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  • Tales of the Red Tape

    Tales of the Red Tape is a special series on The Foundry that exposes some of the more egregious federal regulations that have multiplied by an unprecedented degree in the past year.

    Tales of the Red Tape #42: Peeling Back Nonsense in Vehicle Regulation

    General Motors Corp. (GM) is recalling 18,941 Chevy Camaros (model years 2013 and 2014) for violating Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208—Occupant Crash Protection. Defective seat belts? Air bag malfunction? Brake failure? Nope. GM is recalling 18,941 Chevy Camaros because the air bag warning label on the sun visor … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #41: The FDA's Latest Mission Creep(iness)

    Federal regulations already dictate the shape, color, size, and content of the nutrition panel on food labels. Not good enough, apparently. The diet squad at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing to track eye movements to uncover the “subconscious and conscious factors” behind our grocery choices. They plan … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #40: The USDA Rabbit Police

    There’s no good way to deliver this disturbing bit of news except to come right out with it: Marty the Magician and others in the business of pulling a rabbit from a hat are under strict orders from the federal government to develop a “contingency plan” for handling their critters … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #39: Swapping Wealth Creation for Regulatory Claptrap

    Not many people know the meaning of “swap” (as in a financial hedge, not flea market). Only the most sophisticated investors actually understand the complexities of buffering risk by exchanging cash flows. Under Dodd–Frank, however, federal regulators have been tasked with assuming control of this market, in which hundreds of … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #38: OSHA Advances Worker Risk—and Not Much Else

    If the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulated its own doings in the manner it does private business, the agency’s doors would surely be shuttered. So lousy is its record of accrediting workplace safety examiners that some applicants have waited 10 years for their paperwork to be processed. It’s … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #37: NLRB Wrongs Property Rights

    One might reasonably assume that a legal corporation on American soil—in this case, Marriott—would have the right to decide when and where off-duty employees can access its property. You know, land of the free and all that. Well, think again. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last month actually invalidated … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #36: USDA Lays a Regulatory Egg

    The Obama Administration fervently opposes state laws requiring voter identification to cast a ballot. But it is insisting that the nation’s farmers prove the identity of every chicken transported across state lines. Under the fowl rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a flock that has been hatched, … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #35: Reams of Simplicity from CFPB

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a veritable wellspring of costly dictates and regulatory excess. Among the dozens of pending regulations it has concocted is a 1,099-page proposal to streamline the mortgage process. Yes, you read that right: 1,099 pages to “streamline” the home loan experience. And get this: … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #34: FDA Invades Piggly Wiggly

    Today we examine a proposed regulation that would require some 47,000 grocery stores nationwide to post calorie and other nutrition information each day for the ever-changing array of foods prepared on site, such as the salads, dips, and tropical whips so common to the deli case. Details about the rule … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #33: Congress Discredits Moms

    In its ceaseless quest to protect us from ourselves, Congress in 2009 compelled credit card companies to confirm an applicant’s “ability to pay” before approving an account. Lawmakers evidently believe that Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and the like somehow lack incentive to manage their own credit risk. (As opposed to, say, … More