Regulations in America

Regulation. In its simplest form the concept "consists of requirements the government imposes on private firms and individuals to achieve government's purposes." For some, government regulation is a benefit which protects the public from health risks, pollution, and predatory corporations. For others, government regulation discourages innovation, encourages waste, diminishes job growth, increases corruption, and in general, exercises an unnecessary amount of control over an individual's personal life.

In recent years Americans have raised numerous complaints about their increasingly regulated society. Regulation, however, has a history that dates back to the ancients, particularly in the area of wage and price controls. According to famous ancients such as Plato, government regulation was needed, but excessive control over commerce and other matters was unwise and unnecessary.

Although the American Founders allowed government regulation of commerce and money in the Constitution, their personal writings suggest their support for only a limited amount. For example, Thomas Paine noted that the American colonies had flourished before the British began to enact stricter regulations. John Adams declared that "regulation of prices will produce ruin sooner than safety." James Madison warned against excessive legislation because it could promote government corruption. Lastly, Adam Smith, a man whose economic insights heavily influenced the Founders, stated:

No regulation of commerce can increase the quantity of industry in any society beyond what its capital can maintain. It can only divert a part of it into a direction into which it might not otherwise have gone; and it is by no means certain that this artificial direction is likely to be more advantageous to the society than that into which it would have gone of its own accord.

The Founders' ideas of limited regulation began to wane soon after the country's birth in light of the problems of the new Industrial Age (e.g. working conditions), the emergence of the so-called "Robber Barons", and Big Business. Inspired by socialist ideas coming out of Europe, American Progressives argued for greater government intervention in the market on the grounds that businesses' quest for profit must be prevented from creating harm for individual consumers and society as a whole. In that vein, some of the first major federal regulatory solutions were the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890) and the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission (1887).

The decades following saw continued growth in government. Franklin D. Roosevelt's vision of a society based on "freedom from want" in light of the economic effects of the Great Depression formed the philosophical basis of the The New Deal, creating hitherto unprecedented amounts of government intervention. The National Recovery Act (NRA) alone, according to one source, "established government controls over most manufacturing industries." Other laws created during this time regulated most of the agriculture, banking, and utility sectors. By the end of WWII, government was tasked with guaranteeing a new Bill of Rights, an "economic" one:

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

But it was Lyndon Johnson's vision of a Great Society that solidified the progressive vision of government taking a fundamental role in providing for economic and social needs, with programs such as Medicare, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Head Start, and the development of the Housing and Urban Development agency.

In recent years federal regulation has continued to expand and grow. Some examples of this include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, passed in an attempt to increase corporate accountability in the wake of scandals such as Enron; the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008 and attempting to "empower… regulators to aggressively pursue financial fraud, conflicts of interest and manipulation of the system..."; and Obamacare, passed in response to rising numbers of uninsured and health care costs, the 2010 law which enacted a variety of health care regulations on the American public.

As mentioned above, regulations such as these are enacted in order to protect the public from predatory corporations or harmful practices. Some argue, however, that government regulation actually promotes corruption in the form of crony capitalism, for it encourages corporations to lobby for political regulation to stifle their competition, rather than relying on hard work and innovation to outdo their competitors. It is also believed that regulators face the possibility of being "'captured' by the industries they regulate," which in turn results in regulations "that favor the industry."

Because government regulations such as Dodd-Frank and Obamacare are often lengthy and highly-specific, Congress typically delegates regulatory enforcement to bureaucratic agencies known as the "fourth branch of government." As a consequence, considerable law-making is carried out by unelected officials who cannot be held accountable at the ballot box for their actions.

Today, regulatory costs absorb 12 percent of total GDP, prompting many economists to question if regulations cost far more than they are worth. Though by no means a flawless measure of the scope of the regulatory state, the Federal Register--which includes all proposed and final federal regulations--has grown 7-fold in size since the 1940s. In 2010, the Federal Register actually hit a record-high of 81,405 pages; in 2011 it was only slightly below that with 81,247 pages. Total regulatory costs reached $1.75 trillion in 2008exceeding both Canada's and Mexico's gross national income.

Acknowledging conservatives' concerns over excessive regulation, politicians from both sides of the aisle have been vocal about the need for regulatory reform. Over the years, various forms of legislation have been enacted to overhaul the government regulatory process. A past example of this is the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, which sought to eliminate some regulations for small businesses. More recently, attempts to curb the growth of regulation can be seen in the REINS Act, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011, and the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012. President Obama has also pledged to reduce regulatory measures; however, recent research suggests that his administration has actually increased the size and scope of government regulation rather than reduced it.

As contentions increase over the growing regulations Americans face, this topic takes a look at the history and philosophical ideas behind government regulation. Additionally, the topic traces the growth, cost, and types of regulation in government today.

 

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"The House is expected to vote this week on the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, or REINS, Act. In a landmark year for misguided, misinformed, and harmful legislation, REINS is a standout. It would require Congress to approve, via a joint resolution, any 'economically significant' regulation (otherwise known as a major rule) issued by a federal agency—within 90 days.

...

"A common form of the fallacy is rejection of the imperfect free (or freer) market in favor of (presumably) omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent government regulation. A 'flawed' but achievable arrangement is set against an (alleged) ideal, though it is left unestablished whether the ideal can in fact exist. The problem here should be obvious. If the ideal is not available, then the...

This article compares the current debate over "net neutrality" to regulations on American railroads at the turn of the twentieth century. The argument stresses the similarities, predicting that regulations on broadband would incur similar failures.

"There's a big difference between entrepreneurs who make a fortune in the market, and those who do so by gaming the government."

"Obama's assertions to the contrary, the 43rd president was the biggest regulator since Nixon."

California already licenses furniture upholsterers, private investigators and recreation guides. Now it wants to regulate pet groomers.

Once synonymous with opportunity and innovation, California is now firmly associated with an unfriendly business environment, largely due to heavy-handed government and overregulation.

"Fans of convenience store hot dogs will get to read how many calories are in a dog. But beer drinkers won't have to deal with the guilt.

The Obama administration Friday issued proposed rules that vendors must follow to inform customers about calorie counts of a range of foods—from a Big Mac to a brownie.

Many food sellers are exempt, and for now the new regulations, which are...

"Faced with the prospect of United Nations regulation of the Internet, the United States has yet to appoint a leader for an upcoming battle with other countries over Web management.

Less than a year from a historic treaty negotiation that will redefine international agreements on Internet management, the U.S. has yet to name someone to head up the American delegation. The absence of an...

Participating in an economic market requires an infinite amount of knowledge which one individual cannot possibly have on his own. Therefore, consumers rely on information from brand names, the internet, or magazine reviews to guide them in the market place. Additionally, the government acts as a regulator when it certifies the purchase of homes, foods, drugs, etc. Klein points out that...

"Would a farmer who put out a trough of slop be surprised if it attracted a bunch of pigs? Then why are activists who promote enlarging the size and scope of government shocked when one program after another is hijacked by corporations that find it easier to seek favors in Washington than customers in the marketplace? And, knowing that such corruption is inevitable, why do mainstream media...

If you want to pay more to take Fido to a certified groomer, go right ahead. If you want to save money, then don't. But critics are almost certainly right that a voluntary license would become a required license in pretty short order.

