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Author Topic: Government regulation always a bad thing?  (Read 9179 times)
fergalish
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March 11, 2011, 06:13:31 PM
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http://i.imgur.com/eGSKJ.jpg

Here's the discussion on reddit, titled "The headline you won't be reading...": http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/g1ueo/the_headline_you_wont_be_reading/

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kiba
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March 11, 2011, 06:43:24 PM
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Don't forget that Japan is also well known for amakudari, which is a form of regulatory capture.  Wink

Regulation is pretty hard to do, but sometime you can get it right.  Remember, Japan experienced earthquake danger pretty regularly, so they would eventually get the "regulation" or "preparedness" right.

If you're in a country that doesn't experience earthquake very often, it's going to be a disaster of course.

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March 11, 2011, 06:54:12 PM
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Are we really to believe individuals would have not build earthquake resistant structures in Japan but for the Japanese government?
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March 11, 2011, 06:56:24 PM
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Are we really to believe individuals would have not build earthquake resistant structures in Japan but for the Japanese government?

Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?
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March 11, 2011, 06:57:01 PM
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Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?
We call it hubris!

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March 11, 2011, 07:35:24 PM
 #6

In an anarchist society, you could, for example, have engineering guilds that would publicly certify buildings and building plans as safe or unsafe. With no exploitative employers or landlords to deceive or otherwise coerce people into working or living in or building unsafe buildings, preventable structural failure would rarely hurt anyone.

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theymos
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March 11, 2011, 08:58:32 PM
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Why would anyone make buildings that will be destroyed by earthquakes? That's a massive loss of money. Construction companies would lose all reputation if their buildings can't withstand expected local conditions.

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FatherMcGruder
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March 11, 2011, 09:02:18 PM
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Why would anyone make buildings that will be destroyed by earthquakes? That's a massive loss of money. Construction companies would lose all reputation if their buildings can't withstand expected local conditions.
Because it's profitable. Someone could build an unsafe building but sell it for the greater price of a safe building. To that person, the short term benefits make up for the long term costs.

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theymos
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March 11, 2011, 10:12:43 PM
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Because it's profitable. Someone could build an unsafe building but sell it for the greater price of a safe building. To that person, the short term benefits make up for the long term costs.

That person is guilty of fraud, and will be boycotted by everyone forever. It's a very bad business decision. I'm not saying that no one could make such a decision, but they will be quickly eliminated from the market.

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BitterTea
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March 11, 2011, 10:24:46 PM
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Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?

There was no government safety regulation when the Titanic was built, or such regulation did not solve the problem?

A more pertinent question is... are "unsinkable" ships still constructed today with insufficient life boats? If not, then it appears that the Titanic was a valuable lesson learned.
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March 11, 2011, 10:54:23 PM
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Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?

There was no government safety regulation when the Titanic was built, or such regulation did not solve the problem?

A more pertinent question is... are "unsinkable" ships still constructed today with insufficient life boats? If not, then it appears that the Titanic was a valuable lesson learned.

Today, "international maritime law" requires cruise operators to do a safety drill shortly after departure of every cruise. Anyone who's taken a cruise is familiar with the "lifeboat drill." And presumably there are enough lifeboats, though looking at pictures of, say, the Carnival Splendor, I can't imagine how 4,500 people can fit into 25 or so lifeboats, even lifeboats of that size. Maybe I'm missing something.

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kiba
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March 11, 2011, 11:14:57 PM
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The fire code, I believe, was drawn in blood. Basically, every time a bad fire happen, people figure out what's wrong and implement new rule/law to prevent it from happening again.

You can imagine the free market of regulations following that same bloody ritual.

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March 11, 2011, 11:27:21 PM
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The fire code, I believe, was drawn in blood. Basically, every time a bad fire happen, people figure out what's wrong and implement new rule/law to prevent it from happening again.

You can imagine the free market of regulations following that same bloody ritual.

You would be a fool to imagine such a thing. Do you think people will throw out good ideas just because they originated with government? Even they get things right sometimes.

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March 11, 2011, 11:31:40 PM
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You would be a fool to imagine such a thing. Do you think people will throw out good ideas just because they originated with government? Even they get things right sometimes.

I think Kiba meant that the market could have followed the same path than government.  Of course the market would keep good ideas invented by regulators.


And I agree about one thing:  sometimes government does good things.  One can not be always wrong about everything.
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March 12, 2011, 12:24:07 AM
 #15

Almost all absolute statements, especially when it comes to human action, are likely to be false. Government can do good. It does good. The question is whether the overall balance is more "good" or "bad" according to whatever criteria you choose to use.

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March 12, 2011, 01:00:35 AM
 #16

Even people in the public service can do good things... However people who are not in the public service do good things also.  It isn't a question of good or bad, but forced or voluntary.

One off NP-Hard.
FatherMcGruder
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March 12, 2011, 05:40:32 PM
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Because it's profitable. Someone could build an unsafe building but sell it for the greater price of a safe building. To that person, the short term benefits make up for the long term costs.

That person is guilty of fraud, and will be boycotted by everyone forever. It's a very bad business decision. I'm not saying that no one could make such a decision, but they will be quickly eliminated from the market.
Max Blanck and Isaac Harris seem to have done pretty well by the market.

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Max Stirner
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March 12, 2011, 06:28:07 PM
 #18

The most interesting question is: does an atomic power plants really pay off?
I am convinced that this industry relies heavily on state subsidies.
I mean who is paying for the costs of this disaster? The japanese tax payer - my guess.

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March 12, 2011, 06:34:11 PM
 #19

The most interesting question is: does an atomic power plants really pay off?
I am convinced that this industry relies heavily on state subsidies.

I am not convinced about that, but I kind of suspect it too.

I'm not sure nuclear power really worthed the risks it contains.
kiba
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March 12, 2011, 06:43:33 PM
 #20

In the US, investing in a nuclear power plant is very much not worth it, due to anti-nuclear feeling and the extreme cost of acquiring a building permit. At least, that's what I know.

So heavy subsidies? Maybe. However, you have to remember such things as energy subsidies toward solar power and such that discourage the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.

You have to remember that coal power plants emit lot of pollution, coals are dangerous to mine, and so on.  

You also need to remember that next generation of power plants are probably designed with better safety features.

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