The Quote by Grover Norquist on Regulations
“Regulations can make things worse. A well-named regulation can do great damage. Regulations sometimes do the opposite of what was promised or hoped for.” -Grover Norquist on Regulations
My Take on this Grover Norquist Quote
I think this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations is one of the best Grover Norquist quotes for young conservatives to keep in mind as they form their opinions about government involvement in society. The government bureaucrats that create and enforce those regulations would love nothing more than to run the economy. They don’t want us to be a free, capitalist state.
They want a planned state where their fiefdoms of other mindless, useless bureaucrats are enlarged and they get to tell even more people what to do. If you don’t believe me, just look at the government’s tyrannical response to the Chinese flu pandemic. It proves the point of this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations quite well.
For those of you that don’t know, Grover Norquist is the founder and head of Americans for Tax Reform (commonly called ATR), which is one of the most influential conservative think tanks. It’s the one, for example, that came up with the term “death tax” to help rally public support against the unjust and ridiculous estate tax. Since its inception, ATR has fought relentlessly to lower taxes and decrease the scope and cost of government. So, this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations isn’t coming from a nobody; he knows exactly what he talks about when he says that regulations make things worse.
They make things worse because the government is a negative force on society. It’s a necessary evil, not a positive good. Other than perhaps the space program described in Carrying the Fire and running the courts, it does very little well. The police enforce unjust laws rather than serving and protecting. The military hasn’t won a war since World War II. Welfare programs, like those described in Coming Apart, last forever while only degrading society. That is certainly the lesson of the failed war on poverty launched by the LBJ administration.
So, other than a few niche areas, government action, especially economic intervention, should be feared rather than encouraged. That should be your biggest takeaway from this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations.
Of course, as you could probably guess from this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations, that means that regulations should be feared rather than encouraged too. Other than the socialist-style of government ownership of the means of production, they’re the most common and most economically-draining way in which the government interferes in the American economy. Because of regulations, businesses have added costs that lead to lost productivity and horribly hurt American consumers.
Without regulations, businesses would be able to produce goods in the manner they see fit and producers would be able to buy the goods that they want to. No government intervention, just informed and consensual transactions like Milton Friedman pushes for in Capitalism and Freedom and Adam Smith advocates for in The Wealth of Nations.
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In other words, without the absurdly restrictive regulations that we currently have in America, Americans would once again be free to innovate and do business as they see fit. We would have capitalism again. And capitalism is the one force in human history that has lifted the majority of people in any given society out of poverty. That is because, as discussed in the great Robert Heinlein quote on poverty and prosperity, it empowers the “doers” and innovators in society, the men who drive society onward and towards a more prosperous future.
With deregulation, those men are free. But, with the heavy-handed government policies described in this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations, they are yoked to the bureaucracy and unable to do or innovate. If America wants to remain prosperous, it should free them. That is a lesson of history.
Just look at the building of the transcontinental railroad, for example. When surveyors and railroad executives were free to build the roads as they saw fit, a railroad was built across the nation in a few short years using nothing but muscle power. Could that be done now? No. Regulations would make it impossible.
If the deleterious regulations of the sort described in this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations are passed because liberals act on their proclivity for compulsion or are trying to protect their corporatist friends in Big Business from competition, then freedom is limited and inefficiencies are created. Consumers can’t buy what they want and businesses can’t do what they want and experiment or innovate as they want. Often, that is quite harmful. Because of government regulations, for example, safer cigarettes have not been created. The technology might be there, but we will never know because the government makes creating new types of cigarettes far too difficult and expensive for companies to do. As a result, thousands die.
Plus, inefficiencies caused by the cost of complying with state and federal regulations lead to lost profits and wasted time, especially for small businesses.
Americans need to take this quote by Grover Norquist on regulations to heart. Rather than opting for government involvement in the economy, they should rally around the idea of defending liberty and fighting against regulations. Support politicians like Eric Brakey who would do that!
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