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Is a “negative” solution to job creation necessarily a bad one?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - August 10, 2011.
Filed under: Economy,Entrepreneurs,Real Reform

Sunday night at a mixer, I engaged in a somewhat disturbing conversation with a gay former Republican.  As we talked about the debt crisis and he heard my recommendations for drastic cuts, he feared what those cuts would mean for the economy and job creation.  I explained that reduction in regulations and federal fees would stimulate growth.

I pointed to the shuttered storefronts in and around West Hollywood, saying that regulation and taxation (at the federal, state and municipal level) had made it more difficult for those entrepreneurs to stay in business during the economic downturn, even suggesting that those very regulations has caused the downturn.

In order to stimulate growth, I said, we needed to cut back on regulations, making it easier for new entrepreneurs to set up shop and for existing ones to expand.  He countered that small businesses wouldn’t make a dent in the overall employment numbers.  I reminded him what the president said, that “Small businesses produce most of the new jobs in this country.

He groused that my plan was “negative” as I thought the government should do less.  What I found troubling was how this man had evolved from a Republican to a statist, believing that in times of economic distress, the government must do something to fix the crisis.  And that he dismissed anything short of increased state intervention as “negative” response to the problem.

But, as Timothy P. Carney pointed out earlier this week, the best thing government do to create jobs is to get out of the way and remove the burdens to bringing on new employees.  “According to the Small Business Administration,” Iain Murray writes

. . . federal rules and regulations — from the Fair Labor Standards Act to the Polygraph Protection Act — cost small businesses $10,000 annually per employee in compliance costs. To put that in perspective: That would take a company with 10 employees from making a $100,000 profit to just breaking even.

Take away those rules and regulations and that firm could use those profits to hire another employee and reinvest the rest in the business (in raises or new office space, for example). With the bureaucracy in place, however, you might consider letting someone go in the current business environment.

Via Instapundit.  So, maybe our approach is indeed a negative one, at least from the perspective of state action.  But, that check on government would provide a stimulative effect on small business.



  1. Hi Dan,
    Out of curiosity, why do you think that deregulation will make up for the impact of a roughly 6% drop in government spending (as a % of GDP) that you previously advocated for in an earlier post? In the long run, getting rid of excessive regulation will help on the supply side (increasing LR supply schedule for the economy), increasing productive capacity. But, this will take time as demand for products falls pretty much immediately, so, I am not at all as convinced as you are that such measures as you suggest will lead to positive employment growth, any time soon. In the long run, I can see it; in the short run, I don’t.

    Comment by Cas — August 10, 2011 @ 6:18 pm - August 10, 2011

  2. Supply and demand will work hand in hand. You supply more labor and more jobs. More workers means more income. Income will be spent creating more demand.

    In short run, deregulation will create new businesses from investors who are sitting on the sidelines. Steve Wynn said so himself that he isn’t spending anything due to the adverse business climate and due to the uncertain economic outlook. This cloud can be quickly lifted if Obama tells his administration and regulatory agencies to stand down on their job killing policies. He must propose budget cuts and lower taxes. But Obama don’t have such a plan. Pity.

    Comment by anon23532 — August 10, 2011 @ 6:50 pm - August 10, 2011

  3. he feared what those cuts would mean for the economy and job creation.

    Too late! The cuts have to be made. The aim of policy should be to set us up for a dynamic recovery.

    I explained that reduction in regulations and federal fees would stimulate growth.

    Exactly. The question shouldn’t be, how do we avoid a recession. That is, so to speak, negative thinking. The question should be, how do we set ourselves up for a great recovery? Only freedom, i.e. reductions in government, can do that.

    Obama has failed on his recovery, for the simple reason that he has grown government enormously, and that sucks the life out of the economy, like a cancer.

    He groused that my plan was “negative” as I thought the government should do less.

    Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.

    Your friend is negative – because he doesn’t believe in the capabilities of the American people, when they are unleashed from dependency on (and quasi-fascist control by) government.

    why do you think that deregulation will make up for the impact of a roughly 6% drop in government spending

    Regulation is a hidden tax of $1.75 trillion a year:

    On a $14 trillion GDP, that’s about a 12% tax. You wouldn’t even need to get rid of all regulation; just about half of it.

    demand for products falls pretty much immediately

    So the government spends all its money each year, in just one day? Golly, I thought it was spread out over 12 months, or 52 weeks, or 365 days. Meanwhile, banks and entrepreneurs are sitting on cash balances, waiting to create new companies and jobs: if only Obama weren’t clouding the future with his disastrous policies. Not that that would happen in one day either (in fact, it would not). But giant deficits are a threat of future confiscation and one of the causes of Obama’s non-recovery.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 10, 2011 @ 7:01 pm - August 10, 2011

  4. It is a curiosity how intelligent people like this person you were speaking with can’t understand some of these common sense solutions. I find it fascinating to talk to folks like this (when you can actually have a conversation without devolving into name calling and disparaging remarks) and they just don’t understand that government on a state and federal level causes such a roadblock to jobs, income and ultimately spending. It’s such a “duh” thing for me and I am flummoxed that other people don’t get it……

    Comment by Leslie — August 10, 2011 @ 7:08 pm - August 10, 2011

  5. Looks like we have some pissed-off Chinese on our hands:

    Let me explain the background. China’s government has chosen to suppress consumption in China, i.e. to suppress the Chinese standard of living, with Americans as the beneficiary. They do this by pegging their currency, the RMB, to the dollar at a low value. That means the goods they produce are relatively cheap to Americans, and relatively expensive to Chinese. This is the mercantilist or “export-driven” way of developing. They sends goods to America. America sends them pieces of paper, called “dollars” (often hot off of Ben Bernanke’s virtual-counterfeiting machine). China must do something with the dollars. They’ve been going “Whee, look how many we have! Aren’t we rich?” And they’ve been buying U.S. Treasury bonds. That enables America’s government to borrow like crazy at cheap rates, in other words, more for Bush and Obama to spend. Meanwhile, because China’s currency is held down this way, oil and other international goods (whose trade is usually settled in dollars) are expensive to Chinese, a further blow to the Chinese standard of living.

    Thus, the U.S. has been getting Chinese goods and the international goods, plus cheap Chinese capital so that we can have big deficits, high social spending, housing bubbles, etc. China just gets our pieces of paper. It has been a super sweet deal for Americans: we get a high living standard, while Chinese work super hard and get a pile of bullcrap.

    Part of the solution is for China to let the RMB rise against the dollar. That would hurt their exporters, at first. But it would make the international goods (like oil) much cheaper to them. And they would be able to afford their own goods, that is, they would quickly discover that they can “export” to themselves. So, their living standard would rise. America’s would fall.

    Somewhat insanely, the Obama administration wants that. I “want” it only in the sense that I recognize that it must happen: America has gotten lazy and silly, has stopped producing things (to an extent), etc. and must sooner or later pay up, via a lower standard of living. I figure, since it must happen, let’s get it over with. But Obama wants it because he actually thinks it’s prosperity. It’s not prosperity. It’s the opposite of prosperity, a painful drop in our standard of living. Obama thinks it will improve American exports and employment. It will a bit, but less than he thinks (since these days, American “exports” often have imported components, and we will find those more costly). And in any case, the point is: Americans will then be working harder, for fewer goods. That is Obama’s idea of prosperity: Orwell’s _Animal Farm_.

    But I digress. Recently, S&P steps in and downgrades America’s bonds. That makes the Chinese feel stupid (and they are) for buying so many of our bonds. And it brings one day closer, the great adjustment when China must let its currency rise (and with that, its living standard). That makes China’s exporters fear that exports will suffer, so China’s stock market has dropped.

