Job creation

Regulations Kill Jobs?

In this morning’s Washington Post, writers Phil Rucker and David Hilzenrath write of Rep. Darrell Issa’s plan to hold hearings on what regulations can be eliminated in the name of savings jobs.

Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and his supporters in the business community had remarkable message discipline. At least 13 times in the article were either quotes or attributions that included the word ‘”jobs” and how regulations are hurting the creation of them.

[House Republicans] are taking guidance from industry groups that say the rules threaten jobs.

…Issa asked industry groups to identify regulations that "have negatively impacted job growth."

…He said the probe is "a starting point for the broader discussion that will unfold about the regulatory barriers to job creation.

Thirteen times. You get the picture: Regulations reduce the number of jobs.

Except the writers place this sentence in the middle of the nearly 1,600-word story.

[M]any of the industry groups broadly said that government regulations would cost jobs but did not back up their claims with evidence.

How many times should reporters allow the purveyors of a point of view for which they offer no evidence that said view is true before said reporters refuse to be stenographers at a fantasy convention?

Maybe the claim by Republicans is true.  Then where is the evidence?

I went looking, of course, via Google. I entered the search term: do regulations hurt job creation [no quotes]. By page 17 in the results I had found no article that made the case that the GOP assertion was false. In fact, most of the results were the same article about Obama calling for relaxing some regulations or GOPers making their claim if not their case. Yet, I didn’t find a clear explanation of how regulations hurt job creation.

I then searched the same term with quotes around it. No results? No where in the entire World Wide Web has someone asked that question!

I then put in the term “regulations don’t hurt job creation” [with quotes].  No results. No one has made that claim.

Sure, people will argue, rightfully, that regulations often cost businesses. And we can all tell stories of how silly regulations waste time and don’t really stop much bad from happening. But costing  businesses money doesn’t mean it costs jobs. How do we know that the money or time saved would result in more jobs? What business would like us all to believe is that with the money they’d save they will invest it by hiring more people. But that it not a proven conclusion. It taint an ipso facto. The money saved could go to shareholders in higher dividends or to senior executives in higher pay.

Is the GOP claim true that regulations hurt job creation?   There appears no evidence easily found.

Maybe Messrs. Rucker and Hilzenrath could, you know, do a little reporting and find out.