John Mackey is the entrepreneur behind the Whole Foods Market.
(p. A17) The success of economic freedom in increasing human prosperity, extending our life spans and improving the quality of our lives in countless ways is the most extraordinary global story of the past 200 years.
. . .
Economic freedom is declining in the U.S. In 2000, the U.S. was ranked third in the world behind only Hong Kong and Singapore in the Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by this newspaper and the Heritage Foundation. In 2011, we fell to ninth behind such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland.
The reforms we need to make are extensive.
. . .
According to the Small Business Administration, total regulatory costs amount to about $1.75 trillion annually, nearly twice as much as all individual income taxes collected last year. While some regulations create important safeguards for public health and the environment, far too many simply protect existing business interests and discourage entrepreneurship. Specifically, many government regulations in education, health care and energy prevent entrepreneurship and innovation from revolutionizing and re-energizing these very important parts of our economy.
A simple reform that would make a monumental difference would be to require all federal regulations to have a sunset provision. All regulations should automatically expire after 10 years unless a mandatory cost-benefit analysis has been completed that proves the regulations have created significantly more societal benefit than harm. Currently thousands of new regulations are added each year and virtually none ever disappear.
For the full commentary, see:
JOHN MACKEY. “OPINION; To Increase Jobs, Increase Economic Freedom; Business is not a zero-sum game struggling over a fixed pie. Instead it grows and makes the total pie larger, creating value for all of its major stakeholders, including employees and communities..” The New York Times (Fri., November 16, 2011): A15.
(Note: ellipses added.)