It’s Not Just Pork: Trump Is Also Letting Nuclear Plants Regulate Their Own Safety | The New Republic
Republicans have been waging a four-decade war on government regulation, starting with the Reagan administration. The complaint, then as now, is that regulations are often excessive and financially punitive, stunting private companies’ growth and putting them at a disadvantage against foreign competition. But most Republicans admit that some regulation is necessary. The White House Council of Economic advisers, a 2017 paper on “The Growth Potential of Deregulation,” acknowledged that “society is better off with regulations that prevent toxic waste dumping, outlaw child labor, and protect endangered species.”
But in many cases, Republicans don’t see why the government itself has to be the regulator. Why should taxpayers pay for federal inspectors to badger businesses when the businesses themselves have an economic incentive not to threaten public health and safety?
Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News
But the record is clear: Industry self-regulation often fails, and a lot of people wind up getting hurt. Buffalo News cartoonist Adam Zyglis illustrated the point (literally) this week in response to the related crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jets, which together took 346 lives.* As NPR reported, the U.S. government “had delegated to Boeing much of the testing of its 737 Max jets. Critics say the FAA let the company basically certify its own plane.”