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zenvelo's avatar

Federal regulation, pro or con?

Asked by zenvelo (35806points) April 5th, 2011

A lot of conservative talk is that government is too big, and has too many regulations. If that’s your opinion, what do you think of the FAA ordering all 737’s to be inspected for metal fatigue such as that which tore a hole in the cabin ceiling of a Southwest Air jet?

Are you in favor of this kind of regulation? Or should the invisible hand of an unregulated market guide airlines to self inspection?

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I would not want to get on a plane that was inspected based on inspections decided on by “the invisible hand of an unregulated market ”.

I support sensible federal regulation.

john65pennington's avatar

This would only be a job for FAA, since airplanes cross over the states and out of the country. I think the FAA has allowed the private airlines to inspect their own planes, but apparently someone either overlooked the fault lines or just presented falsified papers, from Southwest and other airlines, to the FAA.

As you can see, individual trust and safety cannot always be relied upon, by private enterprise.

marinelife's avatar

@john65pennington That’s not true in this case. Southwest was complying with all inspection regulations. What happened is that this was a new type of metal fatigue located in an area of the plane’s fuselage that had not shown wear before so it was not on the inspection list.

Zaku's avatar

If the corporations are for-profit charter corporations, then yes, I’m for safety regulations. For-profit corporations are generally far too focused on short-term profits compared to safety. See Bopol chemical plant disaster, off-shore drilling disasters, etc. etc. etc.

Even for-profit corporations which try to act with long-term interest, still tend to weigh the cost of lives in terms of money, and compare it to the cost of other options such as weaseling out of responsibility through sleazy legal tactics. They have little or no interest in avoiding damage to others, except inasmuch as it impacts their own bottom line.

12Oaks's avatar

II’d bet giving you 10 to 1 the any airlines that has that plane in their fleet would have done that without government demands. It’s likely they’ll do that with their entire fleet to assure safety for their employees, customers, and all involved. Safety is a main issue and concern for those in the transportation industry and when an issue like this is discovered they focus like a laser and work night and day until they are assured the matter has been fully taken care of, without government mandates.

zenvelo's avatar

@12Oaks Perhaps any airline besides SWA

An excerpt from the link:

Still, Southwest has been in trouble over maintenance in the past. In March 2009, the airline settled with the Federal Aviation Administration and agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine for failing to perform mandatory inspections for fuselage fatigue cracking on nearly 60,000 flights.

The company says it’s cooperating with federal investigators looking into the latest incident.

tedd's avatar

Regulation is a very tight rope to walk. Without any regulation, people will be sold faulty and even dangerous products, and the economy can very well cannabilize itself (see the Great Depression). While many companies can be trusted, many others will sell your soul to turn a buck without a seconds thought. Too much regulation and you can start to cost companies their profit and they simply fail. No example of too much regulation comes to mind, but there is always fear that some new regulation will be the straw that breaks the camels back.

The trick is to fall nicely in the middle. You’re never going to get regulation perfect, so just try to be as close to perfect as you can. Some things will be wrong along the way, but its better than picking one of the extremes.

12Oaks's avatar

@zenvelo If I ever fly commercial, which I don’t for a variety of reasons, I likely would fly Southwest. Their hub is closest and they offer the best prices. A real no brainer.

Besides, I will trust the private sector before a government option every time. Another no brainer.

Jaxk's avatar

We should be Leary of ‘knee-jerk’ reactions. I know of no one that suggests there should be no regulation. At the same time over regulation is stifling our economy. I find it very interesting that we constantly compare the health insurance overhead to government overhead (forgetting the fraud that’s missed and the collection done by the IRS) and we don’t ever ask why.

The most obvious example to me, of over-regulation, is Sarbanes-Oxley. In the wake of Enron and others we rammed through this bill to correct the problem. Now keep in mind that People were sentenced to jail. Major fines were imposed. These practices were already illegal. But in thier infinite wisdom congress decided to make them more illegal. And the country cheered.

The cost of Sarbanes-Oxley are about $2 million per company per year (it only pertains to publicly traded companies). It was estimated to cost American businesses $1.4 Trillion in the first year. This is all overhead and mandated by the government. As we’ve seen with Bernie Madoff, it didn’t solve the problem. If someone is willing to break the law, making more laws, doesn’t stop them. It merely punishes those that follow the law. In the mean time we are driving business overseas, raising the cost of everything we buy, draining the economy of $trillions, and making ourselves less competitive on the world stage.


I found the article about bank charges interesting. Are the overdraft fees too high, maybe. I had a check to the state bounce last year. The bank charged me $35 for that but the state charged me $359 for late fees and interest. So who is raping me more. Are we really solving the problem when we legislate that those that can’t manage thier finances should get a break and those that do so, should be penalized to cover it. And we created a whole new government agency to handle it. How much more does that cost?

12Oaks's avatar

I just biked 40 miles around a private park. Those taxpayer funded Parks wish they were 1/100th of what this gem filled private paradise is. What a glorious day this turned out to be for all of us here. The public park is littered with beer cans. How nice…..

Jaxk's avatar


The symbol of an entitlement society.

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