The good side of government regulation

Government regulations are an easy target for politicians, especially those on the fringe who never let the facts get in the way of a good harangue.

Despite what some pols would have us believe, government regulations can be good for businesses and their customers, says a report from the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

The report – Regulation: The Unsung Hero in American Innovation – examines five regulations that resulted in good things for the economy despite being originally attacked by both politicians and industry.


“Congress and the White House should look at the record instead of the rhetoric about regulations,” Taylor Lincoln, research director with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and a co-author of the report, says in a news release. “This report shows what happens what the government calls on industry to do its best instead of caving in to its desire to do the least.”

The five regs studied by Public Citizen are: light bulb efficiency, sulfur dioxide emissions, poisonous vinyl chloride, CFC emissions, home appliance efficiency.

Government regulations don’t always produce postive outcomes, but knee-jerk attacks on regulatory proposals are misguided. There is no denying that some regulations have spurred innovation and boosted economic development.

Here’s the report

Public Citizen news release