    Bottom line: China feels abused. And they have been. Not by the downgrade, but by their own foolishness in sending their goods to America for mere pieces of paper, rather than letting their currency and living standard rise. They are waking up to their abuse and their foolishness. So the New York Times article gives us quotes like this:

    “The United States’ sovereign credit rating suffered a downgrade, why did we become the biggest victim?” one microblogger wrote… “China is always bowing to the United States, when will China really rise up and cast aside its constant fear of the United States’ reactions!”

    Many of the Internet postings were similarly nationalistic, questioning whether the government had acted in China’s best interests by investing about half of the country’s $3.2 trillion worth of foreign reserves in United States Treasury securities…

    “On the question of U.S. debt, China’s strategic decision makers are pigs, they would rather let the people’s money be used by others than let the money be used by their own people,” said one posting over the weekend…


    One blogger over the weekend summed up the public frustration: “Chinese people are working so hard, day in and day out, the economic environment is so good, but people’s livelihoods are not so great — turns out it is because the government is tightening people’s waist belts to lend money to the United States.”


    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 10, 2011 @ 8:37 pm - August 10, 2011

  6. (Sigh) Hi Cas really understands nothing of business or economics, does she?

    Comment by V the K — August 10, 2011 @ 9:20 pm - August 10, 2011

  7. Hi ILC,
    It will be interesting to see whether you can find the savings for half the regs you might want to do away with in theory. After all, the decsion to take out regs is not just about costs, but also benefits. Perhaps meat inspectors are unnecessary. Those regs might be a good candidate to remove…

    This is meant for illustrative purposes only; you might want to keep these regs, I don’t know. But the point is that regs, as well as having costs have benefits. What is missing from your analysis is whether or not the costs reductions in getting rid of the regs will be greater or lesser than the benefits of having these regs stay (from the point of view of society as a whole). And I find this discussion point missing from much of the conversation, including the article you link to, which is pretty selective about what it uses as examples. I do not reject your claim out of hand, and I am sure there are regs you can point to where the gains to society from getting rid of them are greater than the benefits of having the regs stay. The question is: will you find enough savings from regs that fit that criteria for increasing economic efficiency.

    The report the article speaks of is good about that part:

    Although some regulations’ benefits exceed costs, “net” benefits—or costs—are known for relatively few.
    Without any definitive regulatory accounting, estimates of overall agency net benefits are questionable, which makes it difficult to know whether society wins or loses as a result of those rules (as well as whether there are problems with such social metrics).

    In other words, it is not clear how many of these rules are socially optimal or Pareto improving. To the extent they are not, is the extent to which they should be removed.

    Comment by Cas — August 11, 2011 @ 12:45 am - August 11, 2011

  8. #7: “Perhaps meat inspectors are unnecessary.”

    The 2009 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations was 163,333 pages long and it was published as 226 individual books. And that’s just federal regulations. Each state has a voluminous regulatory code of its own based on state laws.

    But of course, whenever anyone mentions the possibility that our governments might be over-regulating commerce in some fields, the standard, IMMEDIATE response from liberals is that conservatives are in favor of poisoned food, child sweatshops, polluted air & water, and/or unsafe/deadly work conditions. Almost every time, without fail. You can practically set your watch to it. It means you’re dealing with someone who knows virtually nothing about pretty much everything (a liberal).

    Comment by Sean A — August 11, 2011 @ 3:02 am - August 11, 2011

  9. In this clip, O’Reilly is ILC, the dippy leftist chick is Cas. (Sorry for comparing you to O’Reilly, ILC.)

    Comment by V the K — August 11, 2011 @ 7:15 am - August 11, 2011

  10. Do we really neet DOT regulations to mandate exactly what package a half gallon bottle of hydrochloric acid can be shipped in, what size it must be, how it must be packed, how it must be labeled?

    Comment by Richard Bell — August 11, 2011 @ 8:49 am - August 11, 2011

  11. #10: Richard,
    Liberals believe that we absolutely DO, as well as thousands of overpaid bureaucrats in DOT field offices in all 50 states pretending to “enforce” such regulations. And to a liberal, the very fact that you question the wisdom of these regulations is conclusive proof that you support putting hydrochloric acid in the milk supply of every school cafeteria in America.

    How could you, Richard? They’re just children.

    Comment by Sean A — August 11, 2011 @ 10:08 am - August 11, 2011

  12. It isn’t the regulatory environment that is preventing businesses from expanding and hiring, it’s a lack of consumer demand. And ironically enough, the lack of consumer demand can be traced directly to the financial collapse and housing crash that was caused by – wait for it – a poor regulatory environment. As usual, you’re completely wrong and advocating exactly that which would make the problem worse.

    Comment by Levi — August 11, 2011 @ 10:14 am - August 11, 2011

  13. A bank quits business, due to over-regulation:

    Regulators came under fire in the financial crisis for lax oversight that allowed financial institutions to dole out too much credit to unworthy borrowers. [ed: actually, it was more like Congress and regulators ordering the financial institutions to do so] Some bank executives now complain that federal and state agencies have swung to the other extreme, poring over minute details of virtually every loan, including those to small businesses.

    “The No. 1 complaint that we hear from community bankers is that they feel that regulators have gone one step too far and are choking off lending,” says Paul Merski, chief economist at the Independent Community Bankers of America, a trade group that represents small banks.

    And lefties just can’t figure out what has happened to small business lending. Meanwhile, miner quits, due to over-regulation:

    And lefties can’t just can’t figure out what is happening to teh jobz.

    Perhaps meat inspectors are unnecessary

    Oh, are we back to that trope? Every leftie pulls it out at some point. It’s the fallacy of “I see government doing it, therefore government must do it.” I could give a longer explanation (as I’ve done here: – But when time is pressing, four words can be enough: the Underwriters Laboratories model.

    the benefits of having these regs stay

    … are vastly overrated, by those who lust to control others. Obama’s non-recovery from the 2008 recession is prima facie evidence that his blizzard of new regulations and regulatory boards do not benefit society; that if we rolled back every regulation, executive order and Congressional act promulgated or signed under his administration, we would be better off.

    Are people who believe in regulation rational? One cognitive scientist thinks no:

    it is not clear how many of these rules are socially optimal or Pareto improving. To the extent they are not, is the extent to which they should be removed.

    I reject that premise completely. Other than police, courts and military to impartially protect individual rights to life, liberty and property, regulation is wrong in moral principle. Its mere existence and exercise do profound damage to society, beyond what is economically measurable.

    Among other things, it violates the initiative of the prudent and productive people, and it creates incentives for people to become imprudent and lazy. The existence of the SEC did not stop Bernie Madoff, and in fact, it *contributed* to the scale of Madoff’s fraud (because it greatly encouraged people’s complacency about him; in the days before the SEC, he would have existed, but activist investors would have stopped him sooner). The principle is sometimes, though inadequately, described as “the Nirvana fallacy” (people assuming that government regulators are knowledgeable, well-intentioned and effective – despite the evidence), or “Bad regulation drives out good” (government regulation, by its nature, corrupts both regulators and market participants, destroying the better discipline that would otherwise be imposed by free markets and the strong possibility of failure in same).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 11, 2011 @ 10:14 am - August 11, 2011

  14. It isn’t the regulatory environment that is preventing businesses from expanding and hiring…

    Tell that to the energy sector, dumbass.

