The Spanish Flu Didn’t Wreck the Global Economy
What Is Different About the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Chances are that you will never hear a crowd at a protest rally chant, “What do we need? Regulation! When do we need it? Now!” People want safe food, clean air, and clean water. But in the abstract, regulation is never a popular idea. In a tough economic environment, it might seem like a recipe for disaster. In the United States, businesses large and small have long argued that they are subject to excessive red tape and government oversight, and in the context of a serious recession, that concern has become acute. In light of the country’s general enthusiasm for freedom of choice, regulation is particularly vulnerable to political attack. I learned just how intensely many Americans oppose government regulation in 2009, when President Barack Obama nominated me to become the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The OIRA administrator is often described as the