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