"The Environmental Protection Agency is offering thousands of taxpayer dollars and free publicity to whoever produces the most compelling pro-government-regulation propaganda, it announced on its website and in a YouTube video.

'...

"In a step that officials said would save lives, the Obama administration on Friday announced new air quality standards intended to reduce the amount of soot that can be released into the air.

Environmental groups and public health advocates welcomed the move by the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it would protect millions of Americans at risk for soot-related asthma attacks,...

"Popular opinion holds that most of the credit (or blame) for the incredible growth of the federal government should go to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. While Roosevelt certainly was a willing participant in that process, the federal government began its amazingly rapid growth well before the New Deal, and it is unlikely that it would be much smaller today even had FDR...

"Enacting the right regulations is somewhat simpler than electing an omni-everything being to run the world — but not much. As evidence, consider that it was a lot of the wrong regulations that got us into this mess in the first place. Also consider the oft-heard argument that financial regulators needed to 'get out ahead of the innovators.' Clearly, a job for the omniscient. There is,...

"The first in a series of meetings to decide concrete enforcement terms for President Obama's digital 'Privacy Bill of Rights' has just been announced for July 12, 2012, and its focus is on mobile apps.

The National Communications and Telecommunication Administration (U.S. Department of Commerce) has decided that it's time to put President Obama's Privacy Bill of Rights into practice...

"The Food Safety Modernization Act, passed by the U.S. Senate December 22 and headed for President Obama's signature, aims to enhance the safety of food produced in America and imported from overseas, and to prevent food-borne illness."

"In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Paul Singer, chairman of the Manhattan Institute, suggests that 'there is an urgent need for a new global regulatory initiative' to address the causes of the worldwide financial collapse and that even those who appreciate the qualities of free markets should welcome the new and different regulations he proposes (April 3). Singer's good intentions...

"Throughout the world, governments engage in social and economic regulation of their citizens' lives. Economic regulation, in particular, has come into focus during the past decade, mainly because such regulation has been associated with falling productivity rates in many industrialized countries. But social regulation by government also is being discussed when drug abuse legislation,...

"The surge of federal economic interventions that occurred during Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency—the much-ballyhooed Great Society, whose centerpiece was the War on Poverty—differed from the four preceding surges, each of which had been sparked by war or economic depression. No national emergency prevailed when Johnson took office following John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963...

"Ordinary people — not just a small fringe group of zealots — are really afraid today. They see the country they adore being attacked at all levels; they see their freedoms under assault, their life savings genuinely in jeopardy, an endlessly anemic economy, a longer period of sustained unemployment than we've experienced in a half-century and a national financial crisis, born of world-...

"In line with its previous commitments to balanced nutrition, the Los Angeles school board voted Tuesday to implement one of the largest and most comprehensive food procurement polices of any school district."

"New Yorkers have been in the throes of sticker shock since this spring when the Big Apple became the first city in the country to implement a law forcing chain restaurants to post the calorie count of each food in the same size and font as the price.

Restaurants have not exhausted their legal challenges, but the city will start fining violators up to $2,000 beginning Friday, say...

"Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor plan for the House to pass this summer a bill that would require Congress to approve or disapprove major agency regulations. For elected lawmakers to be accountable for the laws coming from agencies sounds revolutionary-- that is, until one recalls that the American revolutionaries opposed regulation without representation as much as...

"If New York City bans big sodas, what's next on the list? Large slices of pizza? Double-scoop ice cream cones? Tubs of movie-theater popcorn? The 16-ounce strip steak?

The proposed crackdown on super-sized drinks could face a legal challenge from those who oppose the first-in-the-nation rule and fear the city isn't going to stop with beverages.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to...

"President Barack Obama's 'tsunami' of new government regulations looks more like a summer swell.

Obama's White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush at this same point in their tenures, and the estimated costs of those rules haven't reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush's father, according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg News...

"Obama's desperate protests that his anti-business rant was taken out of context are betrayed both by that very context and because they are a part of a piece — just one more component of his war against the American entrepreneurial spirit.

He would have us believe that his words 'you didn’t build that' referred to roads and bridges and not businesses.

Given his accompanying...

"Since first lady Michelle Obama made childhood obesity her signature project almost two years ago, the issue has had the kind of highly visible national leadership that it previously lacked.

But that isn't enough, say public health leaders frustrated with the slow progress in stemming America's obesity epidemic.

Something more ambitious is needed, they argue — something more...

"In Chapter 5 of The Road to Serfdom ('Planning and Democracy'), F.A. Hayek warned that the state need not directly control all or even most of the means of production to exert totalitarian control over the economic life of the nation. He cited the example of Germany where, as of 1928, 'the central and local authorities directly control the use of more than half the national income … 53...

"President Obama yesterday issued a new executive order and several other directives to help ensure that regulation is cost-effective, evidence-based, and transparent to the public. He announced his plan in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

This effort mirrors recommendations provided by the Center for American Progress. It also draws a useful contrast to congressional conservatives who are...

"The 2012 State of the Union Address ought to address the Mistakes of the Union when it comes to over-regulation of competitive free enterprise."

"Conservatives love to interpret the current sour public mood as rejection of the government's role in the economy. In reality, that public sentiment is primarily traceable to the poor economy and has little to do with an embrace of conservative ideological views on government."

"Getting a grip on runaway federal regulation was one of Ronald Reagan's many significant achievements as president. But media tributes since his death have scarcely mentioned President Reagan's efforts at regulatory reform."

"Regulation consists of requirements the government imposes on private firms and individuals to achieve government’s purposes. These include better and cheaper services and goods, protection of existing firms from 'unfair' (and fair) competition, cleaner water and air, and safer workplaces and products. Failure to meet regulations can result in fines, orders to cease doing certain things, or,...

Litan offers an encyclopedia entry on the basic definitions economists use when speaking of government regulation.

"Eliminating lead in children's toys. Requiring seat belts in automobiles. Reducing coal dust in mines. Preventing unsafe drugs and foods from entering the marketplace. Outlawing predatory loan rates and lending practices. If the bill deliberately mislabeled the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) had been put in place in 1960, none of these protections for the American people could have been...

"Any time government regulators try to do much more than lay out the basic rules of the game, unintended consequences and moral hazards rear their ugly heads."

"In my view, the problem is that Congress has adopted policies--in the form of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act--that have made it difficult for businesses to anticipate their future costs. Both enactments are enormously complex and require both substantial regulatory interpretation and a great number of new...

"EUROPEANS have long relied on governments to set policies to protect their privacy on the internet. America has taken a different tack, shunning detailed prescriptions for how companies should handle people's data online and letting industries regulate themselves. But on February 22nd the Obama administration signaled a shift in America's position when it laid out a series of principles that...

"The Sarbanes-Oxley Act created new standards for corporate accountability as well as new penalties for acts of wrongdoing. It changes how corporate boards and executives must interact with each other and with corporate auditors. It removes the defense of 'I wasn't aware of financial issues' from CEOs and CFOs, holding them accountable for the accuracy of financial statements. The Act...

Pet groomers would have to get a license from the state, pay fees and meet new standards under legislation introduced after a Terrier-mix allegedly was injured at a Riverside County grooming business.

This week we resume the story of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the way it has been applied in United States corporate history, specifically the case of Standard Oil. And when you're talking Standard Oil, you're talking John D. Rockefeller.