    Comment by V the K — August 11, 2011 @ 10:16 am - August 11, 2011

  15. Tell that to the energy sector, dumbass.

    Just because an industry says they’re being over regulated doesn’t make it so. Companies can reduce their costs if they can get politicians to deregulate, obviously, and that can be more profitable and less risky to a company’s bottom line than expanding or innovating. If you were strictly concerned with profits, would you prefer to invest in experimental research that might not pay off for ten years, or would you prefer to finance some political campaigns that would pay off after the next election?

    Energy companies are posting record profits. Energy demand will be increasing forever. Don’t be so gullible.

    Comment by Levi — August 11, 2011 @ 10:30 am - August 11, 2011

  16. If you were strictly concerned with profits, would you prefer to invest in experimental research that might not pay off for ten years, or would you prefer to finance some political campaigns that would pay off after the next election?

    This is precisely the reason why so-called “progressives” continue to pursue their almost single-minded mission to destroy productivity.

    Levi’s quote displays an unabashed ignorance of how business thinks, believing that investment in long-term returns is an afterthought to those who’ve accomplished that which. to the progressive way of thinking, is anathema to “social justice.”

    It is so far beyond arrogance and projection as to be utterly ludicrous. Progressives accomplish nothing that doesn’t first require the adoption of a faux sense of moral superiority, followed immediately by regulation to ensure a corporation’s profits are distributed according to some collective’s egalitarian wet dream.

    Don’t be so gullible.

    Don’t be so presumptuous as to accuse an energy company of being every bit as impulsive as some drunk, confused college kid who finds himself “experimenting” with his frat buddy on a webcam in Daytona.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — August 11, 2011 @ 10:49 am - August 11, 2011

  17. One of my gay friends has turned into a liberal, and it all stemmed from his marriage.
    He married a man 20 years younger and a gov’t employee.

    Now, instead of taking care of his business, he ignores it while they party day and night on his business seed money.

    Disneyland and karioki bars are high on the list.
    Even when he puts in an appearance he is hungover, sick and tired.

    Now families are ”breeders.”
    Handouts and gov’t programs are now ”the answer” to everything.

    When he wakes up (if he does) it is going to be painful.

    Comment by Nan G — August 11, 2011 @ 11:29 am - August 11, 2011

  18. What a loser, Nan. I’m helping my younger BF unleash his inner conservative.

    Levi’s quote displays an unabashed ignorance

    This could actually be said of any of Levi’s comments. Remember how he kept insisting that Obama had presented a plan to cut the deficit? And no matter how many times he was challenged to link to Obama’s plan he never could? And yet he still kept insisting that Obama had presented a plan to cut the deficit?

    So, now when he insists that Government regulations have no impact on hiring…. well… I just can’t take him seriously. He’s a clown.

    Comment by V the K — August 11, 2011 @ 11:37 am - August 11, 2011

  19. Do we really neet DOT regulations to mandate exactly what package a half gallon bottle of hydrochloric acid can be shipped in, what size it must be, how it must be packed, how it must be labeled?

    Uhm… Yes. I work in the pool / spa industry. There is some nasty stuff we deal with. If there are no tough standards on the packaging of these hazardous materials, corners would be cut, leading to improper storage and containment failures, and if chlorine an hydrochloric acid mix together… mustard gas! I, for one support those regulations.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — August 11, 2011 @ 12:08 pm - August 11, 2011

  20. Besides, if Levi’s hypothesis were correct, all the job growth would occur in the highly regulated, high-population blue states where most of the the consumer demand is. Instead, the less populated, less regulated Red States account for most of the new jobs created.

    I think we can agree that standards for packing and shipping dangerous chemicals are reasonable. But, do we need a Government regulatory agency devoted to licensing hair braiders?

