Economic Impact Of Policies

On May 18 The Wall Street Journal had an article on a new lead-paint law titled “New Lead-Paint Law Heavy on Budgets.”

This law serves as a good example of an important issue I wrote of in my May 2009 article “America’s Economic Future – ‘Greenfield’ or ‘Brownfield’?”

In that article I wrote of the need for policies to be thoroughly assessed with regard to overall economic impact, compared with whatever “societal good” the policy purports to accomplish.

A thorough discussion of the benefits and costs of this new lead-paint law would be exceedingly lengthy and complex.  However, I believe that this lead-paint law, if thoroughly analyzed from an “all things considered” standpoint – taking into account both “societal good” as well as economic impacts – would be found to be (far) suboptimal in many respects.  Of particular concern is that this is yet another law that disproportionately (negatively) impacts small businesses.

While one may dismiss this new law as one that is limited in nature and thus relatively insignificant, it is important to note that it is just one example among many in which inadequate overall analysis was conducted.   Cumulatively, these poorly analyzed policies are very significant in determining whether America’s economic future will be that of a “greenfield” or “brownfield.”

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