How did the U.S. economy go from an OK condition in January 2017 to an intense, nationwide labor shortage and rising wages less than 18 months later?
Daniel Henninger in the WSJ answers his own question – it lies in deciphering the effects of the Trump administration’s abrupt unwinding of the Obama era’s economic regulations.
The Obama years don’t necessarily bring into question the idea of regulation itself but of hyper-regulation. They overdid it, suddenly layering rules across the entire U.S. industrial landscape. The economy gagged.
Against the backdrop this week of Paris in flames and London’s Brexit struggles, our interest isn’t so much in the Obama regulations themselves as in the state of mind that produced so many of them.
Presumably each Obama regulator assumed that individually he or she was doing good. It wouldn’t have occurred to any of them that in the aggregate they and their rules were anesthetizing a fundamentally healthy economy.
Oddly, the U.S. in the third year of the Trump presidency may be remembered for trying to manage the economy through tariffs, quotas and the forced immobility of labor and business. Meanwhile, the post-Obama Democrats, laughably, want “socialism.”
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