The home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation.… The problem is not the rules that are self-evidently absurd. It is the ones that sound reasonable on their own but impose a huge burden collectively. America is meant to be the home of laissez-faire. Unlike Europeans, whose lives have long been circumscribed by meddling governments and diktats from Brussels, Americans are supposed to be free to choose, for better or for worse. Yet for some time America has been straying from this ideal.
Indeed, this unfortunate drifting away from “free to choose” has been the prime culprit in America’s startling decline in economic freedom and overall competitiveness. Worse, the trend of over-regulating our economy, coupled with bloated government spending, has bred cronyism and corrupted our free market system. Each new edict means a new government bureaucracy that individuals and businesses must navigate. Each new law opens the door for political graft.
Given the deteriorating regulatory and institutional environment, it is not surprising that our economic recovery process has been so disappointingly un-dynamic and has yielded such unimpressive job creation. The latest Gallup survey, released on February 15, highlights the problem: “Health Costs, Gov’t Regulations Curb Small Business Hiring: Nearly half of small-business owners name these issues.”
Few Americans can prosper in our over-regulated economy. Restoring America’s economic freedom, so that opportunity and prosperity can flourish, is one of the most important goals of The Heritage Foundation’s Saving the American Dream. The time to act is now.