30 May, 2012

Worth Considering...

For all my Progressive/Liberal friends who, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, still subscribe to the mantra that more government regulation and/or involvement in the banks, or healthcare, or whatever, will make those things safer, cheaper, fairer and so on, I offer up some info on one example where the U.S. did actually deregulate an industry:

In 1978, Congress deregulated the airline industry.  Between 1950 and 1978, the Civil Aeronautics Board had received 79 applications for startup interstate airlines, and rejected every one of them, effectively protecting the business and profits of a handful of legacy carriers.

Since 1978 however:

  • Airline fares have fallen eighteen percent in real dollar terms,
  • Airline safety has improved year after year and air travel is now safer than it has ever been,
  • Air travel has been opened up to the vast majority of Americans.  Prior to 1978, fewer than 20% of Americans had ever flown on a commercial airliner, today it is estimated that 85% have done so, and
  • Competition has increased dramatically, with airlines such as Southwest, Jet Blue, Horizon, and Virgin America (to name just a few) forcing what is left of the legacy carriers to reorganize, retool, and rethink their approach to the business.
Faced with these results, and the fact that most large industries are still heavily regulated, over-regulated actually, how can anyone argue that federal regulation or control is a good thing, or that the public interest would not be better served with far less regulation as opposed to more?

Ernie Hancock has famously stated that "There are only two kinds of people in the world, those who want to be left alone and those that won't let them".  I submit that the forces of regulation are manned entirely by "those who won't let them", and that they are what stands between Americans and cheaper, more accessible healthcare, lower bank fees, better energy sources, and on and on.  The cost to progress, and fairness, is enormous.


  1. And yet, recently air travel has been closed off to a growing number of people who refuse to submit to "gate rape" for the "privilege" of traveling by air. I will NOT fly unless it is a life-and-death situation (assuming I'm not on the "No Fly" list).

  2. Sadly yes, as government once more sticks its fingers into... Oh, never mind.

  3. the Subscription you speak of is to some an investment in method. Your P/L friends see the market turn, then fall, yet not only do they refuse to cut losses by reallocating that investment, they are so emotionally involved that they must convince themselves that any losses are gains. They refuse to believe that the mechanics are unsound making it most difficult to convince them that the theory also is unsound.
    Such is the undisciplined mind.

  4. It might be an error to assume that our friends on the left actually want better airlines, better healthcare, better sources of energy, etc.

    For them the important thing is to make the pie slices equal, even if it shrinks the pie and makes everyone's slice smaller.


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