[Fourth Branch] Navigating the Regulatory Thicket

Founded by Caleb Cook in 2001 and run today with his wife Lois, America’s Phone Guys provides telecommunications and VoIP phone services to businesses in and around the Portland, Oregon metro area. As a home-based business, they encounter a complex web of regulatory requirements and grapple with the compliance burdens caused by the accumulation of individual federal, state, and local regulations.

In this Fourth Branch video, Cary Coglianese (University of Pennsylvania Law School) and Luke A. Wake (NFIB Small Business Legal Center) join Caleb and Lois to explore this web — dubbed the “regulatory thicket” by some. What does the regulatory thicket look like in practice? How does it affect small business owners, their employees, and their customers? Taken as a whole, are the benefits of multiple layers of regulation worth the costs?

A Fourth Branch video in association with Motivo Media.

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speakers.

Differing Views:

RTP Paper: Managing the Regulatory Thicket: Cumulative Burdens of State and Local Regulation”

“Optimizing Regulation for an Optimizing Economy”

“Costs and Benefits of US Government Regulations”

“Time to Prune the Regulatory Thicket”



Cary Coglianese
Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science; Director, Penn Program on Regulation, University of Pennsylvania Law School


Luke A. Wake
Senior Staff Attorney, NFIB Small Business Legal Center


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