Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lac Mégantic inferno: Transport Safety Board's damning report indicts deregulation

           The following article gives a neat, concise overview of the Transport Safety Board's report on the Lac Mégantic, Québec, train derailment of July, 2013, which killed 47 people.

            Basically, as we have harped upon repeatedly in this blog, the neoconservative ideology and it's obsessional deregulation policies have created a situation in which the costs of deregulation are beginning to outrun whatever savings they initially provided.

            Koan: deregulation is like salt, too little you die, too much you die.

               Here's the trick for the koan. Because our bodies need sodium and chloride, if you don't get enough salt, you die young. But past a certain dosage - which varies from one person to another - too much salt can cause you heart problem so with too much you die young. It's the same with deregulation. Too much and you stifle creativity and innovation, etc. Too little and 47 innocent people die in an absurd conflagration in the middle of a Saturday's night's dancing..

                   The implication: for each industry there is some, broadly defined, "optimal" level of regulation (see Figure above). There is not so much red tape and bureaucracy that creativity and investment are stifled, taxes are not wasted in nested bureaucratic loops and people do not die needlessly from accidents or intoxications that need not have happened..

internal blog links, keyword: budget cuts - 13 entries

here was a truly wonderful program axed apparently for purely "ideological" reasons although the reasoning rather escapes me. The young people working for Katimavik were learning to develop personal initiative while building a strong bond of national unity across the country, supposedly Conservative values!!

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