How Much Has Federal Regulation Grown Since 1950?

As of 2013:

  • 235 volumes of federal regulation have been created.
  • 18x the amount of regulation that existed in 1950.
  • Mandates such as “Shall, Must, Prohibited” appear over 1,000,000 times throughout existing federal regulations.

Economist Dan Mitchell points out that,

Mitchell goes on to cite the report mentioned in the video:

A recent study published in the Journal of Economic Growth found that between 1949 and 2005 the accumulation of federal regulations slowed US economic growth by an average of 2 percent per year. Had the amount of regulation remained at its 1949 level, 2011 gross domestic product (GDP) would have been about $39 trillion—or three and a half times—higher, which translates into a loss of about $129,300 for every person in the United States.

A 2005 World Bank study found that a 10-percentage-point increase in a country’s regulatory burdens slows the annual growth rate of GDP per capita by half a percentage point. Based on this finding, an increase in regulatory burdens can translate to thousands of dollars in lost GDP per capita growth in less than a decade.

Other economists have estimated that a heavily regulated economy grows two to three percent slower than a moderately regulated one.

According to a World Bank study, moving from the 25 percent most burdensome to the 25 percent least burdensome regulatory environment (as measured by the World Bank’s Doing Business index) can increase a country’s average annual GDP per capita growth by 2.3 percentage points.

Once we reach 300 volumes of regulation, Fed economists predict we will achieve a utopia where unicorns shit rainbows on every lawn and no person will ever be harmed again.