"Banning extra-large sugary sodas. Blocking fast-food restaurants in some neighborhoods. Requiring calorie counts on menus. Kicking snack foods out of public schools. Are anti-obesity campaigns crossing the line into nanny state intrusion?"

"The resolution authority provides government officials with an open checkbook to act through the troubled firm, with bondholders picking up the tab. The legislation seeks to narrow the scope of action for the FDIC in resolution by guaranteeing bondholders that they will receive as much in resolution as would have been the case under bankruptcy. Of course this still gives worrisome scope for...

"Should Congress be held accountable for the regulatory policies of the federal government? Most people would say so, and this week the House Judiciary Committee plans to vote on a bill to make Congress explicitly accountable for federal regulations. Introduced by Representative Geoff Davis (R–KY), H.R. 10, the 'Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny' (REINS) Act, would require...

"In spite of President Obama's recent championing of regulatory reform, the expansion of the federal regulatory state continues apace. Operating increasingly as a fourth branch of government, the expanding authority of executive agencies undermines accountable, constitutional government. In late August, the President hailed ... the completion of his agencies' plans to reduce regulatory burdens...

"Government seems to grow constantly bigger and ever more intrusive in our lives.

Modern history reads like a tale of interventionism run amuck. ... Before World War II, it was widely believed that government had no business interfering with the private economy in the absence of dire necessity; after the war, Americans generally assumed that government interference was the rule rather...

"The original bureaucracy of the federal government consisted only of employees from three small departments — State, Treasury, and War. The executive branch employs today almost three million people. Not only have the numbers of bureaucrats grown, but also the methods and standards for hiring and promoting people have changed dramatically."

"As we approach the bicentennial of the ratification of the Constitution, Americans face what many regard as a constitutional crisis. A resolution calling for a constitutional convention to limit the spending powers of government has been approved by thirty-one out of a required thirty-four states. Over two hundred other constitutional amendments, many of them dealing with economic issues,...

"The 2012 presidential election is likely to revolve around the economy. Barack Obama hopes for an accelerating recovery, but if one comes it won't be due to his efforts: far higher expenditures, vastly bigger debts, new and increased taxes and more expensive and intrusive regulations. His principal hope is comparing his performance with his predecessor's disastrous record of unnecessary war...

"'Net neutrality' sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now. The new rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers."

"The Senate's Food Safety Modernization Act, prematurely announced as a done deal a week ago, is stalled again — or 'doomed,' if you go by some news outlets. In any case, it's in trouble. The Senate bill contains provisions for fees that could technically be considered taxes, and any bill with taxes has to start in the House. Nobody seems to have thought of this, and the clock is ticking as this little technical error morphs into a 'potentially fatal' flaw. Part of the mystery lies in the fact that everybody seems to want our food to be safer — so much so that the bill had the support of both parties, a consensus that these days is as rare as plutonium. In any case, the chances of getting a newly empowered FDA to protect us from pestilence are slim. But would our food supply be that much safer if the act ends up passing? I don't think so. I think the bill is a poor one. Here's why:..."

In the ongoing war of ideas in American history, those who advocate government action as an engine of economic development have been encouraged by a general and all-too-human tendency to avoid thinking deeply.

"Although Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States, he is by no means unique, except for his complexion. He follows in the footsteps of other presidents with a similar vision, the vision at the heart of the Progressive movement that flourished a hundred years ago.

Many of the trends, problems and disasters of our time are a legacy of that era. We can only imagine...

"Since 1946, the regulatory process in the United States has been governed by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Often called the 'constitution of rulemaking,' the APA put into place the basic rules of the game for regulators, including a requirement to provide notice of proposed rules, an opportunity for the public to comment, the publication of final rules, and court review of...

Bandow questions whether or not most issues are worth regulating, especially since regulations almost always involve a sacrifice of personal liberty. He urges policy makers to simply say "no" to the temptation of regulation.

"We need some regulation. Even the most bombastic conservatives recognize this. So everyone also should recognize that when President Obama says the GOP favors 'dirtier air [and] dirtier water,' he is committing the fallacy of the false alternative. The political dispute is not whether to regulate, but how much."

"Nearly 18 months after passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, a landmark piece of legislation that granted new powers and authority to the FDA, the legislation is still mired in congressional debates over how to fund it. If this status update sounds familliar, it's with good reason. The FSMA found itself in a similar place six months ago and a year ago."

Therefore, regulations that improve a nation's national defense are sometimes supported by Adam Smith despite any financial harm that can result.

"The fact is that federal regulations (never mind state and local) cost even more than the skyrocketing federal budget deficit, and help bring the federal government’s share of the economy to over 35 percent."

"Government regulators from 193 countries are in Dubai to revise a wide-ranging communications treaty."

"Let's pretend that we have the political guts to expand economic opportunities for people at the lower end of the economic spectrum. What vested interests should be attacked, and what economic regulations should be targeted for elimination?"

The author points out that big industry often supports regulations to drive smaller competitors out of the market.

"Regulation has become a hot topic in recent weeks. There have been executive orders to reform them, hearings to scrutinize them and budgets to defund them. But in all these forums, one side of the balance sheet is often absent -- the fact that regulations create significant economic benefits."

"The Chicago School of economics favored and still favors the theory of 'regulatory capture.' Under this theory, an industry or some portions of an industry cultivate government to obtain laws and rules that favor the industry.

The government trades favors for what it wants. Politicians gain political contributions, side payments, and votes for being seen to control the industry. The...

"But one thing we tend to forget in this age of Reagan is the importance and virtues of a dedicated bureaucracy: when you have professional government agencies with a job to do, and treat them with respect, that job often gets done."

"Libertarians don’t want the regulations that liberals do and saying that ‘markets’ help the poor doesn’t help us resolve this issue. Fair enough. So why might libertarians, and bleeding heart ones at that, argue that markets should be free of government regulations?

The short answer, which I will assert here and defend below, is that whatever the intent behind government regulation...

Chart or Graph

"Figure 1 breaks down the regulatory cost estimate by categories: economic, environmental, tax compliance, and workplace."

"Regulatory costs now easily exceed the cost of individual income taxes and vastly exceed revenue from corporate taxes."

"Figure 1 shows the real increase in regulatory spending by full presidential term between 1960 and 2009."

"Figure 5 shows the budget for each regulatory agency per full-time employee as reported by the Office at Management and Budget (OMB)."

"Figure 6 illustrates how pages in the Federal Register have increased during national wars."

Household Budget Contains $14,768 in Regulatory “Hidden Tax.”

"Globally, more efficient regulatory processes often go hand in hand with stronger legal institutions and property rights protections."

"More people almost always say there is too much or about the right amount of regulation than say there is too little."

"... George W. Bush Administration adopted 28 major regulations in its first three years, barely a quarter of the 106 imposed by the Obama Administration during its first three years."

"Of the 2,576 pending rulemakings in the fall 2011 agenda, 133 are classified as 'economically significant.'"

"Yet another way of looking at Federal Register trends is pages per decade (see Figure 8). During the 1990s, the total number of Federal Register pages published was 622,368, whereas the total number published during the 1980s was 529,223."

At the end of 2012, the Federal Register weighed in at 78,961 pages.

Figure 2 illustrates how small firms are hardest hit by regulatory compliance costs.

"The public’s equivocation about regulation is nicely summed up by the Pew question shown below."

