asogan While it creates perverse incentives for legislators, I would like to see at least the spirit of Trump's "slash and burn" approach to legislation where he demanded that 2 laws be repealed for every 1 added, or something like that. Laws are great in moderation, but I feel like the economy is being smothered under laws. It's possible to have "too much" law, and I think we do.
The first step should maybe be something like a "regulations audit", that would hold hearings to find out from those affected which laws cause the most friction, and then the auditors would work through and re-determine the overall impact of laws, and whether they're doing more harm than good. It should be an enduring institution to re-audit laws periodically, and to make legislative recommendations, including to repeal laws completely in some circumstances, that Parliament would be urged to act on. (Compelled even? By whom? By the constitutional court? On what constitutional grounds?) It's WAY too easy to add laws relative to how easily they get removed again. Laws are way too "sticky" and maybe such an ongoing audit would help to lubricate them so they can come unstuck when they no longer serve the public good.
As for your list:
- I think having to re-enter the same info on multiple forms is more of an annoyance, and not really a substantive "red tape" issue. There are reasons (for example: confidentiality) for information to be ring-fenced for specific uses, and this forces duplication. I think the bigger problem is how many steps there are in bureaucratic processes, and how long those steps take. Filling in the form is just the first step in a long, long process.
- I like the idea of special economic zones. But notice that you automagically get most of the same effects if the main source of public revenue were a land value tax (EXcludes value of improvements such as buildings!) rather than income tax. Land in areas you're likely to want to have SEZs in is likely to have low land values, making owning and operating there cheap. It would be an incentive to develop those areas, which is exactly what we want.
- I'm not as sanguine as you about the return on "teaching entrepreneurship". I don't think you can teach creativity, it seems rather like something that's innate. I'll meet you halfway: management could be a mandatory subject up to some level. We can't all be captains; we need first officers and night watchmen and shift supervisors too.
- Sounds good, but in theory the price mechanism should make all the information you need visible. Some ivory tower geniuses determining "what the local economy needs" is a fool's errand, and is exactly why communism always ends up failing economically, even if everyone acts with good intentions. DTI may have a role in "market intelligence", but it isn't in determining what and how much stuff is needed where.
- I'm not a fan of "businesses with less than X turnover are exempt" type interventions. At the very least there should be a sliding scale between "exempt" and "fully regulated" so there's no disincentive to earn your 50,000,001th Rand of revenue.
- Exchange control may not be a huge burden to large companies who have all the bureaucratic machinery to deal with the requirements, but they're more of a deal for small businesses. Imagine being a vendor of those beadwork animals and you want to import some special holographic beads from China, and now you have to pay for it... somehow. Or you just give up and continue with standard beads.
- Let's take chainsaws to import/export restrictions. It makes no sense to me that you should have to be a "registered" importer/exporter to handle more than X value of imports/exports. Unfortunately our chronically violent unions won't like this idea.