Daily Ticker

The $1.8 Trillion Tax You’ve Never Heard Of

Daily Ticker

A day after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered specific guidelines on the future of the central bank’s unprecedented monetary stimulus – currently involving $85 billion in bond buying per month – markets are still reeling.

Related: Obama Gives "Taper" New Meaning: So Who's Next at the Fed?

But forget stimulus. The reason the U.S. economy isn’t growing faster or creating jobs faster has nothing to do with stimulus or a need for more of it. At least that's according to historian, author, and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson.

Related: China vs The West: I’m Bullish on America in the Long-Term, Says Niall Ferguson

Ferguson tells The Daily Ticker the problems he identifies with the economy are “much more institutional, much more structural – and we can fix these things.”

“We can fix the problems with our public finances, actually, despite what you might hear in Congress,” argues Ferguson. “We can fix the problem of crazy regulation. We can fix the problem of tort law. We can also fix a fundamental problem, which is our education system which is failing a lot of kids in America.”

Related: Only 150 of 3500 U.S. Colleges Are Worth the Investment: Former Secretary of Education

Ferguson says his latest book, The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die, is his "how to fix it" roadmap.

In the accompanying interview – we tackle one of his arguments – that excessive government regulation is too burdensome to business and is thus holding back the U.S. economy. And that it has an outsized impact on small businesses.

It’s common to hear this as an argument or rhetoric, but what exactly is the evidence to support it? Check out the video to see how Ferguson backs up his claim that regulation is costing Americans $1.8 trillion. And find out the one change he says could make the biggest impact on several of the institutional problems he cites.

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