Government Red Tape
Whether it’s layers of licensing requirements or endless red tape, government rules and regulations can stifle business. Learn how we can free up entrepreneurs.
One million dollars. That's what the City of Phoenix spends each year just to remove non-recyclables from its recycling barrels. One reason is, as with many government programs, it isn't always simple for consumers to figure out how to play by the book.
Phoenix gladly accepts pop and milk bottles, egg cartons, and foam meat trays. But shampoo bottles, margarine containers, and many plastic plates aren't allowed. In other words, plastics 1, 2, and 6 are in, while plastics 3, 4, and 5 are out. Who knew?
So called big box stores like Wal-Mart, Ikea and Costco have become the favorite whipping boys of some policymakers. The City of Phoenix is considering new zoning regulations that would make it tougher for these retailers to set-up shop.
If bureaucrats were the only people who suffered the effects of this commercial snobbery, such measures wouldn't matter much. Unfortunately, in this case, all consumers suffer.
This past session, the legislature created or continued more than 25 agencies, regulating everything from private postsecondary education to adult foster care homes. But well-intentioned regulations often make things worse, not better, for consumers.
Complying with extensive regulation means businesses operate at higher costs, which can translate into higher prices for consumers and fewer jobs for workers.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong captured world attention with his momentous walk on the moon. The Legislature recently took its own step by passing wine reform legislation, opening up competition in the Arizona wine market. That's one small step for wine consumers, one giant leap for economic liberty.
According to the National Journal, officials at the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education (DOE) are exploring Title IX's applications to specific areas of study, but only in disciplines that will benefit women.
Next time you read about Arizona’s looming water “catastrophe,” take a drive south on I-10 and look at all the cotton farms. In 2004, the federal government spent $64 million subsidizing cotton in Arizona, a water-intensive crop better suited to Mississippi than the Sonoran Desert.
A new ruling by a federal court in Washington State may shed light on whether Arizona’s wine laws are constitutional.
Plaintiffs are asking the federal district court in Phoenix to declare Arizona’s wine distribution system unconstitutional because it discriminates against out-of-state wineries.
On September 28, the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit challenging excessive regulations issued by the Structural Pest Control Commission (SPCC). The regulations prevent gardeners and landscapers from doing the ordinary spraying over-the-counter herbicides for their clients. The SPCC regulations don't just lie in the weeds. They're enforced with hefty fines, which means a $500 penalty for one of the plaintiffs in this case.
September's spike in gas prices, the result of Hurricane Katrina devastating Gulf Coast oil facilities, has some Arizonans demanding the state crack down on high prices. Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard has promised to introduce anti-gouging legislation next year.
"Pump price increases this week of 30 cents or more a gallon in this state are not justified by Hurricane Katrina or the higher cost of crude oil," Goddard said. "Consumers deserve more protection from this kind of profiteering."
Arizonans may soon be raising their glasses to more than 10,000 varieties of wine. Black Star Farms, a Michigan winery, and several East Valley residents have filed a federal court challenge to the constitutionality of Arizona's wine shipping regulations.
The challenge comes in the wake of Granholm v. Heald, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar programs in New York and Michigan. But Arizona still has not acted to repeal its unconstitutional laws.