“Deregulation” is one of the great phantoms of our time. Pro-government pundits and presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders repeatedly claim that private-sector influence in political elections has produced “deregulation” in American industries.
Yet regulation is easy to measure. One can count pages, paragraphs, sections, enforcement budgets or actions, etc. There has been no deregulation anywhere, in any industry in America in decades.
When pressed, socialists like Bernie Sanders point to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act during the 1990s by Bill Clinton.
But the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act (which merely prohibited investment banks from doing commercial banking) was 37 pages long. It has been replaced by thousands of pages of banking and finance laws and regulations. The Dodd-Frank Act alone runs 848 pages, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act runs another 66 pages. And many thousands of pages of internal regulations have been generated by these acts.