The farmer's favorite bureaucratic target (except when wangling for ethanol mandates) is the EPA. Our current ranting about "regulation" is unfocussed. This may be on purpose because closer examination might reveal the regulations being proposed are mostly to stop us from doing stuff we agree is bad: abusing animals, eroding soil, polluting water supplies, etc.
But never mentioned in the examples of EPA ineffectiveness or overshoot - and I freely admit that, like all laws, they never fit the problem exactly - are the stunning successes despised bureaucrats can accomplish.
This one few saw coming. The drop in the US crime rate.
There may also be a medical reason for the decline in crime. For decades, doctors have known that children with lots of lead in their blood are much more likely to be aggressive, violent and delinquent. In 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency required oil companies to stop putting lead in gasoline. At the same time, lead in paint was banned for any new home (though old buildings still have lead paint, which children can absorb).Tests have shown that the amount of lead in Americans' blood fell by four-fifths between 1975 and 1991. A 2007 study by the economist Jessica Wolpaw Reyes contended that the reduction in gasoline lead produced more than half of the decline in violent crime during the 1990s in the U.S. and might bring about greater declines in the future. Another economist, Rick Nevin, has made the same argument for other nations. [More]
It seems like I remember the usual carping about switching to unleaded gas. It was "going to hurt our engines" and "cost us more". Sounds familiar.
This is one reason I am less alarmed about the claim over regulation strangling our sector's efficiency and innovativeness - that's what we always say.
It could also be grain farmers are rattling on about regulation just to divert attention away from eye-popping profits and to retain our "victim" status.
Update: Here is an example from China about lead and children. I think the EPA decision back in the day was a good move then and this unexpected benefit is not to be despised.