Monday, October 17, 2011

Words of wisdom

From Steven Hayward:

While our financial structures are certainly still shaky, a much larger problem is the regulatory structure that has clotted the arteries of the economy by making it cumbersome and difficult to get anything started. Consider the Keystone XL pipeline, which would generate over 20,000 construction jobs, and lot of other permanent jobs after it is finished. It is going to be approved. Eventually. Is the long hearing and litigation process really contributing to reducing the environmental impact the project is going to have? Surely not. And to the extent the long review process does lead to mitigations of harms, are there any changes that couldn’t have been figured out in the first 90 days of the whole story? A country serious about job creation wouldn’t tolerate this kind of process. I’m convinced the purpose of the whole regulatory process today is to extort things from the private sector, and/or to simply wear out the opposition to new things before the government finally says “yes.” We can’t afford this frivolousness any more.


Frozen in the North said...

News: Regulations kill 20,000 jobs -- except not really. Funny enough in Canada (where we are also doing environmental study for the project) the number of jobs created is a lot lower. The amount of the project is also a lot lower.

Last time I checked, the figure for jobs was 3-4,000 (ok still its still 4k jobs) and project cost was in the range of $3 or 4 billion (not $7).

Strangely enough this figure comes not from some advocacy group, but from the guys actually building the pipeline (and they've built a few in their days), and no its not "just for the Canadian section".

How do 3,000 or 4,000 jobs become "20,000" the power of the internet, and BS.

McKibbinUSA said...

I tend to agree with Scott on reducing regulatory constraints -- however, let us not forget that the US endured an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico only a year or so ago -- BP would be wise to hire more risk analysts ( -- however, in an environment where companies are willing to take catastrophic risks, regulatory constraints are the best we have -- I'm not sure what the proper balance should be, but the current state of enterprise risk management is a farce -- more at:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment...

Squire said...

Dr. William, there was massive environmental regulation over Gulf oil drilling BEFORE the BP oil well leak. And it wasn't catestrophic, either.

You present a false premise straw dog that overregulation relates to environment hazzards. The EPA makes irrational business crushing regulations that have nothing to do with environmental spills; rather emissions of CO2. It isn't the same damn thing.

Risk takeing in enterprises is about market and finacial risk. Again, you make a false premise straw dog case here that companies risk the environment with hazzards. If companies take risk and fail they should be punished by virtue of the failure. It is BAD policy to have the government protect companies from failure.

Benjamin Cole said...

I an delighted to hear some people want less regulation and parasitic governmental fat.

How about a sensible scaling back of the the Department of Defense-Homeland Security-VA megaplex, now a $1 trillion-a-year drag on the national economy? That's $3,333 taken out of the pockets of every man, woman and child in America---money sucked out of the jobs- and wealth-creating private-sector, and into the coprolite of the federal government. Other Western nations get by with national defense at 2 percent of GDP--our federal defense sector is swelling towards 6 percent. Huge waste and a large structural impediment.

Then we have the USDA--a monstrosity on the face of it. We have taken $32 billion from taxpayers and given it to cotton farmers since 1995. We also take tax $8 billion a year from urban telecom users, and spend it on subsidized-pink rural telecom systems.

The pink national ethanol program should be a daily topic in the right-wing echo chamber--imagine if Obama suggested a urban fuel program, whereby city waste was converted to liquid fuel, and mandated at 10 percent of gasoline use in the USA. That is our ethanol program.

Closing the border to hard-working immigrants is another huge structural impediment.

The problem with America's "right-wing" today is they wear partisan blinders to our largest structural impediments.

But they pettifog well.

William said...

I agree: it is intolerable. But our Congress passed these laws. We need to replace them ALL and have a fresh start.

Douglas said...

It is kind of astonishing to hear the corporate sector lauded as the great protector of the environment so we can get rid of all these cumbersome environmental regulations. Without environmental regulation we would have a more polluted environment and poorer long-term public health, and if you can't be honest about that then there can't really be a serious discussion. There is more to the situation than just jobs. Let's be real: The corporate sector isn't really interested in jobs unless they improve profits, meaning they should cost as little as absolutely possible; and the environment be damned, at least til it makes people mad enough to demand regulation. And then the corporate sector will finance enough politicians to either hamstring the regulatory process or the enforecement process. Never pretend that the corporate sector is interested in the environment or jobs per se. Without an opposing force the interests of the worker and environment sit way way at the back of the bus... until some dire condition or catastrophe forces remediation. Why should we trust Big Business more than Big Government? Don't be disingenuous.