Posted by | February 8, 2011 14:52 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

President Obama walked into the lion’s den yesterday, making an address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the chief sources of funding for Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections.  Obama discussed many things, but I was particularly struck by his discussion of business opposition to regulation:

We can look at the history in this country.  Early drug companies argued the bill creating the FDA would “practically destroy the sale of … remedies in the United States.”  That didn’t happen.  Auto executives predicted that having to install seatbelts would bring the downfall of their industry.  It didn’t happen.  The President of the American Bar Association denounced child labor laws as “a communistic effort to nationalize children.”  That’s a quote.

It is part of the job of organizations like the Chamber to make exaggerated claims so as to prevent even minor decreases in profits for their members.  But when those claims are shown to be false time and time again, the organization needs to pay the price in decreased credibility.  Hopefully the president and other Democrats will continue with this rhetorical approach so that gross exaggerations come with cost to the exaggerator.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.