"As Figure 3 shows, regulatory costs now tower over the estimated 2010 individual income taxes of $936 billion (individual income tax receipts have fallen substantially in the economic downturn)."

"Figure 4 shows that U.S. regulatory costs surpass the entire 2011 gross domestic product of Mexico and Canada...."

"Figure 3 shows the real dollar increase in social and economic regulatory spending by presidential term between 1960 and 2009."

"Globally, more efficient regulatory processes often go hand in hand with stronger legal institutions and property rights protections."

"Figure 2 shows the 10 largest annual percentage increases in total real regulatory outlays in the last 50 years."

"Table 1 provides some perspective on the regulatory 'tax' by presenting summary data for selected topics described within Ten Thousand Commandments. Trends over the past few years are provided where information is available."

An overview chart of the regulatory state in the United States.

"Figure 4 shows that U.S. regulatory costs surpassed the entire 2009 gross national incomes of Mexico and Canada, which stood at $962 trillion and $1.416 trillion, respectively."

Faith in the free market is at a low in the world's biggest free-market economy.

Analysis Report White Paper

An overview of the costs and scope of the regulatory state, such as its estimated size compared with federal budgetary components and the gross national product.

"Why has government grown in so many countries during the 20th century? We present a simple model of political competition and show how different sources of the growth of government have different effects on the amount and structure of taxes, spending, and regulatory programs undertaken by the government. Those sources include: demographic shifts, more efficient taxes, more efficient spending...

"This paper investigates the design of administrative procedures when policy consequences are uncertain. In general, when deciding how much discretion to delegate, legislators must trade off informational gains from agency expertise and distributive losses from bureaucratic drift. We show that when Congress has both ex post agenda control and access to information, it will delegate a large...

From 1906 to 1911, antitrust authorities prosecuted Standard Oil, a case that culminated with John D. Rockefeller's company being forcibly broken up into several smaller businesses.

"Moves to enhance and expand regulation almost invariably follow financial disasters. Losses trigger calls for government action, especially when fraud is suspected. Not only policymakers, but also the media and the wider public see regulation as the natural remedy, perhaps because people tend to view financial debacles through the metaphor of misbehaving children in need of adult supervision...

"Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This year’s report data cover regulations measured from June 2010 through May 2011. The report rankings on ease of doing business...

An entrepreneur in the marketplace has to satisfy his customers, because they have to voluntarily give him their money in exchange for his goods or services.

"The extraordinary financial collapse of recent months has been commonly described as a testament to the failure of deregulation. The events are indeed testament to a failure—a failure of public policy. Blaming deregulation is misleading.

In general, political debates over regulation have been wrongly cast as disputes over the extent of regulation, with conservatives assumed to prefer...

"America was founded on the basis of an explicit philosophy of individual rights. The Founding Fathers held the view that government, while deriving from the consent of the governed, must be limited by the rights of the individual. The purpose of government was to maintain a framework within which individuals can pursue their own self-interest, controlled by the competitive marketplace. Until...

"The Regulatory Accountability Act (S. 1606/H.R. 3010) will grind to a halt the rulemaking process at the core of implementing the nation's public health, workplace safety, and environmental standards. This bill will not improve the federal regulatory process; it will cripple it. Rules that somehow make it through the RAA's process would tilt against the public interest and in favor of...

"Crisis and Leviathan is indeed the theme of this essay. Inspired by the scale of post-9/11 actions taken by government and the fact that this national crisis is the first to emerge since Higgs' book, we seek to do three things. First, we will describe the mood change that affected public opinion about government. If Higgs' thesis is to hold, the will of the body politic must somehow be...

In 2004 Logan, Utah, saw the opportunity to place a turbine within the city’s culinary water system. The turbine would reduce excess water pressure and would generate clean, low-cost electricity for the city’s residents. Federal funding was available, and the city qualified for a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

We analyze the financial crisis of 2007-2009 through the lens of market failures and regulatory failures. We present a case that there were four primary failures contributing to the crisis....

"An 'upstream' approach to reform would reassert congressional authority, saving jobs and lowering compliance costs."

As the title implies, this piece gives a brief overview of Friedrich Hayek's economic principles and then relates them to the regulations imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"In this chapter, I review the literature on public utilities."

"During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. This is almost four times the number—and more than five times the cost—of the major regulations issued by George W. Bush during his first three years. Hundreds more regulations are winding through the rulemaking pipeline as a consequence...

"In this report, five ex-regulators discuss their experiences and reflect on the successes and failures of the regulatory framework that followed the privatizations of the 1980s and 1990s. Regulation expert Tim Ambler concludes by discussing the future of regulation, and outlining the different paths that may be taken to reform the sector."

"This article examines whether the regulatory reforms of the Reagan presidency are likely to be retained or even extended in the 1990s or, alternatively, whether regulatory reform reached its apex under Reagan and is likely to be reversed in the next few years. Recent congress enacted very little legislation pertaining to regulation, numerous bills were introduced to undo previous reforms....

Regulations, also called administrative laws or rules, are the primary vehicles by which the federal government implements laws and agency objectives. They are specific standards or instructions concerning what individuals, businesses, and other organizations can or cannot do.

"This article will provide background on the RFA [Regulation Flexibility Act], explain the requirements of the RFA, explore the impact of judicial review on the RFA, and provide some guidance on how the RFA reduces regulatory burdens which results in cost savings for small entities."

Ten Thousand Commandments for 2010 contains four basic sections:

1. An overview of the costs and scope of the regulatory state, such as its estimated size compared with the federal budget and the gross national product (GNP).

2. An analysis of trends in the numbers of regulations issued by agencies on the basis of information provided in the Federal Register and in 'The...

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes Washington collects and its deficit spending and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.

"Economics 101 explains how and why firms generally pass along to consumers the costs of some taxes. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into the prices consumers pay. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known, because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist on scores of...

Many consumers make poor financial choices and older adults are particularly vulnerable to such errors. About half of the population between ages 80 and 89 either has dementia or a medical diagnosis of "cognitive impairment without dementia." We study lifecycle patterns in financial mistakes using a proprietary database that measures ten different types of credit behavior.

The best purpose for government is to maintain the rule of law—to preserve and defend those conditions which allow individuals and families to pursue lives of freedom and virtue.

"Like previous years, the budget requested by the president in his FY 2009 Budget of the United States to run federal regulatory agencies and its staff increased significantly. Tracking the expenditures of federal regulatory agencies and the trends in regulatory spending over time helps analysts monitor one aspect of the cost of regulations: the direct cost to regulate the economy and...

"Regulation is regarded as government’s impartial tool for checking the excesses of the free market. But what if it is government that helps create those excesses? What if it were the case that federal government accounts for fully a quarter of national income, overwhelmingly beyond that of any industry or sector Washington presumes to impartially regulate? What, then, keeps that vast...

"The U.S. administrative state has been involved in a decades-long regulatory reform project encompassing both a shift away from what have been characterized as 'command-and-control' approaches to regulation and toward approaches that are more market-oriented, managerial, participatory and self-regulatory in their orientation. Through a content analysis of the nearly 1,400 law review articles...

"The pendulum of public opinion on regulation swings back and forth, often in relation to news events that capture the public's attention, but on the whole, Americans are wary of too much regulation and believe that government intervention should protect the free-enterprise system. President Barack Obama's plan for a government-wide review of existing regulations reflects these concerns. This...

