The United States and other Western nations are capitalist, right? Well, not really. It is thankfully not socialism, where the economy is designed and controlled by central planners. However, the economy is far too burdened with regulatory barriers to even approach a free-market system that thrives on competition, innovation, and ever-increasing efficiency.

These regulatory barriers, often originating as attempts to ensure consumer protection, have created a system that erodes many of the benefits associated with true free markets — and chief among these benefits is innovation.

Breaking regulatory barriers to bring you one-week house construction

What if we could revolutionize transportation to make it not only faster but also more sustainable? What if we could create educational systems that are not only more accessible but also tailored to individual learning needs?

Or, how about building new homes in a matter of days, at a fraction of the cost?

ICON Technologies is able to do just that — if not for regulatory barriers.

Using its pioneering, 3D-printing Vulcan construction system, ICON has the capability to construct the main framework of a new house within a mere 24 hours. Moreover, they can complete the entire project in only eight days, all at a significantly lower cost than a conventional house. 

Their innovative technology promises to radically transform the construction industry. But they came up against a formidable challenge in the form of a regressive housing code ill-equipped for major technological advances.

Fortunately, in this case, ICON Technologies was able to work with Trust Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in helping start-ups navigate and challenge regulatory barriers. They were ultimately successful in receiving the first-ever permit to 3D-print houses, before overcoming further regulatory barriers preventing them from building at scale.

The company was finally able to take reservations for their first 3D-printed housing development, outside Austin, Texas.

But how many more potentially life-changing innovations are stuck in the waiting room because of rigid, backward regulatory barriers?

Entrepreneurs with a flair for innovation can conceive remarkable products and services that hold the potential to redefine the market. Yet, without the ability to navigate the intricate web of bureaucracy, characterized by burdensome regulations and red tape, these groundbreaking ideas may remain unrealized.

This important theme will be a topic of discussion at Students For Liberty’s upcoming LibertyCon International. Whole Foods co-founder and former CEO, John Mackey and Bitcoin podcaster, Stephan Livera will discuss the cost of compliance and the negative consequences of regulatory barriers in a panel moderated by Students For Liberty’s CEO, Dr. Wolf von Laer.

Students For Liberty’s flagship annual event, LibertyCon International will be held in Washington, D.C., on February 2-4, 2024. It promises to be the place for engaging with leading experts and connecting with others who share a dedication to advancing pro-liberty ideas and creating a freer future.

Click the button below to sign up for updates and secure your spot at this exciting event. We can’t wait to see you there!

This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.