When Regulations Crush Entrepreneurs
"If we have so much regulation that it makes it not worthwhile, then we’re not going to be able to stay in business.”
“With its power to prohibit or compel, to take or give money, the state can and does selectively help or hurt a vast number of industries.” – American Economist, George J. Stigler
Last week the Frontier Institute released a column as part of our ongoing series highlighting the real stories of Montanans struggling under the burden of onerous government regulations.
Mike Wilson is the CEO of Whitewood Transport, a heavy-haul trucking company based out of Billings. Lisa Rush is a semi truck owner-operator who works transporting heavy equipment.
Unlike other industries that primarily operate in a single state, trucking by its very nature often crosses state lines. The multitude of these regulations can create a bureaucratic nightmare for truckers and their business partners.
“Anytime there’s a regulation it’s going to create a cost and it has to be either absorbed or passed on. We don’t have the margins in trucking to be able to absorb much. We don’t work for exercise, we work for profit. If we have so much regulation that it makes it not worthwhile, then we’re not going to be able to stay in business.”
As we noted in our 2022 Red Tape Snapshot, the accumulation of thousands of regulations has been shown to stifle economic growth and substantially increase the cost of doing business. Luckily Governor Gianforte has committed to reducing excessive, outdated and unnecessary regulations, which will help make Montana a home to entrepreneurs and innovators.
Their story highlights yet another example of how regulation can accumulate into mountains of red-tape, hurting entrepreneurs and the innovations they create. You can read the full interview here.
Wildfire Crisis Strategy
In this month’s featured column on forest management, PERC Policy Director Hannah Downey explains how the Forest Service’s new plan Confronting the Wildfire Crisis is a step in the right direction, but in order to fully tackle the problem forest management red-tape must be cut.
“It’s time to get proactive about forest management. The focus on active restoration instead of strict preservation will go a long way to confront the wildfire crisis, but only if red tape and regulatory challenges don’t interfere.”
Modern Day Privacy
Amidst national debate on government use of facial recognition Frontier Institute President and CEO Kendall Cotton provided comments in a recent article discussing the developments from the Economic Affairs Interim Committee study on the technology. “Just because there is potential for good doesn’t mean there should be a pass for all the bad things that can happen.”
Our Take: While facial recognition can help secure taxpayer funds by preventing unemployment fraud, we’ve noted how the potential for abuse is still a major concern. That’s why we’ve recommended lawmakers adopt uniform and transparent rules that limit how the technology can be used by the government.
Healthcare in 2022
A recent column from the Heritage Foundation highlighted the ways in which Montana has removed key regulatory barriers to patients and fostered healthy competition in the 2021 legislative session.
Our Take: The Frontier Institute was proud to work with others to champion bills that improved healthcare in Montana by expanding the availability of direct primary care, eliminating restrictions on telehealth services, easing rules for medical professionals to dispense prescription medications, and repealing anti-competitive certificate of need laws. These reforms mark a significant step forward to ensuring Montana remains the last best place.