8 December 2019
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Robert Luddy
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Government regulation is killing economic growth
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The history of this nation is one of risk and reward. Our Founding Fathers took major risks to journey to an unknown land and launch an unprecedented experiment in human freedom and create the United States of America. Generations of patriots have risked everything in defense of this experiment. These roots of freedom have grown into the most dynamic economy in the history of the world.

The pattern of American prosperity has held true throughout our nation's history. Just like our founders, entrepreneurs have taken risks, going into uncharted territory to launch new enterprises—and their success has fueled the American Dream. The free enterprise system is the foundation of the American Dream and I fear it's slipping away.

Indeed, judging from the rhetoric of some in the political class, it seems that instead of celebrating success, we're now more likely to demonize it. But while vilifying the rich and advocating for hiking taxes on job creators may seem like good short-term political strategy, it's not a long-term vision for growth.

The reality is that small business owners are facing a regulatory onslaught from Washington unlike any in recent memory. Government overreach is impeding the engine of economic growth and the uncertainty that comes from political gridlock and partisanship surrounding tax and regulatory reform certainly doesn't make it any easier.

Business leaders are rising up to call attention to the fact that government policies are adversely impacting their ability to expand and hire. And contrary to popular belief amongst government regulators, the majority of the American people are with the business leaders on this one. A recent CivicScience/American Institute for Growth poll found that 54 percent of Americans support reforming particular government policies if successful business leaders said it was preventing them from creating jobs, while only 16 percent of Americans would be less likely to agree. This is consistent with a March American Institute for Growth/YouGov poll that found a majority of Americans felt a great deal of sympathy for employers who protest burdensome regulations and taxes.

It appears that despite the recession and subsequent tepid economic recovery, most Americans recognize that this not a time to be doing away with the very system that has made our nation the most prosperous in the world and the choice destination of all would-be entrepreneurs. As I've written before, the way we get back to American prosperity is to empower job creators to invest, encourage entrepreneurs to take risks, and reinforce the free enterprise foundation upon which this nation was built.

Robert Luddy is a member of the North Carolina Leadership Team for American Institute for Growth and president and founder of CaptiveAire Systems, Inc.
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