Government Regulation of the Economy Is the 'Silent Killer'

We've all heard public service announcements about one disease or another, calling it the "silent killer" and warning of horrible consequences for its unsuspecting victims. A similar silent killer is on the loose now, but there are no such ads. You also won't hear about it on the news. Nevertheless, millions of Americans are unknowing victims of this silent killer right now.

You are probably one of them.

Sam and Karen purchased an older house in their small Midwestern town last year, when they were both still working. But the silent killer soon cost Sam his job, on top of already taking its toll on Karen's income. The couple can still afford their house payments for now, but they have a toilet, a dishwasher, and a water heater to replace. Incredibly, if Sam and Karen want new appliances, the silent killer will make those appliances more expensive (and often less effective) than what they'd buy if they were unafflicted. At least the refrigerator seems to be holding up.

Before Sam's old boss (and a high school classmate) tearfully let him go, Sam had worked for a firm with fewer than twenty employees. But the silent killer made Sam's skills and hard work too expensive, so he was let go. Sam had been upset and confused that day. But after Sam kept hearing about others with the same affliction being let go -- and not finding other work -- he finally believed his friend had no other choice. All the bosses in town were cutting old friends and doing other strange things that often defied common sense. It was as if the mob had started pulling strings everywhere. Sam eventually called his friend one day. “No hard feelings, Ralph,” was how he ended that call.

Small businesses like Ralph's, according to some estimates, have accounted for most new jobs for people like Sam in recent years. Yet many operate on razor-thin profit margins. In dollar terms, the silent killer had made Sam $10,600 more expensive each year to Ralph. Karen, similarly afflicted, is a little over $8,000 more expensive to her employer per year. Luckily, the teeming factory can absorb such costs -- at least for now.