Job-killing (and person killing?) regulations

Loved this letter in yesterday’s N&O.  At first I thought it was just another true-believing libertarian, but then I realized it was great satire:

Your Aug. 4 editorial calling for stricter regulation of interstate buses highlighted the excessive regulation and anti-business stance that permeate the current administration – and obviously the editorial staff of The N&O.

Enforcing limits on the number of hours a driver may be behind the wheel of an interstate bus will impose an unfair burden on small businesses. Likewise, mandatory safety inspections are nothing but an unwarranted government intrusion in the free market. To call for things like child restraints, seatbelts and stronger bus structures will just increase the cost of the buses and take us another step down the road toward socialism.

Surely it is cheaper to pay for the occasional injury claim (especially if the company declares bankruptcy and changes its name) than better buses. If a company starts killing a few patrons here and there due to its operating procedures, people will stop buying seats on that carrier – driving that carrier from the market.

The “invisible hand” will triumph again. Markets do regulate themselves; just look at the financial system. Occasional crashes must be looked upon as nothing more than the price to be paid for economic freedom.

Ken Jones

Chapel Hill


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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