A Room to Room Review of How Regulations Increase Cost of Living

Government regulations impose costly burdens on Americans. But because regulations are imposed on businesses, many Americans don’t directly feel their weight.

But those burdens are very real, adding hundreds if not thousands to the annual cost of living for every American. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ben Lieberman finds a way to describe how regulations add to the cost of living. He does it by going from room to room in your home:

  • The kitchen. The Trump administration took steps to fix the Energy Department’s efficiency standards for dishwashers that had the unintended consequence of increasing the time to clean a load of dishes from an hour or less in older models to well over two in new ones. But now the Biden DOE is in the process of reinstating these time-wasting and unpopular rules.
  • The bathroom. In one of several agency measures that limit freedom of choice, the DOE has tightened water-use limits for certain types of showers. In addition, for those who prefer incandescent light bulbs surrounding their bathroom mirror (or anywhere else), the DOE is targeting these bulbs with energy-efficiency standards likely to boost their price to $7 each, leaving LEDs as the only viable option.
  • The laundry room. Washing machines have been hit with multiple rounds of energy and water-efficiency regulations that have compromised performance and even forced some owners to buy and use special products to eliminate the stink that accumulates in the new models. Compliant dryers, like the new dishwashers, take longer to do the job. But rather than consider consumer-friendly improvements to existing standards, the Biden DOE is working to make them more stringent.

That’s just three of the rooms he reviews, not including the basement, the garage, and any air-conditioned room. When all is said and done, every room of your home is affected by government regulations.

But regulations don’t just increase the cost of everyday living. They often lower the quality of life for everyone subjected to their impact. It’s no accident a World Bank study found deregulation reduces extreme poverty.

Craig Eyermann is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.
Beacon Posts by Craig Eyermann | Full Biography and Publications
  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless
  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org