You Can’t Build This, Either

Paul H Rubin, Professor of Economics at Emory University, had some thoughts on President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” oratory.  After giving Obama the benefit of the doubt and allowing that he really meant, without denigrating the accomplishments of entrepreneurs and other businessmen, that government needed to help private enterprise with infrastructure, Professor Rubin added a few items of interest in the infrastructure milieu.

  • the Obama administration, in its first three years, adopted 106 major regulations that cost over $100 million, compared with 28 such regulations in the Bush the Younger administration, and it has 144 more in the pipeline.

Of more immediate impact, with regard to the infrastructure of roads and bridges, the administration’s attitude toward other necessary components of our transportation infrastructure is clear.  It has

  • refused to allow a private company to build the Keystone XL pipeline
  • reduced permits for offshore drilling
  • slow-walked permits for drilling on Federal land
  • increased EPA regulation of pollutants, well past the point of diminishing returns, yet
  • committed to spend billions on California’s riderless bullet train to nowhere

Concerning another area of necessary infrastructure, access to capital, there’re these:

  • regulations needed to implement Dodd–Frank are not even being written, negatively impacting business’ ability to reasonably predict their fiscal future—so some won’t lend, and others won’t borrow.
  • increased minimum wage discourages hiring entry-level workers, or older workers into low-value jobs
  • Obamacare increases uncertainty regarding future labor health-related costs

And so on.  RTWT.

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