"The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which marked its twenty-fifth anniversary in September 2005, was designed to 'level the playing field' for small businesses competing against larger, more sophisticated, and more politically powerful businesses. Recognizing the importance of small businesses in the U.S. economy, Congress enacted the RFA in 1980 to ensure that federal agencies consider the...

"This paper examines one particular aspect of the 'net neutrality' proposals: 'non-discrimination' requirements relating to the provision of network quality of service (QoS) to content providers. The paper concludes that such requirements, however innocuous they may seem, actually would be detrimental to the objectives that all Americans seemingly should want...

"From the earliest times, from the very inception of organized government, rulers and their officials have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to 'control' their economies. The notion that there is a 'just' or 'fair' price for a certain commodity, a price which can and ought to be enforced by government, is apparently coterminous with civilization.

For the past forty-six...

"The triumph of the administrative state has been made possible by the emasculation of the legislative power. Washington’s problem is not merely federal spending and debt; it is the arrogance of centralized power. The time is therefore ripe for a major national discussion not only about the size of government, but also about the processes of government. Americans have a choice: to be governed...

"The REINS Act's most ardent supporters and defenders assume that the act would stem the flow of federal regulation from the nation's capital, but is this so? A more measured look at the act suggests that it could enhance regulatory accountability and popular input on major regulatory proposals. Less clear is whether the legislation would prove to be much of an obstacle to additional...

Video/Podcast/Media

This presentation discusses the connection and differences between the private, charitable giving in the early days of America and the governmental welfare regulation we have today.

"As the Internet increasingly drives global commerce and social connectedness, the debate about government's role in Internet governance and regulation intensifies. Proponents of Internet self-governance argue that market forces and self-regulation can go a long way toward ensuring order and standards of good behavior. Advocates for government intervention believe the Internet requires more...

"In this week's Heritage in Focus podcast, James Gattuso discusses the 2012 edition of Red Tape Rising, The Heritage Foundation's report on government regulation."

"On December 2, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 3010) which would amend the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and create new federal rulemaking requirements. How might this legislation affect the rulemaking requirements of existing executive orders and more broadly the federal rulemaking process? On this previously recorded conference...

"The environmental agenda has been infected by extremism—it's become an economic suicide pact. And we're here to challenge it."

This video looks at the potential threats the country faces from cyber warfare and terrorism. According to the panelists, these threats are dealt with better through the private sector rather than through the government regulatory system.

"Lots of books examine the military history of World War II. In this new book, Burt Folsom and Anita Folsom, authors of New Deal or Raw Deal?, look at some of the domestic aspects of the war. Taxes and spending soared — along with government propaganda for taxes — laying the groundwork for a permanently larger government. History books tell us the war ended the Depression. But the...

"Government regulations have the power to spur innovation or inhibit economic growth, says Michael Greenstone, director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings. The key, he says, is to find the right balance between the costs of regulation to business and the benefits to the public in health, safety and security. Moreover, Greenstone recommends more rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of...

"The Moritz Federalist Society is proud to host Author Tim Carney as he debates Professor Peter Swire on the topic of 'Are Government Regulations or Free Markets the Better Solution to America's Energy and Environmental Problems?' as part of the John Templeton Foundation's The Rule of Law and Wealth Creation debate series."

Parts...

"Former BB&T Chairman and CEO John A. Allison discusses how mandates like Sarbanes Oxley and the Patriot Act helped cause the housing meltdown and financial crisis. He spoke at the Cato Institute's 29th Annual Monetary Conference held November 16th, 2011."

Milton Friedman explains why the FDA--and government regulations in general--are unnecessary regulations that don't necessarily increase safety but definitely increase consumer costs.

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has set forth an individual mandate that requires all Americans to have health insurance. The justification for the law rests on the idea developed since the New Deal in the 1930s that any economic activity an individual engages in could impact the national economy and therefore can be regulated by the Federal Government based on its...

"Prof. Lynne Kiesling discusses the history of regulating electricity monopolies in America."

"Before considering government regulation of monopolies, Prof. Lynne Kiesling encourages us to think about the regulation that markets naturally provide. In any market, in the absence of government interference, each business is constrained by the following:

1)Consumer demand
2)The availability of substitutes
3)The entry, or threat of entry, of new firms

Historically...

"A cartoon adaptation of F.A. Hayek's classic treatise on the dangers of government intervention into the economy."

"Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute for Individual Rights sees a troubling pattern of expanding government that causes great injury to individual rights and the ability of our economy to produce products and services that people want. In addition, the damage done by the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory schemes has caused immeasurable damage to America and its markets. Companies are...

Primary Document

"In accordance with the Regulatory-Right-to-Know Act, ... the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) prepared this draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations (Report). This is the fourteenth annual Report since OMB began issuing this Report in 1997. The Report summarizes estimates by Federal regulatory agencies of the quantified and monetized benefits and costs of...

James J. Hill was a great businessman and amassed the immense fortune typical for an early 20th century robber baron. As the title suggests, this book compiles his many speeches.

Adopted after the Roosevelt era, the APA broadly establishes how federal administrative agencies may propose and oversee regulations.

The Act established the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which regulated the following commodities: wheat, cotton, field corn, hogs, rice, tobacco, and milk.

This economic classic is noted for providing us with terms for and expositions of such key economic ideas as the division of labor, "invisible hand," self-interest as a beneficial force, and freedom of trade.

"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and fellow Americans: Tonight we meet at an urgent time for our country. We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless and a political crisis that's made things worse.

This past week, reporters have been asking, 'What will this speech mean for the President? What will it mean for Congress?...

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight more than two centuries later, it's because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our Union is strong.

"So I just want to, first of all, thank all of you for participating. Today was the first discussion in this effort, but it was not the last. In the coming days and weeks, we'll be convening a series of meetings with senior administration officials here at the White House to further explore some of the key issues that were raised today and to bring more voices into the conversation."

"Good afternoon, everybody. Before I take your questions, I want to update the American people on the status of the BP oil spill, a catastrophe that is causing tremendous hardship in the Gulf Coast, damaging a precious ecosystem, and one that led to the death of 11 workers who lost their lives in the initial explosion."

"Years without accountability for Wall Street and big banks brought us the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the loss of 8 million jobs, failed businesses, a drop in housing prices, and wiped out personal savings.

The failures that led to this crisis require bold action. We must restore responsibility and accountability in our financial system to give Americans...

"The main issue in present-day social and political conflicts is whether or not man should give away freedom, private initiative, and individual responsibility and surrender to the guardianship of a gigantic apparatus of compulsion and coercion, the socialist state. Should authoritarian totalitarianism be substituted for individualism and democracy? Should the citizen be transformed into a...

"No American coming to Philadelphia on this anniversary could escape being thrilled at the thought of what this commemoration means. It brings to mind events, which in the course of the century and a half that has passed since the day we are celebrating, have changed the course of human history. Then was formed the ideal of the American nation. Two years later this was put into practical...

"For almost a century and a half the Fourth of July has been marked as Independence Day. It has been given over to the contemplation of those principles and those institutions which America peculiarly represents. In times gone by the exuberance of youth and the consciousness of power recently gained has often made it an occasion for boastfulness. Long orations have been made, which consisted...

