"Government is a massively powerful entity, and you've got all of these interest groups that are trying to use that power for their own purposes," he told Dr. John Diamond during the March 9 episode of "America Unhinged" on Brighteon.TV. Also joining the conversation was Calvin Beisner, the president and founder of the Cornwall Alliance.
Terrell, who teaches economics at the South Carolina-based Wofford College, said people are led to believe that such regulatory agencies are doing the "best thing" for the country. In reality, this "best thing" has something to do with an interest group's influence on a government office. (Related: Regulators' war on Americans: FDA covers up crimes for Big Pharma; EPA for chemical companies; USDA for biotech; and CDC for vaccine industry)
He added that interest groups from a particular industry capture one or more regulatory agencies as they compete with other firms. This, Terrell said, allows them to suppress any competition. He remarked: "So it helps to come at regulatory economics with a good deal of skepticism."
Diamond pointed out that companies with competing interests are all trying to get the government to enact edicts that would favor them more than their competitors.
Terrell agreed with the Brighteon.TV host, mentioning that while policymakers are drafting regulations that sound great, they are sometimes unaware of what is really going on behind the scenes. He urged people to pay attention to the costs of passing a regulation to address a specific problem.
"To do that we have to dive into some of the details about what the regulation can actually accomplish, whether regulation is the best means to accomplish that goal and what the actual impacts are going to be. Sometimes there are unintended side effects," Terrell said.
Beisner put in his two cents and commented that people seem to step back when government regulatory agencies are passing a new restriction whose benefits are supposedly exceeding the costs, which both Diamond and Terrell acknowledged.
To illustrate this point, Terrell cited the mercury regulations pushed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency's concerns about mercury emissions, he said, is a wild exaggeration to mislead Americans about its effects. Ultimately, the purported effects of mercury are but a scare tactic to discourage the consumption of fish – a beneficial nutrition source.
Diamond agreed, pointing out that it was a scare tactic by the EPA. He continued that regulatory agencies are using the same "crisis script" to instill fear propaganda in people first done during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Terrell urged Americans to follow the money – know where it comes from and where it is going. He also urged them to scrutinize who will benefit from a proposed regulation, and stop assuming that regulators are acting in their best interest. He cited the Edison Electric Institute, a lobbying group that has spent $10.5 million last year in support of the EPA's mercury regulation.
"So, you've got a lot of these kind of tangled interest groups, lobbying organizations with a huge amount of money at stake. And we can't assume that regulation is going to ignore these kinds of pressures. They are immense. There are billions of dollars at stake with these kinds of regulations."
Watch the March 9 episode of "America Unhinged" below. "America Unhinged" with Dr. John Diamond airs every weekday at 9-10 a.m., every Saturday at 8-9 a.m. and every Sunday at 9-10 p.m. on Brighteon.TV.