Regulations kill jobs? Yeah, we've heard that one before.

Cross-posted from the Center for Progressive Reform.

The Economist’s Feb. 18 edition offers a cover package of five articles on “Over-regulated America” (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Our British friends want you to know there’s a problem here in the States that needs fixing:

A study for the Small Business Administration [SBA], a government body, found that regulations in general add $10,585 in costs per employee. It’s a wonder the jobless rate isn’t even higher than it is.

You can almost feel The Economist’s pain: The jobless rate should be a lot higher than it is, if the premise about the costs of regulations is correct. Surely if the regulatory burden were actually 12 percent of GDP — that’s what the SBA numbers say, if you draw them out — things would be far worse than they are. Ideologically unable to consider the obvious alternative — that regulations don’t add $10,585 in costs per employee — The Economist just, well, “wonders” aloud.