    Comment by V the K — August 11, 2011 @ 12:18 pm - August 11, 2011

  21. Here’s a list of California State Agencies.

    California Academic Performance Index (API) * California Access for Infants and Mothers * California Acupuncture Board * California Administrative Office of the Courts * California Adoptions Branch * California African American Museum * California Agricultural Export Program * California Agricultural Labor Relations Board * California Agricultural Statistics Service * California Air Resources Board (CARB) * California Allocation Board * California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority * California Animal Health and Food Safety Services * California Anti-Terrorism Information Center * California Apprenticeship Council * California Arbitration Certification Program * California Architects Board * California Area VI Developmental Disabilities Board * California Arts Council * California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus * California Assembly Democratic Caucus * California Assembly Republican Caucus * California Athletic Commission * California Attorney General * California Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California Bay-Delta Authority * California Bay-Delta Office * California Biodiversity Council * California Board for Geologists and Geophysicists * California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors * California Board of Accountancy * California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology * California Board of Behavioral Sciences * California Board of Chiropractic Examiners * California Board of Equalization (BOE) * California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection * California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind * California Board of Occupational Therapy * California Board of Optometry * California Board of Pharmacy * California Board of Podiatric Medicine * California Board of Prison Terms * California Board of Psychology * California Board of Registered Nursing * California Board of Trustees * California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians * California Braille and Talking Book Library * California Building Standards Commission * California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education * California Bureau of Automotive Repair * California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair * California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation * California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine * California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services * California Bureau of State Audits * California Business Agency * California Business Investment Services (CalBIS) * California Business Permit Information (CalGOLD) * California Business Portal * California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency * California Cal Grants * California CalJOBS * California Cal-Learn Program * California CalVet Home Loan Program * California Career Resource Network * California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau * California Center for Analytical Chemistry * California Center for Distributed Learning * California Center for Teaching Careers (Teach California) * California Chancellors Office * California Charter Schools * California Children and Families Commission * California Children and Family Services Division * California Citizens Compensation Commission * California Civil Rights Bureau * California Coastal Commission * California Coastal Conservancy * California Code of Regulations * California Collaborative Projects with UC Davis * California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth * California Commission on Aging * California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation * California Commission on Judicial Performance * California Commission on State Mandates * California Commission on Status of Women * California Commission on Teacher Credentialing * California Commission on the Status of Women * California Committee on Dental Auxiliaries * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, Junior Colleges * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office * California Complaint Mediation Program * California Conservation Corps * California Constitution Revision Commission * California Consumer Hotline * California Consumer Information Center * California Consumer Information * California Consumer Services Division * California Consumers and Families Agency * California Contractors State License Board * California Corrections Standards Authority * California Council for the Humanities * California Council on Criminal Justice * California Council on Developmental Disabilities * California Court Reporters Board * California Courts of Appeal * California Crime and Violence Prevention Center * California Criminal Justice Statistics Center * California Criminalist Institute Forensic Library * California CSGnet Network Management * California Cultural and Historical Endowment * California Cultural Resources Division * California Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Branch * California Data Exchange Center * California Data Management Division * California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission * California Delta Protection Commission * California Democratic Caucus * California Demographic Research Unit * California Dental Auxiliaries * California Department of Aging * California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control * California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) * California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS) * California Department of Community Services and Development * California Department of Conservation * California Department of Consumer Affairs * California Department of Corporations * California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation * California Department of Developmental Services * California Department of Education * California Department of Fair Employment and Housing * California Department of Finance * California Department of Financial Institutions * California Department of Fish and Game * California Department of Food and Agriculture * California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) * California Department of General Services * California Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing * California Department of Health Care Services * California Department of Housing and Community Development * California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) * California Department of Insurance * California Department of Justice Firearms Division * California Department of Justice Opinion Unit * California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry Unit * California Department of Justice * California Department of Managed Health Care * California Department of Mental Health * California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) * California Department of Personnel Administration * California Department of Pesticide Regulation * California Department of Public Health * California Department of Real Estate * California Department of Rehabilitation * California Department of Social Services Adoptions Branch * California Department of Social Services * California Department of Technology Services Training Center (DTSTC) * California Department of Technology Services (DTS) * California Department of Toxic Substances Control * California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) * California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets) * California Department of Water Resources * California Departmento de Vehiculos Motorizados * California Digital Library * California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Division of Apprenticeship Standards * California Division of Codes and Standards * California Division of Communicable Disease Control * California Division of Engineering * California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control * California Division of Gambling Control * California Division of Housing Policy Development * California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement * California Division of Labor Statistics and Research * California Division of Land and Right of Way * California Division of Land Resource Protection * California Division of Law Enforcement General Library * California Division of Measurement Standards * California Division of Mines and Geology * California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) * California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources * California Division of Planning and Local Assistance * California Division of Recycling * California Division of Safety of Dams * California Division of the State Architect * California Division of Tourism * California Division of Workers Compensation Medical Unit * California Division of Workers Compensation * California Economic Assistance, Business and Community Resources * California Economic Strategy Panel * California Education and Training Agency * California Education Audit Appeals Panel * California Educational Facilities Authority * California Elections Division * California Electricity Oversight Board * California Emergency Management Agency * California Emergency Medical Services Authority * California Employment Development Department (EDD) * California Employment Information State Jobs * California Employment Training Panel * California Energy Commission * California Environment and Natural Resources Agency * California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) * California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) * California Executive Office * California Export Laboratory Services * California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo) * California Fair Political Practices Commission * California Fairs and Expositions Division * California Film Commission * California Fire and Resource Assessment Program * California Firearms Division * California Fiscal Services * California Fish and Game Commission * California Fisheries Program Branch * California Floodplain Management * California Foster Youth Help * California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) * California Fraud Division * California Gambling Control Commission * California Geographic Information Systems Council (GIS) * California Geological Survey * California Government Claims and Victim Compensation Board * California Governors Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons * California Governors Mentoring Partnership * California Governors Office of Emergency Services * California Governors Office of Homeland Security * California Governors Office of Planning and Research * California Governors Office * California Grant and Enterprise Zone Programs HCD Loan * California Health and Human Services Agency * California Health and Safety Agency * California Healthy Families Program * California Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau * California High-Speed Rail Authority * California Highway Patrol (CHP) * California History and Culture Agency * California Horse Racing Board * California Housing Finance Agency * California Indoor Air Quality Program * California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission * California Industrial Welfare Commission * California InFoPeople * California Information Center for the Environment * California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) * California Inspection Services * California Institute for County Government * California Institute for Education Reform * California Integrated Waste Management Board * California Interagency Ecological Program * California Job Service * California Junta Estatal de Personal * California Labor and Employment Agency * California Labor and Workforce Development Agency * California Labor Market Information Division * California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN) * California Lands Commission * California Landscape Architects Technical Committee * California Latino Legislative Caucus * California Law Enforcement Branch * California Law Enforcement General Library * California Law Revision Commission * California Legislative Analyst’s Office * California Legislative Black Caucus * California Legislative Counsel * California Legislative Division * California Legislative Information * California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus * California Legislature Internet Caucus * California Library De velopment Services * California License and Revenue Branch * California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program * California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board * California Maritime Academy * California Marketing Services * California Measurement Standards * California Medical Assistance Commission * California Medical Care Services * California Military Department * California Mining and Geology Board * California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts * California Museum Resource Center * California National Guard * California Native American Heritage Commission * California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program * California New Motor Vehicle Board * California Nursing Home Administrator Program * California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board * California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board * California Ocean Resources Management Program * California Office of Administrative Hearings * California Office of Administrative Law * California Office of AIDS * California Office of Binational Border Health * California Office of Child Abuse Prevention * California Office of Deaf Access * California Office of Emergency Services (OES) * California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment * California Office of Fiscal Services * California Office of Fleet Administration * California Office of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Implementation (CalOHI) * California Office of Historic Preservation * California Office of Homeland Security * California Office of Human Resources * California Office of Legal Services * California Office of Legislation * California Office of Lieutenant Governor * California Office of Military and Aerospace Support * California Office of Mine Reclamation * California Office of Natural Resource Education * California Office of Privacy Protection * California Office of Public School Construction * California Office of Real Estate Appraisers * California Office of Risk and Insurance Management * California Office of Services to the Blind * California Office of Spill Prevention and Response * California Office of State Publishing (OSP) * California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development * California Office of Systems Integration * California Office of the Inspector General * California Office of the Ombudsman * California Office of the Patient Advocate * California Office of the President * California Office of the Secretary for Education * California Office of the State Fire Marshal * California Office of the State Public Defender * California Office of Traffic Safety * California Office of Vital Records * California Online Directory * California Operations Control Office * California Opinion Unit * California Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) * California Park and Recreation Commission * California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) * California Performance Review (CPR) * California Permit Information for Business (CalGOLD) * California Physical Therapy Board * California Physician Assistant Committee * California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services * California Policy and Evaluation Division * California Political Reform Division * California Pollution Control Financing Authority * California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo * California Postsecondary Education Commission * California Prevention Services * California Primary Care and Family Health * California Prison Industry Authority * California Procurement Division * California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) * California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) * California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) * California Real Estate Services Division * California Refugee Programs Branch * California Regional Water Quality Control Boards * California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee * California Registrar of Charitable Trusts * California Republican Caucus * California Research and Development Division * California Research Bureau * California Resources Agency * California Respiratory Care Board * California Rivers Assessment * California Rural Health Policy Council * California Safe Schools * California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy * California San Joaquin River Conservancy * California School to Career * California Science Center * California Scripps Institution of Oceanography * California Secretary of State Business Portal * California Secretary of State * California Seismic Safety Commission * California Self Insurance Plans (SIP) * California Senate Office of Research * California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Small Business Development Center Program * California Smart Growth Caucus * California Smog Check Information Center * California Spatial Information Library * California Special Education Division * California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board * California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) * California Standards and Assessment Division * California State Administrative Manual (SAM) * California State Allocation Board * California State and Consumer Services Agency * California State Architect * California State Archives * California State Assembly * California State Association of Counties (CSAC) * California State Board of Education * California State Board of Food and Agriculture *California Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) * California State Children’s Trust Fund * California State Compensation Insurance Fund * California State Contracts Register Program * California State Contracts Register * California State Controller * California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) * California State Disability Insurance (SDI) * California State Fair (Cal Expo) * California State Jobs Employment Information * California State Lands Commission * California State Legislative Portal * California State Legislature * California State Library Catalog * California State Library Services Bureau * California State Library * California State Lottery * California State Mediation and Conciliation Service * California State Mining and Geology Board * California State Park and Recreation Commission * California State Parks * California State Personnel Board * California State Polytechnic University, Pomona * California State Railroad Museum * California State Science Fair * California State Senate * California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) * California State Summer School for the Arts * California State Superintendent of Public Instruction * California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) * California State Treasurer * California State University Center for Distributed Learning * California State University, Bakersfield * California State University, Channel Islands * California State University, Chico * California State University, Dominguez Hills * California State University, East Bay * California State University, Fresno * California State University, Fullerton * California State University, Long Beach * California State University, Los Angeles * California State University, Monterey Bay * California State University, Northridge * California State University, Sacramento * California State University, San Bernardino * California State University, San Marcos * California State University, Stanislaus * California State University (CSU) * California State Water Project Analysis Office * California State Water Project * California State Water Resources Control Board * California Structural Pest Control Board * California Student Aid Commission * California Superintendent of Public Instruction * California Superior Courts * California Tahoe Conservancy * California Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists * California Tax Information Center * California Technology and Administration Branch Finance * California Telecommunications Division * California Telephone Medical Advice Services (TAMS) * California Transportation Commission * California Travel and Transportation Agency * California Unclaimed Property Program * California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board * California Unemployment Insurance Program * California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission * California Veterans Board * California Veterans Memorial * California Veterinary Medical Board and Registered Veterinary Technician Examining Committee * California Veterinary Medical Board * California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board * California Volunteers * California Voter Registration * California Water Commission * California Water Environment Association (COWPEA) * California Water Resources Control Board * California Welfare to Work Division * California Wetlands Information System * California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch * California Wildlife Conservation Board * California Wildlife Programs Branch * California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) * California Workers Compensation Appeals Board * California Workforce and Labor Development Agency * California Workforce Investment Board * California Youth Authority (CYA) * Central Valley Flood Protection Board * Center for California Studies * Colorado River Board of California * Counting California * Dental Board of California * Health Insurance Plan of California (PacAdvantage) * Humboldt State University * Jobs with the State of California * Judicial Council of California * Learn California * Library of California * Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California * Little Hoover Commission (on California State Government Organization and Economy) * Medical Board of California * Medi-Cal * Osteopathic Medical Board of California * Physical Therapy Board of California * Regents of the University of California * San Diego State University * San Francisco State University * San Jose State University * Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy * State Bar of California * Supreme Court of California * Teach California * University of California * University of California, Berkeley * University of California, Davis * University of California, Hastings College of the Law * University of California, Irvine * University of California, Los Angeles * University of California, Merced * University of California, Riverside * University of California, San Diego * University of California, San Francisco * University of California, Santa Barbara * University of California, Santa Cruz * Veterans Home of California

