Every time I turn around I see, hear or read about some new regulation that is being proposed, lobbied, dangled and wrangled.
The increased restrictions I have witnessed in my not-quite-50-years in this world are monumental. I cannot imagine what it must be like for my parents in their 70′s or my remaining grandparents in their 90′s to recall the many freedoms that have been taken away from them by out-of-touch and out-of-control lawmakers, elected by an easily influenced and increasingly lazy and selfish society.
There are countless examples everyday of the growing pressure to increase regulations in every aspect of an American citizen’s life. They want to take away my right to keep and bear arms, my right to free speech, and my right to pursue the American Dream. Unlike some of our former and current lawmakers, I do not see the American Dream as a “right” but instead, it is my right (according to a little thing called the Constitution) to pursue my own American dream. How the heck do they know what each of us envisions as our American dream and how dare they make that decision for me?
What impact will the cost of increased regulations on animal welfare have on U.S. producers and consumers? Andre Williamson with the research firm Agralytic provided some answers to that question at the recent National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) meeting. Williamson discussed findings from a recent Agralytic study which looked at the impact that hog housing and antimicrobial restrictions have had in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark.
The study showed that regulations imposed by federal, state, and local governments can make domestic farmers and ranchers uncompetitive with competitors overseas and drive them out of business. Just as manufacturing and service jobs have been “offshored” to Mexico, China, South Korea, India, and other countries, the researchers concluded that excessive regulation could eventually cause animal agriculture to move offshore.
Williamson says this could lead to higher consumer prices. No kidding.
When a 1999 United Kingdom law banning sow stalls with tethers went into effect, the herd dropped by about 45%. The farmers who did stay in the business spent a fortune retrofitting their operations. The country began importing more pork. The consumer began paying more for pork products.
Many people may think that regulatory costs are a business problem, but according to the Heritage Foundation, the costs of regulation are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices.
”Basic items, such as toilets, showerheads, light bulbs, mattresses, washing machines, dryers, cars, ovens, refrigerators, television sets, and bicycles, all cost significantly more because of government decrees on energy use, product labeling, and performance standards that go well beyond safety—as well as hundreds of millions of hours of testing and paperwork to document compliance.”
Although it is nearly impossible to get a firm handle on the total cost of regulation in this country, the estimate widely used is $1.75 trillion.
Many government agencies in this country are out of control. Instead of listing those that are, I would challenge you to give me an example of one that is not, at some level, in pursuit of regulating, restricting or defining your American dream.
I am not suggesting a country free of man’s laws. We need laws to maintain order. But when I receive hundreds of news releases a year describing restrictions being proposed and/or demanded by lawmakers, organizations and individuals, it is, at the very least, disheartening.