Why isn’t the economy growing like it should? America is strangling in red tape.

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The United States is supposed to be the place where entrepreneurs can flourish. It’s supposed to be a place where if one has a dream, is willing to hustle, and meets the needs of the market, one can grow a business. This is the “land of opportunity.” Carve something out of the earth. Build something to the sky. Grow. Work. Create. Fail. Try again. Succeed. America.

At least this was what I was raised to believe America was. Now however regulation, lawyers, endless rules, government created liability, and the near constant presence of crony capitalists in almost every industry severely challenge this notion.

It takes forever to start a business. Heck, in many places one can’t even set up a lemonade stand without incurring the wrath of local regulators.

(From The Wall Street Journal)

Why is it getting harder to do business in America? Part of the answer is excessively complex legislation. A prime example is the 848-page Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of July 2010 (otherwise known as the Dodd-Frank Act), which, among other things, required that regulators create 243 rules, conduct 67 studies and issue 22 periodic reports. Comparable in its complexity is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (906 pages), which is also in the process of spawning thousands of pages of regulation. You don’t have to be opposed to tighter financial regulation or universal health care to recognize that something is wrong with laws so elaborate that almost no one affected has the time or the will to read them.

Who benefits from the growth of complex and cumbersome regulation? The answer is: lawyers, not forgetting lobbyists and compliance departments. For complexity is not the friend of the little man. It is the friend of the deep pocket. It is the friend of cronyism.

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