Mixed Agendas and Government Regulation of Business: Can We Clean Up the Mess?

Thomas M. Arnold*

Jerry L. Stevens**

The history of regulation in the U.S. economy shows a cumulative growth of government involvement in private enterprise that has helped business at times and has been at odds with business at other times. The wavering views on how much regulation is warranted change over time and cut across political and philosophical ideologies. For example, in the first two years of President Barack Obama’s administration there was a push for new and large increases in regulation of healthcare and financial markets along with intervention into public markets with massive spending to bailout automakers and financial institutions. Now, in the second half of the Obama term we are seeing a call for regulatory review with an eye on reducing regulatory burdens on economic growth and job creation.

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*   Thomas M. Arnold, Ph.D., CFA is an Associate Professor of Finance and the F. Carlyle Tiller Chair in Business at the E.C. Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

** Jerry L. Stevens, Ph.D., CCM is a Professor of Finance in the E.C. Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.