Business Regulation Disproportionately Impact Poor and Minorities

Timothy Sandefur at the Volokh Conspiracy raises a point that should be obvious — especially to Leftists who decry “white privilege” — that regulations on business place a greater burden upon minority and poor business owners that do not have the influential political ties and greater wealth that allow large companies to navigate these obstacles.

Intrusive business regulations have a disproportionately negative impact on the poor and members of minority groups, who lack the political influence that whereby wealthy corporations and politically well-connected people are able to obtain special government favors. Nobody has done better scholarship on this point than Volokh Conspiracy blogger David Bernstein. The historical examples of the abuse of licensing laws and other regulations to oppress racial minorities are legion, and depressing. But they aren’t surprising. The lesson of public choice theory is that when government can redistribute wealth or opportunities, that power will fall into the hands of politically well-connected groups, who use it to their own advantage at the expense of less favored groups.

Sandefur provides some historical and legal examples of how these policies hamper minorities, often intentionally.

Read the whole thing.


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