    No doubt, some of these agencies perform valuable public services, but are all of these agencies necessary? Are some of them redundant? Could some be consolidated?

    Comment by V the K — August 11, 2011 @ 12:26 pm - August 11, 2011

  22. Uhm… Yes.

    Once more, we see the “I See Government Doing It, Therefore Government Must Do It” fallacy. Even friends of the blog are “infected”.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 11, 2011 @ 1:07 pm - August 11, 2011

  23. If there are no tough standards on the packaging of these hazardous materials, corners would be cut…

    … any any vendors who did so would lose their reputations, rightly disappearing from the business.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 11, 2011 @ 1:09 pm - August 11, 2011

  24. (continued) Oh wait. With government there to pretend that it has solved the problem for everybody (by simply decreeing that everything shall meet standard X), they **don’t have to** worry about failing from loss of reputation. All they have to do is say “The government regulator told us to do X, Y, and Z and we tried, bitch.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 11, 2011 @ 1:23 pm - August 11, 2011

  25. Thus, under the regulatory regime, the vendor actually becomes *less* responsive and responsible to the customer. Not more.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 11, 2011 @ 1:48 pm - August 11, 2011

  26. Worse, ILC, the vendor gets it coming and going. You would think that complying with Government Standards would give a vendor immunity from tort liability. That would be fair, wouldn’t it? A little carrot to go with the stick? But the worst of it is, even if a Vendor fully complies with existing standards, he can still be sued if some lunkhead ignores the warnings and is injured with his product.

    It’s insane.

    I would much prefer a scheme in which companies within an industry financed an independent organization to monitor their practices. But, I am realistic that such a thing would not be allowed to happen.

    Comment by V the K — August 11, 2011 @ 2:08 pm - August 11, 2011

  27. Likewise V, I’m realistic that, with the way most people think about these things, we’ll be lucky to get 1/5 of the regulations out there rolled back.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 11, 2011 @ 5:06 pm - August 11, 2011

  28. After all, the decsion to take out regs is not just about costs, but also benefits. Perhaps meat inspectors are unnecessary. Those regs might be a good candidate to remove…

    The good thing about Obama puppets like Cas and Levi is that they just repeat their talking points; they don’t actually research them.

    Federal officials said they turned up a dangerous form of salmonella at a Cargill Inc. turkey plant last year, and then four times this year at stores selling the Cargill turkey, but didn’t move for a recall until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 others. . . .

    Meat plants are expected to pass a performance standard that allows up to 49.9 percent of tests to come back positive for salmonella…..

    A Cargill spokesman said the Arkansas plant had passed all USDA performance standards despite what he called “routine” findings of salmonella Heidelberg.

    And is Levi whining about financial regulation again? Perhaps we ought to bring up another fine example of what Levi and Cas support.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is supposed to be the sheriff of the financial industry, looking for financial crimes like Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. But the new report, obtained by ABC News, says senior employees of the SEC spent hours on the commission’s computers looking at sites like, skankwire, youporn, and others.

    The investigation, which was conducted by the SEC’s internal watchdog at the request of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, found 31 serious offenders over the past two and a half years. Seventeen of the offenders were senior SEC officers with salaries ranging from $100,000 to $222,000 per year.

    These are the people who Levi and Cas are protecting at all costs. These are the regulators that Levi and Cas insist are absolutely necessary and cannot be fired. These are the resources that, if you advocate for them to be cut, Levi and Cas brand you a traitor and a terrorist.

    Parasites protect parasites. And Levi and Cas are nothing but pathetic parasites.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 11, 2011 @ 5:11 pm - August 11, 2011

  29. Meanwhile, I think we should also bring up the fact that Levi and Cas define “investment” as “handing over vast sums of welfare to drunks and adult babies”.

    This shows you how delusional parasites are. Levi and Cas are over here screaming that businesses are bad and should be punished while they’re giving no-strings-attached sums of taxpayer dollars to people who get drunk and able-bodied people who refuse to work. Levi and Cas insist that businesses are inherently dishonest and need to be regulated with constant threats and restraints, but then hand out massive checks to drunks and welfare cheats without a single regulation, legal enforcement, or raised finger of warning.

    This shows you how desperate and delusional the parasite class is. Levi and Cas scream and wet their pants about businesses needing constant oversight, but adamantly oppose any laws that would require you to prove who you are, where you live, and that you are a citizen to vote. Why? Because they need more parasites. That’s all it is.

    The Barack Obama Party and the “progressive” movement are parasites. Period.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 11, 2011 @ 5:23 pm - August 11, 2011

  30. Cas and Levi agree with the Obama/Pelosi mantra that Unemployment Checks = Economic Stimulus, correct? Well, for the last three years, we’ve had record numbers of people collecting unemployment checks. Shouldn’t that have stimulated the heck out of this economy? Shouldn’t it be going gangbusters, with all that unemployment stimulus?

    Comment by V the K — August 11, 2011 @ 5:44 pm - August 11, 2011

  31. This is precisely the reason why so-called “progressives” continue to pursue their almost single-minded mission to destroy productivity.

    Levi’s quote displays an unabashed ignorance of how business thinks, believing that investment in long-term returns is an afterthought to those who’ve accomplished that which. to the progressive way of thinking, is anathema to “social justice.”

    It is so far beyond arrogance and projection as to be utterly ludicrous. Progressives accomplish nothing that doesn’t first require the adoption of a faux sense of moral superiority, followed immediately by regulation to ensure a corporation’s profits are distributed according to some collective’s egalitarian wet dream.

    Ho-hum. Just another boring, canned response that doesn’t have anything to do with what I said. Why bother quoting me at all?

    It’s undoubtedly true that corporations have an easier time of increasing their profits in this day and age, not by innovating, not by expanding, but by paying for favorable policies by public officials they help get elected. I’m not saying it’s every business, but enough of the bigger companies are getting away with it that it’s starting to have a cumulative negative effect on the economy.

