Deregulation Nation?

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Dodd-Frank, whose newly contested status I will discuss in my next post, is not be the only business regulation up for reexamination by the new Congress.

Politico reports that the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), sent out letters to 150-plus U.S. companies, trade associations, and other organizations in December. The letter asked recipients to identify existing and proposed regulations that might harm job growth.

An Issa spokesperson said that Issa intends to identify ways that the regulatory burden can be eased in order to stimulate job creation.

Politics aside, the correlation between business regulation and job creation that Issa suggests here is interesting. And by “interesting,” I mean a response that ranges from “incorrect oversimplification” to “worthy of academic study.”

Businesses do not exist solely to create jobs (successful businesses tend to create jobs; some corporations achieve success by shedding jobs), nor is the intent of regulation to limit the creation of new jobs. Sarbanes-Oxley created thousands of new jobs for government regulators, consultants and accountants, software professionals, and business writers. Are those the types of jobs that it behooves our economy to create? Some are (consultants, accountants, software professionals). Some, probably, are not (regulators, pundits, and writers -- eww).

Here's hoping that any debate and discussion about the nature of business regulation in the coming months is sufficiently thoughtful and comprehensive, intelligent, and productive … and not incorrectly oversimplified. ###

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GRC expert Eric Krell supplies the Business Finance community in-depth articles and commentary examining governance, risk, and compliance.

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