Controls Breed Bureaucrats

Thursday, January 12, 2017

From a report about a popular Chinese restaurant in Manhattan that recently died from "over-regulation," comes the following little gem:

The de Blasio administration noted the city provides free help to small businesses. The "Small Business First" initiative helps owners save time and money while reducing the amount of paperwork.

Free compliance advisors are available for on-sight consultation aimed at helping small businesses comply with regulations.
Set aside the fact that it is a lie to call anything funded from government loot "free:" What a fine, flesh-and-blood example of the economic maxim that "controls breed controls!" (And I can't help but be reminded of the Soviet-era "political officers" who were attached to military units, either. And cockroaches.)

Regulars here will know that I regard the term "over-regulation" as a misnomer, because the government has no business running the economy. But even if we set aside our concerns with the proper purpose of government, it speaks volumes that, when businesses start dropping like flies due to a combination of taxes and red tape, the solution of reducing one or both doesn't even seem to occur to elected officials. Restaurants in New York face a regulatory environment so hostile that city officials admit that the extra work is too much for many owners -- so their idea of a solution is to charge ahead with the same regulatory burden, and add to the tax burden. And who is to say that having to deal with a government official when one ought to be thinking about how to run his business is going to save much time, anyway? On top of that, it is easy to imagine such "help" coming up with all kinds of new, time-consuming "suggestions" for anyone foolish enough to avail himself of it.

The only thing missing from this travesty is a new regulatory requirement by Mayor Bloomberg that every business must deal with such officials. (For all I know, that's already on the books, too.) In any event, it is clear that officials know there is a problem, and that if anyone even mooted the idea of reducing the regulatory burden faced by small businesses in the Big Apple, the idea was rejected.

-- CAV

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