Dana Blauvelt, a member of Heritage's Young Leaders Program
Adjusting to life as an intern at The Heritage Foundation was probably the easiest transition I have ever made. As a student from a conservative college with a strong background in America’s founding principles, there couldn’t have been a better fit for me this summer.
Nor could my experience have come at a better time. I have had the privilege of a front row seat in the theater of American politics at a time of unprecedented fiscal debate. I was able to promote essential conservative principles while being exposed to heated political discourse. The textbook knowledge I gained in my economics, American history and Constitutional law classes came alive in Washington as I dug deeper into the reasoning behind the latest legislative proposals. Continue Reading »
“Do you heat your home? Light your rooms? Buy and cook food? Watch TV? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you’ve fallen under federal regulation,” explains Heritage’s Mike Brownfield. “And you’re paying for it, too.”
In Red-Tape Rising: A 2011 Mid-Year Report, The Heritage Foundation’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz identify 15 new major regulations that have added $5.8 billion in annual costs along with $6.5 billion in costs for one-time implementation. And that’s just new regulations so far this year – there are thousands more, costing an estimated $1.75 trillion annually.
Gattuso and Katz explain how these billions of dollars will hit home for Americans:
Many people may think that regulatory costs are a business problem. Indeed, they are, but the costs of regulation are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices. Basic items, such as toilets, showerheads, lightbulbs, mattresses, washing machines, dryers, cars, ovens, refrigerators, television sets, and bicycles, all cost significantly more because of government decrees on energy use, product labeling, and performance standards that go well beyond safety—as well as hundreds of millions of hours of testing and paperwork to document compliance.
Reining in bureaucratic costs will require legislative action. The first steps, according to Gattuso and Katz, are to ensure Congressional review of all major regulations and to require a sunset date for each rule so that unnecessary regulations will automatically expire.
For more details on America’s growing red tape, see Gattuso and Katz’s full report.
“We live at the end of a certain kind of world” with the rise of Facebook and similar technologies, but we should not fear that change, social media researcher John Mark Reynolds said Monday at The Heritage Foundation.
Reynolds said he is confident that we will not simply cease to pursue the personal connections that are critical to a free society as we develop online relationships. Instead, he predicts that personal relationships and private forums for the safe exchange of ideas will become all the more valuable as they become rare.
That’s not to say that the rapid rise of social networks like Facebook and Twitter is without negative consequences. Continue Reading »