“An Active Regulatory State Is a Playground for the Privileged Class”

(p. A17) . . . the poor would suffer most under Mr. Biden’s platform. Dividing U.S. households into five income groups, I have estimated the regulatory costs of each quintile and expressed them as a percentage of each quintile’s average income. The costs to the bottom group amount to 15.3% of its total income—representing a burden equal to all the taxes they currently pay. This group would experience part of the cost as lower wages, but the biggest bite would come in diminished purchasing power due to higher prices for energy, cars and other consumer goods.

The top quintile, by contrast, would suffer the least from regulatory restoration, with labor, energy and other consumer rules amounting to only a 2.2% implicit tax on the highest earners.

This estimate includes not only regulations Mr. Biden has explicitly said he would revive, but also many of those that would be necessary to meet the goals outlined in his platform.

. . .

An active regulatory state is a playground for the privileged class to indulge its own preferences at the expense of ordinary Americans.

For the full commentary, see:

Casey B. Mulligan. “The Real Cost of Biden’s Plans.” The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, September 17, 2020): A17.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Sep. 16, 2020, and has the same title as the print version.)

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