We asked experts, and most told us that while there is relatively little scholarship on the issue, the evidence so far is that the overall effect on jobs is minimal. Regulations do destroy some jobs, but they also create others. Mostly, they just shift jobs within the economy.
“The effects on jobs are negligible. They’re not job-creating or job-destroying on average,” said Richard Morgenstern, who served in the EPA from the Reagan to Clinton years and is now at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan think tank.
Almost a decade ago, Morgenstern and some colleagues published research on the effects of regulation [PDF] using ten years’ worth of Census data on four different polluting industries. They found that when new environmental regulation was applied, higher production costs pushed up prices, resulting in lost sales for businesses and some lost jobs, but the job losses were also offset by new jobs created in pollution abatement.
“There are many instances of regulation causing a specific industry to lose jobs,” said Roger Noll, co-director of the Program on Regulatory Policy at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Noll cited outright bans of products—such as choloroflorocarbons or leaded gasoline—as the clearest examples.
House Republican freshmen admit that their so-called “MediScare” attacks on Democrats helped them win a big majority in 2010. Democrats had voted for the health care law, which included $500 billion in “cuts” to Medicare—primarily slashing overpayments to private insurers—and Republican challengers never let them forget it.Now, they say, it’s time to let bygones be bygones….
On Tuesday, Kinzinger and 41 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to rein in Democratic attacks on GOP members who voted for the House budget, which includes a plan to privatize Medicare and cap spending on the program.
“We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs,” the letter reads.
We know it’s hard for you to accept the anger over your vote to end Medicare as we know it, but holding a press conference to ask the American people to ignore your irresponsible vote is, frankly, a bit puzzling. You defended your vote just two weeks ago, but you didn’t like what you got back from your constituents. It’s time to take responsibility for your actions….In case you missed it, here’s the helpful memo we sent your way yesterday.
To: GOP Freshman
Fr: Democratic Leader’s Press Office
Da: May 10, 2011
Re: The Truth Hurts — You Did Vote to End Medicare as We Know It
Just half a day after Speaker Boehner said he wants to engage in “honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare” (ie: the GOP’s plan to end Medicare as we know it), you are trying to silence criticism of your vote supporting the plan….
A few months ago a doctor asked me why hedge fund managers make more money than he and his colleagues. After all, Doctor, when used before a name, is capitalized, while hedge fund manager isn’t. While I’m joking about the capitalization — it does reflect the much greater level of societal acclamation doctors receive from the moment they set their minds on an MD to their obituaries. So why doesn’t societal acclamation translate into money?
Before trying to answer this question, it’s worth noting that I just spent some time trying to find a list of the highest paid doctors — but I failed. I found one list which said surgeons make an average of $247,536– and a 1999 survey suggesting that neuro-surgeons make $500,000. But hedge fund managers do get ranked by income, as this New York Times article (registration required) points out.
My post on top-ranked James Simons (2006 income: $1.7 billion), suggested hedge fund managers out-earn doctors because top performing hedgies can leverage their time more efficiently. That is — while a hedge fund manager can take on an additional $1 billion under management without adding a huge number of additional analysts, if a doctor takes on many more patients, he or she will need to hire a proportionately larger number of doctors to treat them. Most hedge fund managers let computers do much of the work — something doctors can’t do.
But there’s really more to it than that — society perceived that the pricing mechanism for doctors’ services was broken. That is, if the free market set the price, many citizens would not be able to afford to pay. And society believes implicitly that health care should be widely available to citizens. (That doesn’t mean everybody. 40 million Americans are not covered by health insurance but many of them can get care at hospital emergency rooms.) (more…)