Regulation as takings You rarely come across economics as good as this piece by Landsburg explaining why the government should bear the economic consequences of its decisions (via Jane Galt). Taxpayers do bear the costs of things like farm subsidies through higher taxes and grocery bills, but laws mandating work rules, technical specifications, zoning etc. all impose similar costs on society as taxes but are born by the regulated, not the regulator. Hollings (South Carolina-Dem, toady) SSSCA regulation would cost society billions through lost producitivity and innovation, but cost Hollywood only $287,534. With bargains like these, it's unsurprising businesses find it worthwhile to lobby.