Originally published on The Regulatory Review. Reprinted with permission.
Ever since Ronald Reagan declared government to be the problem rather than the solution, the federal bureaucracy has been the target of criticism from right-leaning think tanks, regulatory skeptics in academia, and politicians of all political persuasions. Lately, members of the federal judiciary have visibly joined this chorus of criticism.
Among the charges leveled against regulation and the agencies responsible for issuing and enforcing rules is the claim that, even assuming the validity of regulatory goals, traditional regulatory approaches too often fail to achieve them or impose unjustified social costs. Others assert that regulatory "intrusions" on the operation of the free market are antithetical to the protection of individual liberty and the economic system on which our nation was built.
We take a different view.
Government regulation serves a critical role in promoting the public interest by, for example, restricting activities that threaten health, safety, and the environment. Studies indicate that the monetized aggregate benefits provided by federal regulation consistently exceed its costs. Notwithstanding these truths, it is nonetheless also the case that many regulatory programs have been unable to entirely achieve the ends for which policymakers established them.
A significant …
Cross-posted from The Pump Handle.
Beginning in December 2006, I’ve written five blog post commenting on the content of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulatory agenda for worker health and safety rulemakings. Most of my posts see links below have criticized the Labor Secretary and senior OSHA and MSHA staff for failing to offer a bold vision for progressive worker protections. Now that the Obama & Solis team have been on board for more than a year, I’m not willing to cut them any slack for being newbies. Regrettably, as with the Bush/Chao agendas, my posts today will question rather than complement the OSHA team (and any bigger fish up the food chain) who are responsible for this plan.
I’ll start with the good news from OSHA’s reg agenda. In the month of July, OSHA projects it will issue two final …