The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

There’s A Price To Pay For Regulation

On June 24th, 2013, posted in: Uncategorized by

I went all warm & fuzzy on you last week because of the whole Father’s Day thing. Well, this week I’m back to being my usual acerbic self. Stuff bothers me from time to time (read most days) and I just have to talk it out.

In the past, I’ve used this forum as a means by which to vent on the over-regulation in society. It’s pervasive and gaining ground. My argument has remained consistent throughout: regulation usually equates to cost, which in turn, almost always ends up in the price of a product – which means that you and I pay for it. Those costs adversely affect our overall standard of living, i.e. It’s a takeaway. Now, I’m fussy.

There’s a guy out there named Clyde Wayne Crews. Never heard of him, have you? Clyde is invaluable to American society, although he seldom gets any love. See, Clyde is the guy who surveys and monitors just how much regulation is making its way into our world. Through the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Clyde – and who knows how many others – works diligently to monitor regulation in our lives. The amount of minutia heaped on us in the form of regulation is huge. So give a “big ups” to Clyde and the boys at the Institute for paying attention. Whatever the political slant, too much is too much.

Here’s what Clyde tells us. The 2012 Federal Register (the Bible of regulation) has 78,961 pages. That’s up 34,149 pages since 1986, and 76,341 pages since 1936. Yes, since 1936 more regulation is needed. After all, our economy is now 12 times larger. Unfortunately, the regulation (in the same period of time) has grown by a factor of 30. In the hotdog race to crazy, the score is Economy 12 and Regulation 30. Ouch!

Are you sitting down? Through multiple administrations since 1993, whether Democrat or Republican, there are 81,883 new rules for us to live by that have been set for us by 63 federal departments, agencies and commissions. And speaking of hotdog races, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hasn’t even gotten out of the starting blocks yet!

There appears to be no end in sight. As you are reading this document, there are 4,062 new regulations at various stages of implementation. A mere 224 of them have some economic impact. The rest of them just make us say dirty words and want to buy an island somewhere.

Want to know what regulation does in the business world? It doesn’t force us to act as much as it imposes itself on one’s actions; it doesn’t destroy, it prevents new ideas; it hinders, compromises and douses the flames of innovation; and most sadly, it forces us to figure out how much it costs and then pass it on to you the consumer.

Sure there are some regulations that are needed. But, be honest; there have to be some that can be eliminated. In the world of credit unions, I can think of a bushel basket full. Just think, if some of the regulations went away, we could pay more on your savings account, or maybe reduce fees. Which helps you more? That’s my point.

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