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More on Regulatory Analysis

By 21 March 2011 No Comment

The FCC & Regulatory Analysis (March 1) reviewed the 45-year history of Executive Office regulatory analysis requirements and their nonapplicability to the FCC.

Today, at the AEI’s Enterprise Blog, I explain why Regulatory Agencies Cannot Be Controlled by Requirements of Interior Rationality, and suggest that 45 years of issuing the same basic Executive Order over and over is enough.

The real problem is the basic governmental reality that agencies are created primarily to serve the interests of particular constituencies, and exist for the purpose of helping the favored group obtain benefits by imposing costs on others. Cost-benefit analysis is of little use when one group’s cost is another’s benefit.

The inability to face up to the fact that the real problem is interest group liberalism results in dithering ineffectuality, such as the ongoing theatrical events in which politicians of all stripes earnestly call their constituents in to describe the nature of their problems with regulatory agencies, with everyone pretending that this is new information. Then politicians pull the Casablanca line—I am shocked, shocked to find that irrationality is going on in this government! By heavens, we must study this, and immediately, too!

The conclusion:

[It is time to declare the regulatory analysis movement intellectually bankrupt, clear out the debris, and move on to reality. The agencies cannot be controlled by requirements of interior rationality. A massive wave of regulatory repeal is needed, accompanied by revisions of all the basic statutes and the imposition of outside controls.

The post does not deal much with the favorite subject of Digital Society, the FCC. But it gets in a couple of shots:

The history of the Federal Communications Commission is not for the squeamish, as its former chief economist has documented its repeated suppression of innovation in the interests of incumbents, and now, in some hideous karma, the agency answers to interests determined to turn those telcos into commodities and utilities so the new players can appropriate more of the value of the connectivity stack.

Image of Old EOB from Wikipedia.

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