Molly Conklin

Recent Work

Reforming the 4,000 Pound Gorilla

June 17, 1998

Americans spend approximately $710 billion to finance federal regulatory agencies and to comply with regulations. Passing regulations is an attractive method that makes legislators appear to be doing the public’s business. Policy-makers portray concern for various environmental, economic or social problems by handing off the authority to regulatory agencies, thus receiving two for the price of one. They give the appearance of addressing a problem without seeming to raise taxes. Such slight of hand policy-making has proven neither beneficial nor cost effective for government, businesses or citizens. Regulation was meant to reduce uncertainty, illegal activities and to help consumers and citizens make informed decisions. The result was supposed to save money and resources. In reality, the regulatory behemoth has proven to be expensive and comes nowhere near accomplishing the goals for which it was intended. Instead the regulatory beast serves to make life more difficult and the costs of its upkeep threaten the economic and social stability of the United States.