    Conservatives need to divorce themselves of their free market fantasies wherein it is assumed that consumers are always making rational decisions 100% of the time and where businesses never engage in underhandedness. There are people on this board that suggest businesses are compelled to do wrong because of government regulations, as if BP wouldn’t have been cutting corners if no one had made any rules for them to follow.

    Corporations are looking for profits anywhere they can, and dismantling regulations undoubtedly increasing their profits. But those profits aren’t going back into the economy, they’re going to the executives. Why you people cling to this image of the benevolent capitalist who wants only to reinvest in his community and give people jobs is confounding – CEOs are taking bigger and bigger chunks of their company’s unprecedented profits and begging for public money when the going gets tough. They’re not trying to repeal regulations so they have more money to spend on hiring new people, they’re trying to repeal regulations so they can cut corners and do better on their next quarterly report. Wake up dude, nothing’s trickling down.

    Don’t be so presumptuous as to accuse an energy company of being every bit as impulsive as some drunk, confused college kid who finds himself “experimenting” with his frat buddy on a webcam in Daytona.


    Comment by Levi — August 12, 2011 @ 6:41 am - August 12, 2011

  32. Levi @ #31:

    It’s undoubtedly true that corporations have an easier time of increasing their profits in this day and age, not by innovating, not by expanding, but by paying for favorable policies by public officials they help get elected.

    Agreed, but there is a far more sensible way of increasing profits: Manufacture in a less regulated, cheaper environment. That is to say, go to China.

    Corporations are looking for profits anywhere they can, and dismantling regulations undoubtedly increasing their profits. But those profits aren’t going back into the economy, they’re going to the executives.

    Most executives get a bonus payment for increases in profits. Call it a sales commission on selling more phones, if you like. The increased profits actually go to the stockholders, the biggest of whom are pension funds, insurance companies and university endowment funds.

    I will retell my kitty litter story. I have electric, self cleaning litter boxes. I have to use a special type of crystals that absorb odor. It is manufactured in China.

    Here is how it reaches me: It is packed into bags and then into boxes. The boxes are transported to a shipping container. The shipping container is transported to a ship. The ship is loaded. The ship crosses the Pacific Ocean to a port on the west coast or it goes through the Panama canal to a port in Texas or comes up the coast to an eastern port. There the container is unloaded and taken to a reshipment location. The reshipment location sends it to the Target shipping center where it is loaded on the Target truck bound for my nearby store. I drive out to Target and buy it for about $12 and it lasts me about five weeks. I dump it in the trash and a big garbage truck hauls it to the landfill.

    Why isn’t it made in the US? Regulations of every description and labor costs.

    U.S. hay, the country’s third-largest crop by value, is now cheaper to ship to China than to farmers in central California, compounding shortages that mean record prices for the dairy industry.

    Ocean freight costs about $30 a short ton (0.91 metric tons) to send hay to Asia from Los Angeles, compared with $53 to truck the crop from southern California to the center of the state, according to Greg Braun, the president of Border Valley Trading LLC, a Brawley, California-based exporter. Prices for alfalfa, the most common variety, surged 62 percent in a year and reached a record $186 a ton in July, government data show.

    Shipping lines hauling Asian goods to the U.S. are failing to fill boxes on the return journey, driving down costs for the containers used to carry bales of hay. That imbalance is contributing to the biggest U.S. trade deficit in almost three years and threatening earnings for dairies and cattle feedlots that the government had expected would help the U.S. agriculture industry generate record farm income of $94.7 billion this year.

    “The hay and alfalfa shortage will get worse before it improves,” said Tom Barcellos, 56, who owns the 800-cow T-Bar Dairy in Porterville, California and farms 800 acres of hay. “So much of the hay is going into the export market that it takes hay away from California dairies.”

    High-quality alfalfa hay fed to dairy cows in California, the biggest milk producer, cost $320 a ton last week, compared with $220 to $260 last year, Barcellos said. Corn is 63 percent more expensive than a year ago on the Chicago Board of Trade. Even after milk prices nearly doubled in two years, farmers are still spending 65 percent of the value of their output on feed. The ratio needs to be closer to 50 percent for them to be profitable, Barcellos said.

    Agriculture Industry

    That highlights the divide in the U.S. agriculture industry as a surge in income for grain growers erodes earnings for livestock producers. U.S. dairy-farm income that more than tripled last year probably will drop 13 percent in 2011, the government estimates. Income for grain producers will jump 23 percent, after advancing 9.1 percent in 2010, as drought in Texas drives a surge in crop prices.

    “There will be dairies going out a business if the drought spreads into the Midwest and drives corn prices higher,” Barcellos said. “There are probably 40 percent of the dairy producers that are still trying to regain equity they lost borrowing money in 2009 just to survive.”

    The U.S. exported a record 3.22 million tons of hay valued at $825 million in 2010, and cargoes rose 11 percent in the first five months of this year, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. About 80 percent of the crop was sent in containers last year, according to Newark, New Jersey-based PIERS UMB Global Trade, which compiles data on U.S. shipments.

    Fleet Growth

    An index reflecting charges for six types of containers fell 16 percent since the start of April, reflecting growth in the fleet and concern the global economic recovery is slowing, a gauge from the Hamburg Shipbrokers’ Association shows. The index is still 65 percent higher than at the end of 2008.

    World trade will expand 6.7 percent next year, compared with 8.2 percent in 2011, the International Monetary Fund said in a June report. Container volumes will grow 8.8 percent in 2012, compared with 9 percent this year, according to London- based Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker. About 90 percent of global trade moves by sea, the Round Table of International Shipping Associations estimates.

    The jump in container rates spurred owners to order more vessels. The global fleet expanded 7.3 percent to 4,763 ships since the end of 2008, data from Redhill, England-based IHS Fairplay show. Orders at ship yards are equal to more than 27 percent of existing capacity.

    Compounding Shortage

    The export surge is compounding a hay shortage caused by the worst-ever drought in Texas, the biggest U.S. grower. The U.S. may harvest 57.605 million acres of hay in 2011, the fewest on records going back to 1909, after farmers planted more profitable crops, including corn, soybeans and wheat, USDA data show.

    Farmers in Oklahoma and in Texas may reap one alfalfa and Bermuda-grass crop this year, compared with three normally, according to Larry Redmon, a forage specialist at Texas A&M University in College Station. Grass and hay account for about half of what cattle eat over their lifetime, with the rest coming from grains such as corn and wheat.

    With the rally in alfalfa-hay prices, the cost of the commodity in southeast Asia is still 30 percent higher than a year ago, even with the lower freight expense and a weaker dollar, Border Vally Trading’s Braun said. That may curb demand, he said.

    “Alfalfa exports started to slow down in June because buyers are searching for cheaper substitutes and signing shorter contracts,” Braun said. “Everybody is worried about buying inventory at these high prices.”

    Asian Demand

    The competition from overseas buyers is unlikely to weaken any time soon. Anderson Hay & Grain Co. doubled hay exports in the past decade and expects to do the same again by 2020, said Mark Anderson, the president and chief executive officer of the company with processing plants in California, Washington and Oregon. That growth will come from Japan, South Korea, China and the Middle East, he said.

    Chinese demand for U.S. hay will strengthen because the dairy industry is concentrating in the southeast and there is a lack of rail and road needed to bring in feed from other parts of the country, said Seth Hoyt, publisher of the Ione, California-based Hoyt Report, which covers the hay markets in western states.

    Milk production in China almost tripled to 31.8 million tons in the past decade, the USDA estimates. It would have to expand about the same amount again to match output in the U.S., which has a population about a quarter of the size.