"In reporting to the Congress the state of the Union, I find it impossible to characterize it other than one of general peace and prosperity. In some quarters our diplomacy is vexed with difficult and as yet unsolved problems, but nowhere are we met with armed conflict. If some occupations and areas are not flourishing, in none does there remain any acute chronic depression. What the country...

"George Reisman was a student of Mises's, a translator of his work, and, as he demonstrates in this outstanding treatise, a leading theorist in the Misesian tradition. This mammoth exposition deals with the method and theory of economics, and particularly excels in its application to matters of policy. Its sections on price controls, money, banking, and environmentalism apply Misesian theory...

Augustine's response argued that the "City of God" was not an earthly kingdom to be achieved through Roman power. While Christians have a responsibility to the City of Man, he argued, it cannot achieve perfection. Consequently, he argued for a strongly Christian culture, but full realization of the limits of what can be accomplished with temporal power.

Passed in an effort to continue where its predecessor, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, had left off, the Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914 formally allowed unions to exist. It finally removed unions from the list of forbidden combinations allowable in industry. It also legalized the use of peaceful strikes, picketing, and boycotts.

Updated in May of 2010, this document contains the full text of the health care law popularly known as Obamacare and signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama.

In this piece, Alexander Hamilton discusses the concept of trade regulation. Hamilton argues that the power to regulate trade should be held by Congress and the federal government. This treatise was written before the Constitution was adopted as the supreme law of the land, so it provides some historical insight into the arguments used by supporters of a federal...

Tocqueville's famous analysis of the American economic and political system, as he observed during his travels of the country in the 1830s.

"I here present the public with a new performance. Some parts of it are more particularly adapted to the state of Pennsylvania, on the present state of its affairs: but there are others which are on a larger scale. The time bestowed on this work has not been long, the whole of it being written and printed during the short recess of the assembly."

"This is comprehensive legislation to overhaul regulations in the financial sector. It would establish a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to regulate products like home mortgages, car loans and credit cards, give the Treasury Department new authority to place non-bank financial firms, like insurance companies into receivership, regulate the over-the-counter...

"Economic Freedom and Interventionism is both a primer of the fundamental thought of Ludwig von Mises and an anthology of the writings of perhaps the best-known exponent of what is now known as the Austrian School of economics. This volume contains forty-seven articles edited by Mises scholar Bettina Bien Greaves. Among them are Mises’s expositions of the role of government, his discussion of...

Henry Hazlitt's classic primer outlines a straightforward and accessible portrayal of free-market economics. An unshackled market, Hazlitt says, is the only path to "full production".

"Vol. 5 of the 33 vol. Collected Works contains a number of Mill’s essays on economic topics, including the Chapters on Socialism."

"AN ACT To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply."

"I address you, the Members of the Seventy-seventh Congress, at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union. I use the word 'unprecedented,' because at no previous time has American security been as seriously threatened from without as it is today."

"This Nation in the past two years has become an active partner in the world's greatest war against human slavery.

We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule.

But I do not think that any of us Americans can be content with mere survival. Sacrifices that we and our allies are making impose upon...

At the start of his term, President Obama calls for strong banking regulation to counter the financial crisis.

"As you know, excessive regulation and red tape have imposed an enormous burden on our economy -- a hidden tax on the average American household in the form of higher prices for goods and services. Just as Americans have the right to expect their government to spend tax dollars wisely, they have the right to expect cost-effective and minimally burdensome regulation. Although the Congress has...

"We must work together to give small businesses an environment in which they can thrive. Small businesses are disproportionately affected by Government regulations and paperwork, and I am committed to reducing this burden. We should regulate only where there is a real need, fully justified through rigorous cost-benefit analysis and clear legal authority. And when Government must regulate, it...

"Every administration--at least in my 20-some years in Washington--faces an agenda of very pressing issues, calling in each instance for immediate action.

In 1975 these issues are: number one, America's role in the world; number two, the reestablishment of our economic health; and number three, the creation of a new and long-range policy on energy."

Gibbons v. Ogden is considered a landmark supreme court case on the issue of the Interstate Commerce Clause. Aaron Ogden was given an exclusive license to operate a shipping business within the State of New York. He sued a man named Thomas Gibbons, who ran a competing shipping business between New Jersey and New York City, claiming that Gibbon's operations in the...

"Subsequently the purchasing of Good Food is a vital component to providing the nutritional needs of all children in the LAUSD."

In this paper, I want to outline the principles underlying the modern theory of regulation.

In this message, President Grover Cleveland addresses the issue of trusts and monopolies often related to the Robber Barons.

House Proposal "To provide that no agency may take any significant regulatory action until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 6.0 percent."

"When the invitation was extended to me by the committee of the Gridiron Club, one of its members stated that the club intended to make a strong effort to shorten and sharpen its program. There was then silence. Feeling that something was required to restore the conversation and not being entirely insensible to such subtle approach, I responded with an assurance that I would do my part in...

"Approved on February 4, 1887, the Interstate Commerce Act created an Interstate Commerce Commission to oversee the conduct of the railroad industry. With this act, the railroads became the first industry subject to Federal regulation."

Jefferson argues against the creation of a national bank on the grounds that it is not one of the delegated powers given to Congress under the Constitution.

"I am today announcing a program of major reforms in the regulatory process, including both legislative and executive action. This program will make new regulations more efficient and effective; ensure reviews of existing regulatory laws and individual rules to eliminate or revise those that are outmoded; and reduce the burden of regulation and paperwork without jeopardizing our progress...

"Two days ago, I was favored with your polite and elegant letter of January 22d. I have received so many of your letters, within a few months, containing such important matters, in so masterly a style, that I am ashamed to confess that I have answered but one of them, and that only with a few lines. I beg you would not impute this omission to inattention, negligence, or want of regard, but to...

"It is well to remind ourselves from time to time of the benefits we derive from the maintenance of a free market system. The system rests on freedom of consumer choice, the profit motive, and vigorous competition for the buyer's dollar. By relying on these spontaneous economic forces, we secure these benefits:

(a) Our system tends automatically to produce the kinds of goods that...

Man, Economy and the State provides a sweeping presentation of Austrian economic theory, a reconstruction of many aspects of that theory, a rigorous criticism of alternative schools, and an inspiring look at a science of liberty that concerns nearly everything and should concern everyone.

The U.S. Supreme Court's highly anticipated decision which upheld the Affordable Care Act.

The National Industrial Recovery Act of June 16, 1933 was a forerunner of the Wagner Act. Signed by President Franklin Roosevelt, the Act was implemented by the National Recovery Administration and the Public Works Administration until it was ruled unconstitutional, in part, in May of 1935.

"To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and for other purposes."

John Stuart Mill was a British political philosopher and politician. In this classic essay, he argues that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.... Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

"Nock was a prominent essayist at the height of the New Deal. In 1935, hardly any public intellectuals were making much sense at all. They pushed socialism. They pushed fascism. Everyone had a plan. Hardly anyone considered the possibility that the state was not fixing society but destroying it bit by bit."

"The purpose of this Act is to increase accountability for and transparency in the federal regulatory process. Section 1 of article I of the United States Constitution grants all legislative powers to Congress. Over time, Congress has excessively delegated its constitutional charge while failing to conduct appropriate oversight and retain accountability for the content of the laws it passes....

"To reform the process by which Federal agencies analyze and formulate new regulations and guidance documents."

