A Modest Proposal from Jerry Pournelle

A simple and effective method of spurring the domestic economy of the United States as proposed by  Dr. Jerry Pournelle:

I will note that the best way to make the US economy grow would be to suspend for five years all Federal Regulations on commerce. Let the states deal with it. You could provide that the suspension will take place in 180 days, and the Congress has those 180 days to reinstate any regulations it sees fit, but one at a time, not en masse. They would probably keep the US Department of Agriculture meat inspections and some programs like that rather than leaving such matters to the states. Some programs would never even be considered, like bunny inspectors. Give them 180 days to restore the necessary and all the others go. The result would be an economic miracle, but of course that will never happen.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Hat Tip: Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, who notes why Congress would never go along with such a plan… “Insufficient opportunities for graft.”

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  • jim_m

    The truth is that a lot of things wouldn’t change.  There are a lot of areas of regulation where we are just filling out paperwork to demonstrate for the feds that we are doing our jobs.  We wouldn’t stop doing things the way we do them if we didn’t have the regulations, we would just not have to waste all the time filling out the paperwork.  Work would be more efficient and the quality would remain.

    But Reynolds is dead right on this one. Congress and especially the current admin, weighs everything to a nicety on it’s scales of avarice.  Nothing is done unless there is a financial payoff for them first. 

  • Anonymous

    Won’t work.  Too simple.  Congress will screw it up. If they don’t, it’s guaranteed that Reid will.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    I appreciate Pournelle’s thinking but as a one-time fix it inevitably fails.  What is required is “sunset legislation” for all regulations and the bulk of civil and tax law, and a portion of criminal law.  Every law is reviewed and renewed, specifically on a stand-alone vote by both House and Senate and signed back into law by the President, every ten years, or it expires.  For regulations, review after the first five years in force, then every ten years.

    There are literally tens of thousands of regulations which have outlived their purposes, but are still on the books and enforced.  The cost of complying with regulations is in the hundreds of billions (not all of which can be saved, of course).

    The best thing for reform is the current fiscal and economic situation.  It will mean reform is forced, not an option.

    Never let a crisis go to waste, right?

  • retired.military

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/05/americans-face-double-digit-hikes-in-electricity-bills-to-fund-upgrades.html

    Things are going to get very ugly next year if electricy prices go up as predicted by this article.

  • Anonymous

    I love the way Pournelle says “Let the states deal with it.”

    He must smoking some pretty strong weed if he thinks any state could get ramped up to provide minimum regulatory oversight to protect the health and safety of it residents in under 5 years.

    • Anonymous

      I believe his point is that a majority of the regulations in place are not needed.  If the States were tasked with coming up with a top-20 list of regs that they felt were absolutely necessary they could do it in one sitting.  It’s not like they are lacking in bureaucrats to actually do the work.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

    @rancefrayger:disqus opines:

    I love the way Pournelle says “Let the states deal with it.”

    He
    must smoking some pretty strong weed if he thinks any state could get
    ramped up to provide minimum regulatory oversight to protect the health
    and safety of it residents in under 5 years.

    Having not read the actual article rancefrayger fails to understand that what he complains of as a bug is actually a feature of the desired program.  Let Congress act to preserve the actual life and death regulations (individually by separate bill) between the promulgation of the regulatory hiatus and its going into effect (not more than 18 months).  That should keep Congress out of everyone’s hair for that period of time as well.

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