CHART: There's No Reason To Believe The US Is Over-Regulated

Conservative politicians like Ron and Rand Paul, Sen. Jim DeMint, and Sen. Tom Coburn have been outspoken critics of business regulation, arguing against many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs untroubled—and in fact even approving—of government interference.

Compared to the rest of the world, however, the idea that the U.S. suffers from over-regulation seems to be a myth. Just take a look at this chart from McKinsey.

It should be immediately obvious that the U.S. (along with the U.K) is the least regulated advanced economy in the world. This seriously threatens the idea that companies are going to move themselves to a similarly stable country simply because of less business regulation. Particularly not when U.S. employees are the most productive in the developed world.

Further, the fact that the U.S. is such a significant outlier in the data suggests that lack of regulation alone is not responsible for all this productivity—much of it must necessarily come from factors elsewhere in the economy—and discredits the idea that further de-regulatory measures will significantly increase worker productivity.

The argument that we still need to peel back regulation in order to generate business growth is weak.

oecd productivity

Photo: McKinsey

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