by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Carolina Journal has been reporting on a new study by James Broughel and Daniel Francis at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. They found that North Carolina’s administrative code contains 109,350 restrictions.
The Mercatus study follows a 2015 study by economists at Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, which estimated that the burden imposed by state regulations in North Carolina on the private sector in 2015 could range upwards of $25.5 billion.
That is for just one year.
As Broughel and Francis point out, the state burdens are piled upon already mounting federal burdens. In their report, they calculate the weight of federal red tape to be 1.15 million restrictions on industries.
As for the costs? Well, that figure depends on when you start tallying them, but they add up quickly:
Why is red tape reduction so important? Because regulations are costly. In just a single year, federal regulations cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion from lost economic productivity and higher prices. …
But it isn’t only the single-year cost. Regulations accumulate over time. As they do, their hidden costs grow worse and worse. They’re like barnacles attaching themselves to the underside of the economy, slowing it down and creating waste.
Economists at Duke University estimated the effects of new federal regulations added since 1980. They found the U.S. economy could be 25 percent larger than it actually is — a loss of about $13,000 per person.
Economists at Appalachian State and N.C. State started their estimates from 1949. They found the U.S. economy to be only about one-fourth the size it could be — a loss of about $129,300 per person.
For an in-depth discussion of the weight and cost of federal and state red tape on the private sector, read my report “Reining in Regulation.”