Newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis may not have run an outstanding election campaign, but his administration has the potential to be first rate.
The Washington Free Beacon had a story that caught our eye. DeSantis is sponsoring the “first-ever ‘Florida Deregathon,’ a state-sponsored summit aimed at identifying and eliminating ‘unnecessary regulations’ that hurt small businesses and licensed trade workers.”
Many of these regulations are designed solely to limit competition for existing businesses. The Beacon found a series of tweets from the Institute for Justice that explained how business red tape limits opportunity and raises prices for consumers.
According to the IJ, “…occupational licensing laws kill about 2.8 million U.S. jobs every year. Second, occupational licensing laws cause U.S. consumers to be overcharged by about $203 billion every year. It is basically legalized price gouging created by the government. Third, for the overwhelming majority of licensed occupations, occupational licensing laws have no positive impact on safety or quality.”
DeSantis concurs. “Aggressive and appropriate deregulation is a top priority of my administration. Aside from hurting our businesses, harmful regulations are costly, stifle competition and limit our labor pool. I look forward to working with the boards to see what can be done to keep Florida on a trajectory toward continued prosperity.”
To back that up DeSantis appointed former State Rep. Halsey Beshears as secretary of the Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation. That is a good choice. While still in the House Beshears “sponsored a bill in 2018 to deregulate occupations such as nail polishers, boxing timekeepers, and hair braiders while streamlining those for barbers, nail specialists and business organizations such as architecture services and interior designers.”
The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, but in the Republican-controlled Senate the bill never made it out of committee. Why? Easy, the campaign contributions from nail salons, barber shops, and interior design firms spoke louder in favor of crony capitalism and limiting competition.
This is why DeSantis is trying an end run around the Senate and going to the Department of Red Tape itself.
We only have one problem with the way “Deregathon” is organized. “According to the agenda, each of the licensing boards will suggest proposed changes to licensing laws affecting their occupations that can be ‘immediately’ implemented by lawmakers after the state Legislature convenes March 5."
Stacking the hearing with representatives of the boards that enforce the stifling regulatory regime sounds a little like asking the fox for suggestions on how to upgrade security measures in the hen house.
Next time we hope DeSantis invites testimony and suggestions from entrepreneurs that have been blocked from opening a business, existing businesses that are burdened by unnecessary regulations, and consumers that have been denied choice in exchange for higher prices.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a questsin TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.