Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wall Street Journal's Opinion Section earns punch

I ought not to be shocked yet to have the Wall Street Journal's notoriously right leaning Editorial section using the recent spate of flight cancellations to go after Democrats, particularly James Oberstar of Minnesota who chairs the House Transportation Committee, was beyond belief. They'll get that GOP Spin CLub card punched perhaps twice for this effort. They are seemingly "movement conservatives" that never miss an opportunity.

I mentioned the FAA issue just last Thursday before I jumped on a plane. Now I'm hardly a swell like those the WSJ claims to have among their readers but I expect even they want a safe flight. "There's no better regulator than a competitive marketplace" might sound good on paper yet even the fat cats in first class, when not on a private jet, might want an FAA that functions.

The WSJ's Opinion site opines "Whether any of this would in fact produce safer toys or food or medicines is beside the point for lawmakers like Mr. Oberstar, whose real goal is to augment Washington's power vis-a-vis industry. But it's worth noting that in the case of air travel, safety gains have accompanied less regulation, not more." While I appreciate their reference to statistics on flight safety and can accept the good news are they really wanting to now claim there's a return to a "hypernanny state mentality in the 1970s"? For the record, I surely don't accept this was ever the case. Also, I have a toy safety post banging around in my noggin but have yet to reduce it to writing. Perhaps soon?

The WSJ's Opinion portion laments, "It would mean that every business misstep, no matter how rare, could potentially result in industry-wide repercussions. Congress would call for more rules and greater enforcement, in the name of "safety." And regulatory agencies would respond with overkill. The cost of doing business would rise, and consumers would pay for it in higher prices, less convenience or both." Isn't this a rather broad brush to pick up at this juncture?

Again, my whole beef is that these jokers never miss an opportunity to advance the corporatists' agenda of "free markets" and "deregulation". John Gunn

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