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Regulation Issue

Industry’s Complaints About New Rules Are Predictable—and Wrong

Feb. 14, 2013 — Today, at the national, state, and city levels, opponents of regulation claim proposed rules will eliminate jobs, reduce profits and hurt consumers. But such doomsday forecasts rarely, if ever, materialize. Regulations that prompt hysteria when they are being debated in Congress usually end up imposing minimal costs on businesses once they take effect. And they often yield significant benefits. This report looks at five more recent areas that have followed a familiar pattern: The proposed regulation initially prompts industry to conjure dramatic language about the damage it will cause. Then, the regulation takes effect and wins broad public approval. Meanwhile, industry’s ominous predictions quietly recede from memory after they fail to materialize.

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