    Farm Exports

    Combined U.S. farm exports rose 18 percent to an all-time high of $115.8 billion last year, led by a 34 percent surge in demand from China, now the biggest buyer. That’s not enough to stem the U.S. trade deficit, which widened 15 percent to $50.2 billion in May, the highest since October 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    President Barack Obama said in January 2010 he was setting a goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years, a target that would mean shipments reaching $3.14 trillion by 2015 from $1.57 trillion in 2009.

    Global agricultural trade may exceed $1 trillion by 2020, from an estimated $700 billion in 2011, Michael Dwyer, the director of global policy analysis at the USDA, said last month. That will be driven in part by demand from expanding middle- class households, he said. Growth in such households outside the U.S. may double to about 1 billion by 2020, Dwyer said.

    Average Incomes

    A key indicator for growth in hay exports is consumer incomes in countries that don’t have the land or water to grow their own crop, said Jeff Calaway, the president of Calaway Trading Inc. in Ellensburg, Washington. Hay exports accelerated once average incomes exceeded $15,000 in Japan and South Korea, in line with meat and dairy consumption, he said.

    “When people get a little more affluent, they spend more money on improving their diets and dairy products make for a better meal,” Calaway said. “There are tremendous supply pressures from other crops that have reduced hay production.”

    Source: Bloomberg

    So, Levi, you might begin to understand that all of a sudden the greedy farmers are growing more profitable crops and the cost of “this and that” we need to feed our guts has increased in the process. Some of these nasty farmers are driving expensive cars, lounging on yachts and living like Obama while a little dairy farmer in central California is desperate for some hay.

    Now the federal government is seriously concerning itself with licensing people to drive tractors in farm fields. Oh, I am sure there is some huge social justice necessity behind this. Whatever it is, we must stamp out this evil before kids start dropping out of Head Start to drive tractors.

    Comment by Heliotrope — August 12, 2011 @ 11:02 am - August 12, 2011

  33. Levi, your continued rants and whines against capitalism, businesses, and productivity are quite typical of failures at all of the above.

    You’re a lazy ass with an enormous sense of entitlement, and your worldview revolves around believing that anyone else who has more money than you do stole it.

    The reason nothing “trickles down” to people like you is very straightforward: you haven’t done a goddamn thing to earn it. You don’t work, you whine and cry, you lie, and you attack anyone who makes more money than you as a criminal. You haven’t demonstrated sufficient intellect or desire to microwave a bag of popcorn, much less to work in or run a business.

    Furthermore, you are SO lazy that, instead of at least taking the initiative and robbing people yourself, you whine and throw tantrums demanding that the government do it for you.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 12, 2011 @ 12:07 pm - August 12, 2011

  34. What interest me most about the way some conservative elements answer the observation I offered concerning weighing benefits as well as costs, is to argue that “liberals always mention something that we all know is good for us to regulate, and hit us over the head with it,” and dismiss the rest of the argument without much thought. Fine, but as SF showed at #19, regulation can be necessary and helpful, even when at first glance it doesn’t look that way.

    It is not enough to offer anecdotal evidence, as racy as it can be, then say that –“see this is what we are up against!” as if this is the whole story. A list of the number of CA agencies is not prima facie evidence of the inefficacy of regulation. Even the article that ILC quotes so approvingly of, at #3, relies on a report that makes clear that such an exhaustive study has yet to be done. I can agree with the proposition that SOME regulation is going to be inefficient. But the extent of that inefficiency is not known with certainty, as yet. True, we can make good cases for some regulatory frameworks needing reworking, Cato does this on a regular basis–but how often do they address in depth the benefits of said regulations that they lambaste? I emphasize–we have to weigh BOTH costs and benefits. Because we know that there are regulations that are Pareto improving efficiency out there, as the defensive response to “meat packing inspection” and other obvious beneficial regulatory frameworks, that have been made; i.e., that liberals think “that conservatives are in favor of poisoned food, child sweatshops, polluted air & water, and/or unsafe/deadly work conditions.” Do I support that claim?

    No. but it is also not the case that liberals are in favour of maintaining regulations, no matter what, evidence to the contrary. We are not in favour of the wholesale destruction of regulatory frameworks. We do agree that regulatory frameworks should be examined to see if the reasons for them are justified. Those reasons may be misguided, or no longer necessary, but they should be examined on a case by case basis to ascertain whether the economic benefits to society of the regs off-sets their economic costs. If they don’t measure up, then get rid of them or modify them.

    As for Chinese milk, just remember the recent big melamine contamination scare. That hurts the Chinese, and it hurt us. And they are still recovering from that debacle. And it was caused by a lack of regulatory oversight and enforcement. So, there is food regulation that helps us to avoid such messes (as we all agree). The Chinese have to regulate. The question is, will the benefits out weigh the costs in that case? For China, I think the answer is obvious and it will likely raise the price of Chinese milk a little.

    By the way, I wouldn’t buy Chinese “honey”… We don’t have enough inspectors to keep those exporters of Chinese honey honest. Unfortunately, a lot of that “honey” is bought for bulk use in other manufactured food products in this country. Because businesses want cheap honey, even if it isn’t really cheap in the long run…

    Comment by Cas — August 12, 2011 @ 5:40 pm - August 12, 2011

  35. Do I support that claim?

    Yes you do. You made that patently obvious when you went screaming up above that conservatives want to eliminate meat inspection.

    Perhaps meat inspectors are unnecessary. Those regs might be a good candidate to remove…

    We have once again made a fool of you, Cas, pointing out how the “regulations” that you are so desperate to protect are more about protecting and giving huge salaries to incompetents — and as a result you are spinning and spinning and spinning with your usual stalling bullshit.

    No one seriously believes that idiot liberals like yourself who put in place regulatory schemes that involve paying people six-figure salaries to watch kiddie porn have any concept whatsoever of cost-benefit analysis. You are throwing around bullshit words that you have ZERO intention of applying to government.

    You are a liar, Cas. Just a flat-out parasite and a liar.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 12, 2011 @ 8:38 pm - August 12, 2011

  36. NDT,

    Yes you do. You made that patently obvious when you went screaming up above that conservatives want to eliminate meat inspection.

    I know its difficult for you to read context, or read a post for that matter, but do try. And dude, if you want to ignore the point of my posts–yet again–to offer non-relevant examples, who can stop you? But your non sequiter is strange, even for you. The insults fly, for you cannot argue in a rational way. If you want to argue about me being wrong about there being benefits and costs to regulation (and that these need to be weighed), then you are addressing what I am talking about. Otherwise, you waste my time.

    Comment by Cas — August 13, 2011 @ 12:02 am - August 13, 2011

  37. And once again, the passive-aggressive tantrum, as Cas tries to desperately spin away from clear examples presented of the wasteful nature of government regulations.

    Ironically, Cas, you demonstrate that you are lying in the process. There is no earthly reason to be paying SEC regulators to watch kiddie pron all day. But you are such a pathetic parasite that, even when a blatant example of government waste is presented to you, you are incapable of condemning it and instead start whining and attacking the people who point it out.

    We get it, Cas. You have a religious addiction to government. In order to maintain your worldview, you can never acknowledge government waste. We understand that, and we also see why you avoid and deem “non-relevant” anything that challenges your assumptions. But you realize that, in the process, you demonstrate your blather about “cost-benefit” and “Pareto” is just words that you throw out there on which you have no intention of acting.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 13, 2011 @ 12:16 am - August 13, 2011

  38. Well Cas,

    Welcome down a few notches from your high perch.

    True, we can make good cases for some regulatory frameworks needing reworking, Cato does this on a regular basis–but how often do they address in depth the benefits of said regulations that they lambaste?

