Douglas M. Walker
Many citizens are unaware of the extent to which the federal and state government intervenesin our daily lives. Indeed, government affects almost everything we do, either directly or indirectly. Government taxes almost all monetary transactions, it licenses workers in a widevariety of industries, it regulates technical aspects of many types of consumer products, andgovernment even controls individuals’ behavior on private property. Seldom do votersconsider the aggregate monetary and non-monetary costs of government regulation. Voterscan be pardoned; however, since if they made an effort at comprehensive awareness of government regulation, they would have time for little else. Even if they did have a vastknowledge of the regulatory environment, there is little they could do to change it.South Carolina is one of the poorest states in the nation. The state’s failure to keep pace with other states is due to many causes, but the size and scope of government in theeconomy is a primary cause. The other chapters in this book illustrate this fact. One aspect of the state government that needs comprehensive reform is the regulatory environment. Thischapter describes some general principles and examples for regulatory reform which would promote a free market, economic growth, and individual freedom in South Carolina.
South Carolina does rank well in some general surveys, such as Forbes’ ‘America’sBest States to Live.’ South Carolina ranks 26
. Some more specific examples of businessenvironment rankings are discussed in Chapter 2. For example, South Carolina does rather well in the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s rankings.
In the 2009 business taxindex, South Carolina ranks 11
in the country, meaning the state has the 11
best businesstax system in the United States. South Carolina ranked 7
in the 2009 Small BusinessSurvival Index.South Carolina ranks particularly well in ‘regulatory environment’ for business – getting Forbes’ 3
rank of all 50 states for 2008. Yet the state ranks 29
overall in the ‘BestStates for Business’ (Badenhausen 2008), falling 6 spots in the ranking since the previousyear. Both of South Carolina’s neighbors score better, with North Carolina ranked 3
The approach of this chapter follows closely that of Corey and Curott’s (2007) examination of regulatoryreform in West Virginia.
Source: Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (http://www.sbecouncil.org/).