • Bodie September 25, 2011 / 3:03 pm

      Sorry, GMB, I’m not allowed to; doing so puts me over the hard cap on truth that is permissible on this blog.

  5. RetiredSpook September 23, 2011 / 11:30 am

    It appears that Bodie has left the building.

  6. theshadowiswatching September 23, 2011 / 2:26 pm

    Bodie was repeatedly warned that posts consisting of nothing but insults or excuses for insults would be removed. Bodie tested this warning and now has his posts removed. //Moderator

  7. tiredoflibbs September 23, 2011 / 6:31 pm

    Leornard, Bodie (jeffy) does what he always does – claims to debate, claims to crush all opposition and when asked for proof says that he provided it or that you are too stupid to understand the proof.

    Of course all the while insulting and attacking anyone who dares question.

    You know the typical liberal methods……

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