regulatory politics

Equity Weighting: A Brief Introduction

An unfamiliar concept for most that just might make cost-benefit analysis more progressive.

A technique called equity weighting could make regulation more progressive. Implementing this technique may be harder than it sounds, however, for a variety of practical, legal, and political reasons. Agencies might do best to use equity weighting as a way to check their regulatory decisions rather than as their main decision tool.


Willful Ignorance

As with climate science, Trump is in denial about public health issues.

Anti-vaxxers are a lot like the climate denial crowd, but with two differences. First, there hasn’t been any corporate money fomenting skepticism about vaccines, unlike climate denial. Second, anti-vaxxers are sprinkled across the ideological spectrum. Still, the similarities between these two forms of anti-scientism are greater. One big similarity: both anti-science views have the support …


Playing Chicken With Food Safety

Food safety doesn’t get the attention it deserves from regulators. Case in point: the latest Salmonella outbreak.

Food safety is something of a step-child of U.S. regulation.  The public obviously cares about it, but it lacks the kind of attention from advocacy groups that the environment gets.  The results have not been pretty. Food safety is divided between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (for …


What Would Romney Do? How Reelection Strategy Could Shape a Romney Presidency

If Romney is elected president tomorrow, the sun will still rise in the east and sea will still be salty.  Beyond that, predictions about a Romney presidency become more difficult, given his exceptionally inconsistent history on the issues. As I showed in an earlier post, Romney’s views about environmental and energy issues flipped 180° between …


What Drives Anti-Regulatory Public Opinion?

Distrust of regulation has surged recently, but in a one-sided and somewhat surprising way.  Here’s a graph from Gallup: The Gallup folks speculate that this is due to the GOP reaction to regulatory actions under Obama.  That does not seem to fit the graph. You’ll notice that the GOP antagonism toward regulation began under Bush …