Government regulation: Even worse than we thought
By Scott Sumner
I’ve done a number of posts discussing ill-advised government regulations that prohibit a free market in kidneys. In the past, I’ve cited estimates that these regulations kill 5000 Americans each year. A new article by Frank McCormick, Philip J. Held, and Glenn M. Chertow, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggests the actual cost may be nearly an order of magnitude greater, perhaps 43,000 excess deaths per year:
That’s nearly a million excess deaths since 1988, and perhaps another 465,000 more over the next decade. While these estimates are certainly imprecise, even the possibility that the cost of regulation is in this range is truly frightening.
I encourage readers not to let the media set the agenda. The media will tell you that Brett Kavanaugh was the most important issue in 2018 and that the 4500 American soldiers who died in the Iraq war was the biggest American policy disaster of the 21st century. In fact, many of the issues of greatest importance are rarely even discussed by our media or by politicians. These include:
1. The nearly 400,000 Americans in prison for drug crimes (not to mention others in prison under dubious mandatory sentencing rules.)
2. Tight money during 2008.
3. Zoning and occupational licensing laws.
4. Above all else, our horrendously over-regulated medical-industrial complex.