The Permit Plague

In an important new article, “The Permit Plague,” Professor Gary Hull of Duke University documents one of the greatest obstacles to industrial progress: government permitting policies.

The tumor of government permits has metastasized throughout the economy. In many parts of the country, such permits are required if one wants to do any of the following: drill for and transport oil and gas; market and sell medical devices and drugs; construct buildings; plant flowers and build a tree house (on one’s own property!); shut down or expand a factory; merge with or purchase another business; hire or ire employees; set prices for one’s products and services; fish, hunt, and drive a pleasure boat; sell one’s own chickens, goats, or cookies; become a lawyer or doctor or accountant or florist or hairdresser; move dirt; help the homeless; transport people and freight; board a plane; homeschool your own children; buy new or upgrade factory equipment; make toys; start a business (any business).

Read the whole thing.