"It is the purpose of this Act [enacting this chapter and provisions set out as notes under this section] to establish as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to...

"The form of Potomac fever currently reaching epidemic proportions in Washington is a deregulation bug. The President, Congress and even some of the regulatory agencies are vying to develop new regulatory programs for decreasing regulation."

"Our country depends on a strong, efficient and flexible financial system to promote sound economic growth, including the provision of adequate funds for housing. Such a system is one which allows financial institutions to adapt to the changing needs of borrowers and lenders, large and small, and is free to make full use of technological innovations."

"Only a month ago I was your guest in this historic building, and I pledged to you my cooperation in doing what is right for this Nation that we all love so much. I'm here tonight to reaffirm that pledge and to ask that we share in restoring the promise that is offered to every citizen by this, the last, best hope of man on Earth."

"An essential part of this administration's program for economic recovery is revising or eliminating Federal regulations that place needless burdens on people, businesses, and State and local governments. As we strive to control taxing and spending, we must also cut back government regulations that are anticompetitive, excessively stringent, or just plain unnecessary.

Federal...

According to the opening lines of this document, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was intended to be "An Act To protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant...

"But make no mistake: The flaws in our financial system and regulatory framework that allowed this crisis to occur, and in many ways helped cause it, are still in place. We may disagree over details of how to best fix those flaws, but that cannot mean we do not act. We simply cannot walk away from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and not do everything in our power to...

"The Sherman Act authorized the Federal Government to institute proceedings against trusts in order to dissolve them. Any combination 'in the form of trust or otherwise that was in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations' was declared illegal. Persons forming such combinations were subject to fines of $5,000 and a year in jail. Individuals and companies...

"I HAVE so little concern in paying or receiving of 'interest,' that were I in no more danger to be misled by inability and ignorance, than I am to be biassed by interest and inclination, I might hope to give you a very perfect and clear account of the consequences of a law to reduce interest to 4 per cent. But since you are pleased to ask my opinion, I shall endeavour fairly to state this...

"The Regulatory Accountability Act would be the first major revision of the APA’s core regulatory procedures. It is a response to the dramatic growth of regulation and unusual number of controversial regulatory proceedings of recent years."

Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica. Although unfinished, it provided a foundation for many religious and secular institutions and proved very influential throughout the Middle Ages.

This portion of the Summa Theologica contains the "Treatise on Prudence and Justice."

"The people of this country continue to enjoy great prosperity. Undoubtedly there will be ebb and flow in such prosperity, and this ebb and flow will be felt more or less by all members of the community, both by the deserving and the undeserving."

An Act to Improve the Navigability and to Provide for the Flood Control of the Tennessee River: To Provide for Reforestation and the Proper Use of Marginal Lands in the Tennessee Valley; to Provide for the Agricultural and Industrial Development of Said Valley; to Provide for the National Defense by the Creation of a Corporation for the Operation of Government Properties at and Near Muscle...

"Since 1937, NSBA [National Small Business Association] has advocated on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. Reaching more than 150,000 small-business owners nationwide, NSBA serves as an umbrella group to myriad regional, state and local small-business associations and Chambers of Commerce and is proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization.

Although NSBA’s...

"The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan is a twenty-volume series published by Liberty Fund that includes ten monographs and all of the important journal articles, papers, and essays that Buchanan has produced in a distinguished career spanning more than half a century."

"In the progress of politics, as in the common occurrences of life, we are not only apt to forget the ground we have travelled over, but frequently neglect to gather up experience as we go. We expend, if I may so say, the knowledge of every day on the circumstances that produce it, and journey on in search of new matter and new refinements: but as it is pleasant and sometimes useful to look...

"In response to Hamilton's Full Vindication, the Rev. Samuel Seabury blasted back in the New York press on January 5, 1775. The 'Westchester Farmer's' A View of the Controversy between Great-Britain and her Colonies . . . (London, 1775) mocked his adversary's facile invocations of 'natural rights of mankind,' declaring that 'Man in the state of nature may be considered as perfectly...

"The author of the Notes on the State of Virginia, quoted in the last paper, has subjoined to that valuable work the draught of a constitution, which had been prepared in order to be laid before a convention, expected to be called in 1783, by the legislature, for the establishment of a constitution for that commonwealth. The plan, like every thing from the same pen, marks a turn of thinking,...

"HAVING examined the constitution of the House of Representatives, and answered such of the objections against it as seemed to merit notice, I enter next on the examination of the Senate. The heads into which this member of the government may be considered are: I. The qualification of senators; II. The appointment of them by the State legislatures; III. The equality of representation in the...

"The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia is designed to be a complete classified arrangement of the Writings of Thomas Jefferson on Government, Politics, Law, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, Manufactures, Navigation, Finance, Morals, Religious Freedom, and many other topics of permanent human interest. It contains everything of importance that Jefferson wrote on these subjects."

The Law, written by Frédéric Bastiat in 1850, was famously influenced by John Locke's Second Treatise of Government and went on to inspire Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson.

Aristotle, one of the best known Western philosophers, concluded his work on ethics with the statement that he intended to look into "the whole question of the management of a state." The Politics was his effort to do so. He examines the origin and purpose of government, and then discusses Plato's The Republic and other proposed and existing forms of government.

This volume, written in dialogue format, is the original work of political idealism by one of the best-known Western philosophers.

"In essence, the RFA asks agencies to be aware of the economic structure of the entities they regulate and the effect their regulations may have on small entities. It requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of proposed regulations when there is likely to be a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and to consider regulatory alternatives that will...

Thomas Paine drafted this pamphlet in response to Edmund Burke's criticisms of the French Revolution.

Montesquieu was a significant advocate of separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and his discussion of law contributed significantly to the concept of rule of law.

The Constitution of the United States established the federal governmental system currently in place with three branches of government. The premise of executive privilege developed from the separation of powers clause.

The works of John Adams.

"I wrote you a letter yesterday, of which you will be free to make what use you please. This will contain matters not intended for the public eye. I see, as you do, and with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of all the rights reserved to the States, and the consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign...

"In Butler, the Court struck down the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which taxed processors in order to pay farmers to reduce production. Although invalidating the statute, the Court adopted the Hamiltonian view (almost in passing) that the General Welfare Clause is a separate grant of congressional authority, linked to and qualified by the spending power...

After President Cleavland ordered the federal government to sue the Knight Company under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to break up the Company's perceived sugar monopoly, the Supreme Court argued that actions against the Company would have to be taken by the individual states. In other words, the Court hesitated to grant the federal government such broad power and, in effect, somewhat limited the...

"The Obama Administration today unveiled a 'Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights' as part of a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers' privacy protections and ensure that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth. The blueprint will guide efforts to give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet and to help businesses maintain...

This Supreme Court case is regarded as the case that threw open the doors of federal government regulation. Whenever the constitutional authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce is brought up, legal scholars and analysts point to this case, which gives Congress the authority to regulate almost anything it wants to regulate.

...

"I withheld from my annual message a discussion of needed legislation under the authority which Congress has to regulate commerce between the States and with foreign countries and said that I would bring this subject-matter to your attention later in the session. Accordingly, I beg to submit to you certain recommendations as to the amendments to the interstate-commerce law and certain...

