the rise of the regulatory state

Ours is a regulatory capitalism where regulators and the regulated are intertwined in symbiotic cartel-forming ways that often make working the halls of Congress and regulator offices far more profitable for firms and organizations than struggling in labs, stores, and service organizations to earn consumer patronage. EO 13563 gives commands to an army of regulators who operate as if they are external to the economy they seek to fix, while in fact they are a part of it.

The transformation of the U.S. economy into regulatory capitalism began around 1970, which was the start of the modern regulatory era. It was then that regulation became highly centralized at the federal level, that newly formed social regulators such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Consumer Product Safety Commission joined older economic regulators like the Federal Communications Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Federal Trade Commission to form a new legal environment that ultimately transformed the United States from a common-law to a code-law country.

from bruce yandle’s recent cato article, forty years on the regulatory commons

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