For over 30 years, Gary D. Halbert has been publishing newsletters for the investment community. Now you can receive his FREE Forecasts & Trends E-Letter delivered each week to your e-mail inbox. Gary covers the latest economic forecasts and market analysis, and you'll enjoy his always-spirited political commentaries.


This Week's Forecasts & Trends E-Letter

How Over-Regulation Hurts Us - Some Eye-Popping Numbers

October 14, 2014

Today we'll look at a recent study which quantifies just how much over-regulation hurts the US economy each year. The numbers are incredible! The US economy would be almost double what it is today were it not for the maze of costly regulations that hinder big and small businesses alike.
 
Reducing harmful and unnecessary regulations should be a top national priority, but hardly anyone in Washington talks about it. Name me one national political figure that has run on scaling back government regulation in recent years. It’s hard to find one. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were effective at limiting regulation, whereas President Obama is rated the worst of all time.
 
Over-regulation has been a main contributor to the decline in the growth rate for worker productivity. Historically, worker productivity has grown by 2.5% per year. Last year, however, productivity grew by only 1.1%, and it actually declined by 3.2% in the 1Q of this year.
 
According to a recent report, the government has implemented almost 90,000 new regulations over the last 20 years (an average of 4,500 per year), and many of these new regulations decrease worker productivity and increase costs for just about everything we buy.
 
If that weren't bad enough, the US has seen its "economic freedom" ranking plunge from being in the top ten a few years ago all the way to #12. In fact, the US is the only developed nation to see its economic freedom ranking fall for seven straight years! When it comes to free trade, we've fallen all the way to #36. And I have even more stats on this as we go along today.
 
Let's jump right into what should be a very interesting, although discouraging, letter. But we need to know these things.

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