Reversing the Ratchet


Unfortunately for his readers, the Q2 GDP figure, which sticks out like a sore “thumbs down," paints a very misleading picture. Jeremy Horpedahl takes less than 1,000 words or so to dispel the 32.9% decline figure – making necessary adjustments to come to the number of -9.5%.

While rumors of economic destruction have been greatly exaggerated, the real story still isn’t pretty. Ryan Young of the Competitive Enterprise Institute is unsatisfied with the policy response to a novel recession caused by our response to a novel virus. At the federal level, politicians have had remarkably little creativity. They keep recycling “stimulus” funding that rewards people for not working, while punishing those who are trying to work with burdensome regulation.

You know him as “@RegoftheDay” on Twitter – Young is the anti-regulation warrior the world needs now more than ever. He joins me this Sunday to discuss CEI’s new #NeverNeeded campaign – highlighting laws that COVID revealed to be particularly unnecessary or even harmful, but which we never needed in the first place. In a recent article for National Review, Young writes:

“Unfortunately, many drastic regulations are passed during emergencies, from unconstitutional national-security and surveillance policies to bailouts for favored big businesses. But fortunately, regulations can also be removed that way. We have a choice. The famous “ratchet effect” of government’s grabbing power during a crisis and keeping it afterward does not have to be an iron law.”

My new book on “Essential Liberty” (download a sample) makes the same point as Ryan – that we have a golden opportunity to usher in the Libertarian moment we’ve been waiting for.

Where to start? How about the tariffs that cost the average American family $2,000/year? Or the occupational licensing laws that are stopping people from working in their chosen profession?

Trump has ordered every federal agency to eliminate nonessential regulations that might be hindering the economic recovery. With over 1 million Federal regulations totaling 185,000 pages on the books, it shouldn’t be hard to cut red tape by at least as much as the alleged decline in Q2 GDP.