Tags: Forbes Magazine Infrastructure Being Held Hostage by Thicket of Regulation

Forbes Magazine: 'Infrastructure Being Held Hostage by Thicket of Regulation'

Sunday, 02 August 2015 09:58 AM

Experts on both sides of the political divide agree that our crumbling infrastructure needs to be improved. But regulation stands in the way, write Christopher Helman and Daniel Fisher of Forbes magazine.

"From subways to bridges to power lines and pipelines, the nation’s land, water and key infrastructure is increasingly being held hostage by a growing thicket of regulation, sophisticated opposition and a me-first philosophy that regards development, no matter the public good, as a potential assault on the sacred," they state.

The not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) mentality has "delayed, killed or inflated the expenses of more than 500 projects nationwide over the last decade at a cost to the economy of more than $1 trillion annually, Forbes conservatively estimates, though in truth those numbers are likely far higher."

As examples, Helman and Fisher cite housing construction caps in San Francisco, the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, bridge and subway construction in New York City and port expansion in Savannah, Ga.

And the writers criticize the Obama administration for implementing 499 major rules for federal agencies in its first six years, up 43 percent from the first six years of George W. Bush.

Speaking of regulation, with the Dodd-Frank financial reform law celebrating its fifth anniversary this month, the editors at Investor's Business Daily have offered their assessment of the Obama administration centerpiece. The review isn't positive.

"It's a pernicious law, one that a devastating new report suggests is largely to blame for our lackluster economy," an IBD editorial states. The report was House testimony offered by American Enterprise Institute fellow Peter Wallison Tuesday.

"I believe that all the new regulation added by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 is the primary reason for the slow growth this country has experienced since 2010," he said. Economic growth has averaged 2.3 percent during that period.

IBD editors note that a key aim of the Dodd-Frank law was to eliminate the notion of too-big-to-fail banks. "It sounded good at the time. But in fact, it's had the exact opposite effect, leading to a decline in small banks and rising market share for the very largest," they note.

The biggest four banks — Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America — have increased their share of deposits since the 2008 financial crisis.

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Experts on both sides of the political divide agree that our crumbling infrastructure needs to be improved. But regulation stands in the way, write Christopher Helman and Daniel Fisher of Forbes magazine.
Forbes Magazine Infrastructure Being Held Hostage by Thicket of Regulation
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2015-58-02
Sunday, 02 August 2015 09:58 AM
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