April 25, 2012 3:04 pm ET by Oliver Willis
A new study from NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity found that usage of the phrase “job-killing regulation” in newspapers has increased 17,550% between 2007 and 2011. The Institute’s executive director, Michael A. Livermore, notes:
Claims that regulations have a significant impact on American employment call for careful scrutiny. Because they are repeated so often, the idea that regulations “kill jobs” can start to sound true, or at least “truthy.” But when you scratch the surface of these claims, too often they are based more on ideology than sound methodology.
Some of the most heated rhetoric in this debate can give the impression that regulations are creating a widespread jobs crisis and that the economy would be thriving were it not for President Obama’s environmental protection agenda. But what are all these claims linking negative job effects to regulation based on? In the scrum of politics it is often not clear: sometimes no analysis is cited, no data is included, no supporting documents are attached.
Livermore goes on to explain that, “You can’t just load up a model, churn out an estimate and holler out a headline: ‘Regulation ‘X’ kills ‘Y’ number of jobs.’”
But this is exactly what the media has done recently with regulatory issues and their relation to job creation/destruction.