Regulation -- Who Needs It?

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 1417 .... May 19, 2017
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Regulation -- Who Needs It?

Dianne Feeley

Surrounded by CEOs and autoworkers bused in for the event, Donald Trump made it clear during his March 14th appearance in the Detroit area that he was going to get rid of a federal regulation in order to free up the industry so it could "make thousands and thousands and thousands of additional cars." For him it was a simple decision: "If the standards threatened auto jobs, then common-sense changes could have and should have been made."

Trump sees regulations for higher fuel efficiency burdens auto manufacturers and drives up the cost for potential buyers. In Trump's vocabulary, regulations are all bad. (Of course Trump sees regulations around reproductive rights as good, but consistency isn't one of... his characteristics.)

Trump talks as if regulations were designed by federal bureaucrats to give them greater power over corporations and consumers. That view turns the history of health and safety regulations upside down! We have all heard of food contamination in preparation and packaging. Every year we learn of products that must be recalled because they have resulted in deaths and injuries -- whether we are talking about GM ignition switches or baby cribs.

But these are cases where the company did not meet regulations that had been established. Take away inspectors so regulations are not enforced, or reduce/wipe regulations off the books and we knowingly endanger ourselves. Why should companies be allowed to sell products that are unsafe at whatever cost?

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