Why Obama’s New Overtime Regs Will Hurt More Than They Help

The new rules are part and parcel of an administration that really seems to be wilfully naive or ignorant of basic economics. If we are in fact living through a new era of low economic growth (of, say, 2 percent annual growth rather than the post-war average of 3 percent), it’s folly to think the next step is to cost more and more benefits onto employers. Given the deluge of massive regulation of the economy in the 21st century, egregious spending increases, mounting debt, and state-created uncertainty—and recall, George W. Bush was as bad or worse than Obama on all these scores—is it any wonder that the economy is putt-putting along rather than roaring down the highway?

If the government wants to unilaterally raise living standards, it would be far less disruptive to the labor market and economy to send checks to workers and residents it thinks don’t make enough money. But that of course would be difficult to justify politically or, horrors, it might mean the government would have to stop spending money on something else to pay for those transfers. Instead, it keeps choosing to layer more and more requirements on the very businessess that provide jobs to begin with.

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