    This begrudging admission that some regulatory framework needs reworking is a bit like saying the cannibal who eats the whole carcass without sharing is being a bit piggy.

    Regulation is essential in a lawful and orderly society. But, that does not mean in any way, shape or form that all regulation is essential or helpful or necessary or even acceptable.

    Lets inspect the food and grade it and make every effort for it safe transport. But, lets also be circumspect in how far we regulate. Shall we require each french fry to be weighed and stamped with its component calories, transfats, sodium, etc? Isn’t it enough that the consumer who demands that information be required to seek it rather than have the state assign a nutritionist to objectively inform every consumer before each bite?

    Oh, you say, that is a bit of hyperbole. Really? The issue is the dividing line between public safety and order and a bitching, nagging nanny state.

    Global warming hysteria, the Kyoto Protocols and sheep farting in New Zealand caused that nation a lot of angst. When regulation gets started and propelled by attention to the “butterfly effect” then everything man can conceive is subject to regulation.

    I will not touch your reference to regulation and China. If you do not understand that caveat emptor is the guiding rule with anything coming out of China, shame on you.

    Do you want energy to propel your economy or do you want an environment that reflects the least impact by man? Your streets are fragile, unlike Roman roads where the welfare class cut rocks into paving blocks and kept the roads in top condition. In their spare time, the welfare class decorated the plazas with remarkable mosaics. Two thousand years later, with no maintenance, they still stand up remarkably well.

    If we trade oil for the brawn of the welfare class, with the size of modern population we should have Great Walls, pyramids, Temples, aqueducts, canal systems, colosseums, and nazca lines everywhere.

    After all, fossil fuel just replaced human calories. Lets just regulate the entitlement class into spending their excess calories on useful things rather than growing couch potato obesity.

    Why do I suspect that only the liberal’s concept of regulation counts?

    Comment by Heliotrope — August 13, 2011 @ 11:15 am - August 13, 2011

  39. Hi HT,

    This begrudging admission that some regulatory framework needs reworking is a bit like saying the cannibal who eats the whole carcass without sharing is being a bit piggy.

    I never said otherwise. I don’t make the claim that some here do that regulation–on its face–is bad, then claim wrongly, that one should focus on the COSTS of regulation, when a rational approach to such matters must also weight the BENEFITS of such regulation. I have been consistent about that approach for the entirety of this thread. So, HT, shoot whatever straw person you want–but my argument has been consistent from the get-go.

    Regulation is essential in a lawful and orderly society. But, that does not mean in any way, shape or form that all regulation is essential or helpful or necessary or even acceptable.

    Well, we can agree about that, HT. Just also look–explicitly–to the BENEFITS of regulations, and weigh them.

    As for China, please remember that YOU RAISED CHINA as a paragon of price competitiveness. Well, you have to accept in their wild-west way, that they are going to have outbreaks like the 2008 scare. They don’t have the same regulatory frameworks we do concerning food. That is robust capitalism in China. It provides things cheaply, but you can’t always guarantee that you will get what you expect. Maybe something poisonous gets in the mix. You have to ask yourself–are the benefits of lower milk prices worth the possibility of contaminated milk? If you think, “Yes”, OK. Otherwise, you buy somewhere else at an higher price. So, as for shame–no, I feel none concerning that issue. I take a NUANCED position HT. And as for “what comes out of China = caveat emptor” please consider the following: Things that are “food-like” substances come out of China and enter our food chain as part of bulk food items that get turned into processed foods. That means that your consumer has no idea where this food came from because it is just listed as a component on a food label. “Honey” is not necessarily honey, as we understand that term. So, how exactly is a consumer supposed to practice this “caveat emptor” of which you speak, at the processed food level?


    Shall we require each french fry to be weighed and stamped with its component calories, transfats, sodium, etc? Isn’t it enough that the consumer who demands that information be required to seek it rather than have the state assign a nutritionist to objectively inform every consumer before each bite?

    Yes, I agree, you do exaggerate, as you point out. Your view would make sense in a world where food is simply made by people locally, that you or I know. But the “food” we have (not just in fast food restaurants, but also in store bought processed food) is not made up of simple ingredients anymore. Who should I ask in a supermarket about that “food”item? Or do I need to write in or phone some customer hotline? This is not a costless process for a consumer (the more so as the number of items to find out about multiplies). Along with what you mention, there are also ingredient lists. Are those things that you think a consumer should write in for, or should food manufacturers disclose those openly? You buy any processed item, and lo and behold how surprising are the ingredients one will find there. And the amount of fat, salt, and sugar? Food chemists are very good at disguising the calorie profile of the food they offer so as to make it more desirable. Why exactly should a consumer have to wait to find that information out? Your solution is possible in a restaurant when I can just ask the waiter (not always with success, I might add) as to the ingredients, fat, sugar, etc, but for supermarket processed food? How costless is that likely to be? Just some thoughts.

    Comment by Cas — August 14, 2011 @ 3:44 am - August 14, 2011

  40. And there you have it, Heliotrope; Cas wants every French fry stamped with it’s nutritional information because it’s too much trouble for any consumer to take any responsibility whatsoever for what they eat.

    I think we’re finally seeing what we’re up against here. Cas expects the government to do everything for it. Cas is too lazy to evaluate its food choices. Cas thinks it’s too much work to look up nutritional information. Cas doesn’t want to expend the mental effort to make choices.

    I really think Cas needs to be made a ward of the state. Cas is too ignorant, insolent, and helpless to function. Cas needs to be put in a secure location where the government can dictate everything Cas does and make sure Cas never has to think, act, or research anything.

    Cas exhibits clearly what “regulation” is; it’s using government to make others do your work and take responsibility for you. Just like welfare. No winder Cas is addicted to it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 14, 2011 @ 11:08 am - August 14, 2011

  41. Oh, and lazy Cas? The government should regulate gay sex.

    Why? Because people who have it are forty-plus more times likely to be sickened or injured, sickened, disabled, or killed. Since you can’t tell who has HIV and you dont know their past history, the government should require everyone to be tested at their expense and those who have HIV should have a large and prominent warning label permanently displayed on their bodies. Also, everyone who has any type of sexual intercourse or exposure to any sort of body fluids should be tested again at their expense, since failure to do so could constitute a threat to public health.

    Now watch as Cas suddenly demonstrates how willing it is to put freedom ahead of safety and how cost and how it would gladly endanger public health in the name of lower cost, greater “profit”, and no consequences for unsafe behavior.

    Isn’t that interesting? Cas is a hypocrite.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 14, 2011 @ 11:21 am - August 14, 2011

  42. NDT,

    Thanks! Actually, I started to wander in the weeds that Cas spewed forth and realized that I was just chewing on old worms and a rusty hook.

    Cas can not understand shopping for staples and regulating its own diet instead of reading the ingredients on processed foods and wondering why its health isn’t being insured, risk-free, by government regulation.

    Your idea of a Cas concentration camp is a good one. By concentration, I mean a camp where the nanny state concentrates on all things that might bring risk to the Cas existence. Cas needs to be hermetically sealed away from pollution, bad nutrition, challenging concepts and general inconvenience. Certainly there should be an organic, whole-life, government run Valhalla for Cas and the 50% of leeches who ride on the backs of the producers.

    Comment by Heliotrope — August 14, 2011 @ 12:03 pm - August 14, 2011

  43. Hi HT,
    So, how exactly is a consumer supposed to practice this “caveat emptor” of which you speak, at the processed food level?

    Comment by Cas — August 14, 2011 @ 1:44 pm - August 14, 2011

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