"In my report 'on the state of the Union,' which I had the privilege of reading to you on the 2d of December last, I ventured to reserve for discussion at a later date the subject of additional legislation regarding the very difficult and intricate matter of trusts and monopolies."

"It is through this prism—how do we craft policies to promote greater private investment in our nation's telecommunications infrastructure—that I view all of our decisions at the FCC, including Net Neutrality. With that perspective, I believe that Net Neutrality was both the wrong policy and the wrong priority. This action also exceeded our statutory authority—establishing a national policy is...

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Education history in America is important to know. ITO traces how education has changed from the colonial period to present day America.
At Intellectual Takeout, we think it's about time freedom went viral. Before our generation is the opportunity to embrace freedom, to unleash each individual's potential, and to have a prosperous future. And yet it seems that almost everyone running our cities, states, and federal government is intent on destroying freedom and burying us in debt to pay for it. If you, like us, believe that...
In the genre of documentaries revealing the problems with public education, "Kids Aren't Cars" focuses on helping us understand how schools are modeled after a factory system and what we need to do to change them. Understandably, treating kids as if they are a product to be manufactured has had detrimental effects on children going through the system and the overall level of education in America...
"Many parents and taxpayers feel helpless because the problems can seem so monumental. 'Kids Aren't Cars' director Kyle Olson reviews what he learned in the filmmaking process and the small things individuals can do that will add up to make a big difference." Here's Kyle being interviewed on a few things you can do and share with friends, family, and educators: Part 1Part 2
We all know Facebook is awesome for keeping up with friends, sharing about your life, and even distributing ideas. One great new way to get people thinking is to take advantage of the new banner profile with the help of Intellectual Takeout. Here's what one of our banners looks like loaded up on a Facebook profile: If you haven't changed your banner profile, than Facebook is likely ...
Tired of business getting a bum rap? We are, too. Here's your chance to share on Facebook the good news that business is good, beautiful, and makes life better.
While many documentaries on the education system focus on various examples of failure, "Flunked" takes a bit different tack. While certainly acknowledging and exposing the failures of the system, "Flunked" also seeks out individuals and approaches that ARE working in education. The hope is that these points of hope may serve as examples for others working in education.  Here's the trailer:...
Okay, so your friends and family keep telling you to jump on the social media bandwagon, but you have no idea what the fuzz is about. Here’s the deal: The Internet gives liberty-loving folk like us an opportunity we have never had before: to make the case for individual liberty, limited government and free market economics instantly and globally. But with the vast amounts of information...

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Looking for an internship? If so, Intellectual Takeout has an opportunity for you. We have plenty of work to do as well as ideas to spread, and we need your help to get it done. If you're interested in an internship with Intellectual Takeout, you likely share our passion and you're excited about the possibility of working for a great cause. That said, you might have a few questions about what "...
The Association of American Educators (AAE) advances the teaching profession through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting excellence in education so that our members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.
Are you concerned your child isn't getting the education necessary to compete in the global economy or even, perhaps, to carry on the lessons and learning of Western Civilization? If so, you have a number of choices. You could, of course, consider changing schools to a charter school, private school, or even homeschooling. If that's overwhelming for you right now, you can always supplement your...
Curiously, not a few individuals are realizing that their education (K-12 and even college) neglected to provide them with as much understanding of the world as they would like. At Intellectual Takeout, we believe that however you feel about your education, there is still much to be learned. To that end, we'd like to refer you to one book and a collection of "study guides" that serve as...
Sure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s). Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private...
Know your rights with Flex Your Rights guide to the "10 Rules for Dealing with Police."
In a highly regulated society such as ours, it's very easy to get yourself in trouble with the law. Learn more about how to protect yourself with the 5th Amendment and how to interact with the police.
Let's face it, most of us love to watch TV and movies. A wonderful way to spread ideas is to embrace our love of the cinema by hosting a movie night with friends and family.  There are numerous documentaries that do a fantastic job of sharing the ideas of liberty. You can pull a small group of friends together at your house or even consider asking a local restaurant or tavern to let you...
Watch "Waiting for Superman" to learn about the problems with the public education system.
Another movie that tells the story of the failing public school model in the United States is “The Lottery”. It takes its own unique look at the systems by focusing on the use of lotteries to choose which children will be plucked from failing public schools and put into more successful public charter schools. Here’s the trailer:  You can watch the whole movie right now with the help of Hulu...
While there are a variety of really good documentaries about the failing public school systems in America, "The Cartel" stands alone in its frontal assault on the teacher unions, particularly those in New Jersey. If you'd like to get an inside look into how some teacher unions operate and the effects they have on education, you'll want to watch "The Cartel."From the movie's website: "This movie...
How often do you hear conservatives being called a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals? Here's the reality: Conservatism, classical liberalism, and libertarianism have a rich, intellectual heritage reaching back many millennia. Our ideas are not just some historical relics from bygone eras; they are the very foundation of Western Civilization in general, amd the United States in particular....
Sadly (or happily for some), life goes on after college. So does the fight for freedom. Building friendships, networking, and growing the movement is critical after college. If our ideas are to be preserved and promoted, you need to stay involved. Plus, in a time when the individual seems to be ever more isolated and adrift, these groups can help plug you into social networks you can use....
Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV. If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you...
A great way to make a difference on your campus by spreading the ideas of individual rights, limited government, and free markets is to tutor. Plus, you can occasionally make a little bit of money. Depending on the subject matter, you will be discussing a variety of ideas, key thinkers, and theories. As anyone who has tutored knows, there are almost always opportunities to expand upon a topic....

On Campus

We've built Intellectual Takeout to provide you with quick, easy access to information. In time, we hope to become your one-stop-shop for the ideas of freedom. If your professor allows you to bring your laptop to class (if not, you can use an iPhone), we recommend keeping a tab open to Intellectual Takeout. As we continue to generate new content on the site, you will be able to fact check the...
When it comes to campus life injustices, student fees rank high on any list. On most campuses across the country a mandatory student fee is assessed to each student at the beginning of the year. A portion of this fee, which may be several hundred dollars, will go toward funding various political, religious, and interest groups.  A college requiring you to support groups espousing ideas which...
If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved. Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join. Below is a list of some of the larger non-...
Now that you're at college and the initial excitement has worn off, maybe you're thinking that the course selection is a bit biased and you'd like some options. So how do you (the consumer) get the college (the business) to change up its offerings? It certainly won't be easy. Nevertheless it's something that should be done--particularly since you're footing the bill. A good, education in a free...
Whatever activism you choose to do on campus, you need to get your story out. A popular tactic used by the Left is to isolate and intimidate freedom-loving students. You're not alone and there are a lot of people in your city, state, and country that can probably support your efforts. They just need to know what is happening. Whenever you can, record in-class bias, discrimination against...
The reality is that most students (and people for that matter) won't speak out. It's called human nature and it was recognized in the Declaration of Independence: "...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." While you might feel alone when debating a teacher,...
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, speech codes are a particularly odious example of politically correct repression on many a college campus. In some ways, college campuses are the least free places for thinking and speech in America. Your best friend for fighting your school's repressive speech codes is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Here's a short clip...
Running for office isn't easy, even in college. Not everyone is cut out for it, either. For those of you who are, this completely non-partisan section is for you. If you are inclined to pursue student government, we're not going to spend time on telling you how to get elected. A good place to go for ideas and training is CampusReform.org. Rather, we want to help you in office, as a believer in...

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