Are government regulatory expansions associated with stagnant living standards?
As explained by Janet Yellen (the former chair of the Federal Reserve) and various other economists with wide-ranging political views, "The most important factor determining living standards is productivity growth, defined as increases in how much can be produced in an hour of work." Several objective (though imperfect) measures show that federal regulations spiked under President Carter (1977-1981) and President Obama (2009-2017), and during these periods, productivity growth crashed. Likewise, a 2013 paper in the Journal of Economic Growth found that federal regulations have had "strong and robust negative" impacts on the U.S. economy. Like the vast majority of economic studies, these are merely associations, and association does not prove causation. However, there are numerous mechanisms by which regulations hamper productivity, as detailed at the link below.