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Regulatory Failure by the Numbers

By Robert L. Bradley, Jr. and Richard W. Fulmer -- July 24, 2010

Between the current financial mess and the debate over carbon dioxide emissions controls, there is a lot of talk about regulation these days.  We are told, for example, that the recession would have been prevented if proper regulations had been in place.  While it is true that (by definition) the “right” regulations would have prevented bad and ensured good, it is also true that had an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent dictator been in charge, the recession would have been avoided as well.  The problem, of course, is that God, being otherwise occupied, didn’t run for President during the last election.

Enacting the right regulations is somewhat simpler than electing an omni-everything being to run the world, but not much.  As evidence, consider the fact that it was a lot of the wrong regulations that got us into this mess in the first place.  …