CEI Daily - Obama's Executive Order, Unionization, and Mortality Risk


Obama's Executive Order


Obama says his recent executive order will ensure that regulations improve safety without overly hampering free enterprise.


Vice President Wayne Crews and Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young say the executive order won't actually accomplish much.


"On closer inspection, Obama's reforms are left wanting. The growing federal regulatory burden is hampering economic recovery -- and the executive order will do little to stem its growth. Today, the Code of Federal Regulations is more than 157,000 pages long and growing. More than 4,200 new rules are in the pipeline right now. Of those, 224 are deemed 'economically significant,' which means they cost $100 million or more. While Obama will require agencies to weigh both safety and economic costs in their rulemaking, that's already been the case for years -- ever since President Bill Clinton's similar executive order -- with little to show for it."






Harper's magazine publisher Rick MacArthur is contesting the unionization of his staff.


Policy Analyst Ivan Osorio observes that leftists tend to oppose unionizations when the business being unionized is their own.


"MacArthur might elicit some sympathy for his efforts to keep his enterprise from being burdened with the bureaucratization and higher labor costs that unionization usually brings — but not much. That’s because a great deal of Rick MacArthur’s leftist advocacy — of which he has a long history — has been fueled by money that was never intended for the purposes to which he put it to use."

Mortality Risk


The EPA wants to start calling the "value of statistical life" the "value of mortality risk."


Research Associate Brian McGraw notes that the government wants to avoid public indignation over its monetary evaluation of human life; yet the rebranding doesn't change the EPA's statistical analysis.


"I’m not convinced this will have much effect, as any explanation of the statistic will indicate that it still involves the government making decisions as to the cost/benefit ratio of statistical lives saved compared to the monetary cost inflicted upon businesses or individuals. Ideally, the EPA would allow more of these cost/benefit analyses to be considered by individuals (or at least down to state policies), as differences in age, wealth, gender, ethnicity, etc. all have a large effect on the valuation of one’s risk preferences — a top down centralized approach is often too blunt an instrument."