The Cost of Regulation

U2 were sticking it to the man:

The rich stay healthy
The sick stay poor -God Part II, 1988

The point is true that wealth makes health. People with money can afford healthy habits and avoid risks. What is the connection to regulation? It makes regulation counterproductive: rules meant to improve life take it instead.

Regulations that take people’s time, resources and wealth make people poorer and thus cost lives, not to mention quality of life. In the third world, people can die for want of couple of thousand dollars or less. In the first world life isn’t so cheap but it still has a cost. It is estimated that, in wealthy nations, people die for want of $7-10 million dollars. It is called statistical murder.

It is poor people who feel the most harm from regulations. People with a more comfortable income are more likely to find that the regulations just told them to do what they would have done anyway. Bottom line: look to the end to find how many lives are taken each year by the EPA alone.

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