Return of the National Nanny

When activists took charge of FTC rulemaking in the 1970s, the agency barely survived the debacle.
May 27, 2022

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Consider this scenario: With the political wind at their backs, activists, concerned over the putative power of business and the harm they are sure it causes, take control of the Federal Trade Commission. They propose to transform the economy by wielding the Commission’s most powerful weapon: industry-wide rulemaking.

That happened, with disastrous results, in the 1970s and seems likely to happen again. Although the FTC barely survived its ’70s debacle, Commission leaders today appear bent on reshaping the American economy to fit their own vision. In a  new report for the American Enterprise Institute, we analyze rulemaking changes the FTC approved last year that appear to have been made solely to expedite these radical goals.

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