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Tom Donohue: ‘This Way to Jobs’ Not All Fun and Games

Board game highlights the regulatory traps and red tape slowing down our economy

To get your point across, sometimes you have to adopt an unconventional approach. That’s what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is doing with its new board game called “This Way to Jobs.”

Tom Donohue
Tom Donohue

This innovative product highlights the regulatory hurdles that U.S. businesses face every day. Players represent business owners who must navigate their way through a difficult road of regulations to reach the finish line, Prosperity Park.

Much like the unfortunate reality facing America’s job creators, however, getting there is easier said than done. Players must overcome the regulatory traps and red tape that are slowing down our economy.

Here are some examples of game cards:

» This year, your business of 20 employees opts to take the small-business tax credit for health insurance. In 2011, you hire six additional employees for a total of 26. Your business is no longer eligible for the tax credit as the credit is now phased out. Move back one space.

» An environmental group sues your proposed 3,200-cow dairy farm under a state National Environmental Policy Act regulation citing the cows’ methane emissions for their contribution to climate change. Go back two spaces.

To make sure that the message gets through to our elected officials, the Chamber sent copies of “This Way to Jobs” to all 535 members of Congress and to the nation’s governors. Click here to play at home.

But be forewarned. After a few spins of the wheel, you’ll be frustrated in the same way that small businesses are by today’s crushing regulatory environment.

Of course, our effort to stem the rising tide of government regulations isn’t limited solely to this game. We’re holding Congress’ feet to the fire by insisting that it stop passing sweeping, sloppy and vague bills that leave all the major decisions to unaccountable regulators. Our policy experts are deeply engaged in every step of the rule-making process, taking advantage of every opportunity to curb the worst excesses of the new health-care and financial reform laws.

Our lawyers are prepared to challenge federal agencies in court if they overstep their bounds. And we plan to hire a regulatory economist to help us weigh the costs of regulations and their impact on job creation and economic growth.

We can’t move the economy forward, create jobs and end crippling uncertainty until we stem the rising tide of burdensome regulations. We’re committed to using every means at our disposal to do so — even creating a board game to make our point.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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