When you’re right, you’re right – even when you’re center-left

Steven Miller

Just noticed today that our April 10 commentary asserting the fundamental inadequacy of government regulation got some cogent and really high-caliber support later in the month from two senior Brookings Institution economists.

Clifford Winston and Robert W. Crandall, writing nine days later in the Wall Street Journal,* provided a devastating indictment of federal safety regulation:

In our research on the subject, examining available empirical evidence, we could not find any discernible improvement in safety that was associated with regulations promulgated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Mine Safety and Health Administration, among others.

What triggered the two economists' article was a surfeit of recent silliness from the FAA, including the recently overly aggressive – and transparently politically motivated – agency actions that caused American Airlines to cancel thousands of flights.

"In the process," noted Winston and Crandall, the FAA "greatly increased" Americans' "probability of dying in an accident…."  

*The article is also on the Brookings website, at this address.

Steven Miller

Senior Vice President, Nevada Journal Managing Editor

Steven Miller is Nevada Journal Managing Editor, Emeritus, and has been with the Institute since 1997.

Steven graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Philosophy from Claremont Men’s College (now Claremont McKenna). Before joining NPRI, Steven worked as a news reporter in California and Nevada, and a political cartoonist in Nevada, Hawaii and North Carolina. For 10 years he ran a successful commercial illustration studio in New York City, then for five years worked at First Boston Credit Suisse in New York as a technical analyst. After returning to Nevada in 1991, Steven worked as an investigative reporter before joining NPRI.