Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Left in NC Discovers Anew An Ancient Truth

It's fun to watch when the little kids discover something on their own.  They remember it better that way, that's a rule of teaching.  So, even though all the grown-ups knew this all along, it's better to let the younglings figure it out.

It appears that the Progressives, the Left, whatever you want to call them, in North Carolina have "discovered" that regulation, even regulation that the regulator says is benign, can be harmful.  It's intrusive, it makes everything more expensive, and it has a chilling effect on people being willing to use your product.

Now, the Prog-Left has discovered this truth about abortion clinics in NC.  Regulating abortion clinics is going to make it much more difficult, more scary, and more expensive to get an abortion, or even to get counseling.  Abortions are legal, but regulations will make it harder for customers to obtain them, and it will be impossible for businesses to provide this otherwise legal service.  It's like someone is saying, "Oh, you can do this, but we are just going to regulate it," as a way of actually outlawing the activity.

Let's hope they take this deep insight and apply to other kinds of small businesses.   The same thing, THE SAME THING, is true for all the regulations, from petty to draconian, that you folks want to impose on businesses of all kinds. Because the Prog-Left has always pretended (until now, when they actually care about the business) that regulations are a benefit, rather than a harm.  Sauce for the goose...


Strelnikov said...

All must awaken from the dream.

It's harder for some than others, though.

Squarely Rooted said...

Amazingly, I thought long and hard about this, and came up with an alternative explanation:

Sometimes, some people want to implement regulations out of a genuine concern for some sort of market failure. Those kinds of people tend to at least try to design regulations intelligently, cost-effectively, and with minimal footprints or adverse consequences.

Sometimes, some people want to implement regulations out of a cynical desire to destroy a specific industry or activity without being able to expressly outlaw it. Those people tend to elect heavy-handed, draconian, arbitrary, and capricious regulations.

Huh, look at that. I drew a careful and thoughtful distinction. Looks like I don't really belong anywhere near this blog.

Mungowitz said...

SR: that's a fair point. If the Progs would admit the second consideration, AT ALL, I'd be happier. And if they would admit that the INTENT of your first category often has the unintended EFFECTS of the second category, I'd be euphoric.

THe problem is that you are resting all your argument on INTENT, which is typical of the Progs. Since, for you, actual outcomes are irrelevant, and all that matters is that people on the left can claim credit for INTENDING good...well, no, you probably shouldn't read this blog. Your time would be better spent in a high-school level economics class.

Then, when you come back, you can read the myriad specific examples we give, in this blog, with empirical documentation, that regardless of the INTENT, the effect of many regulations is damaging.

Good luck to you!

Thomas W said...

The intent and effect of regulation is certainly a question. Abortion regulations (or from the other side, gun regulations) can be worded to sound reasonable but in reality outlaw an industry. Or regulations can have completely unexpected results.

I saw reports a few years ago about an unintended consequence of a California subsidy for low emission cars. It was targetted for fuel cell vehicles (which were the latest fad) but were written as subsidies for "green" automotive technologies which had a short (few minute) fueling time. Somebody too advantage of the program with a scheme for electric cars with a new battery / charger technology which could charge the car in a few minutes. However, a fueling station which could accomodate 5-10 cars would need a multi-megawatt electric power substation dedicated to it. This was not the technology the regulations were written for, last I heard they were arguing about intent vs how the regulation was actually written.

Anonymous said...

I've said for weeks that you could have headlined the Wendy Davis story, "Texas Senator Filibusters Consumer Protection Law."

Doc Merlin said...

There is also the possibility that the Progs are cover for the far left that actuallyw ants to outlaw lots of private industry?

alanstorm said...

"Huh, look at that. I drew a careful and thoughtful distinction. Looks like I don't really belong anywhere near this blog."

No, you didn't, actually. As mungowitz points out, once the regulations are "released into the wild", intentions are irrelevant.

Also, unless you can point to some actual regulations that support your thesis, you have simply constructed a pair of hypothetical strawmen which may or may not bear ant resemblance to reality.

John Whitehead said...

I don't think Squarely Rooted and Mungowitz are that far apart. Squarely rooted said "sometimes" the government tries to write a decent regulation and Mungowitz said that "many" (not all) regulations are bad.

The key thing, to me, is whether the *net* benefit of the regulation is positive. If it is, could the benefits be higher? Could the costs be lower? Demonizing all regulations doesn't make sense because there may be situations where a government program can improve on the market outcome.

I'm not sure if that sends me back to naive high school economics or not. Flame away!