President Donald Trump’s moratorium on regulation by federal agencies will not boost jobs and could do more harm than good, Professor Alex Geisinger argued in an op-ed essay in the U.S. News & World Report on Jan. 26.
The abiding belief in the power of the free market popularized during Ronald Reagan’s presidency assumes that a business sector freed from government regulations will produce jobs and solve social problems, Geisinger said.
“It ends up that regulation does not destroy jobs and is needed to respond to problems that the free market simply can’t,” Geisinger wrote.
Regulations affect the types of employment opportunities available to American workers, but they don’t kill jobs, Geisinger said, noting that climate change rules create new types of work such as installing, operating and maintaining equipment that controls greenhouse gas emissions.
Some of the same economists who promoted free markets have acknowledged the “tragedy of the commons,” Geisinger said, exemplified in everyday experiences like a shared refrigerator in the office that is much more likely to become dirty than one at home.
“At work, that harm is shared by all who use the fridge and so there is less incentive on any single person to keep it clean,” Geisinger explained. “Deregulation is not likely to unleash significant job growth and is not the panacea that many make it out to be. In the meantime, failing to regulate in places where markets fail will only further hurt the American people.”