The growth of federal regulations over the past six decades has cut U.S. economic growth by an average of 2 percentage points per year, according to a new study in the Journal of Economic Growth. As a result, the average American household receives about $277,000 less annually than it would have gotten in the absence of six decades of accumulated regulations—a median household income of $330,000 instead of the $53,000 we get now.
I have long told people that government has retarded the growth of the economy, which has a compiling effect over time. But numbers are hard to estimate. To one individual who said we need more “financial regulations”, I pointed out that we had tens of thousands of pages of “financial regulations” to which he replied “well, they need to be written better”. Tens of thousands of rules! Here is a snapshot of new regulations per year (this is not “total”):