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Old 10-27-2011, 09:25 PM   #109 (permalink)
Outlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
Again, no one is suggesting no regulation or standardization but that implementation of regulation be overseen and audited by someone other than governmental agencies which have no accountability.
How do you define accountability? How do you think that a private corporation will be more accountable than a government agency? The NTSB and FAA for example is staffed with some of the most experienced pilots, controllers, aeronautical engineers, mechanics, etc who came from the industry. You appear to cling to the disproven theory that business will self police and always have the public's best interest in mind. It just is not so. Agencies like the FAA and NTSB were created as a result of public outcry because of accidents. Our skies are far safer because of this government oversight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
I would strongly argue that capitalism does not foster an environment for regulatory and business to collude in the interest of creating an artificial monopoly. If we understand capitalism in a fundamental sense, such an idea is antithetical to capitalism becaus the very nature of such collusion is antithetical to the idea of a free market. A free market is one in which market forces are allowed to prevent artificial monopolies from forming due to the nature of competition. Such an environement should be relatively free of regulatory facets for different competitors to exploit and eventually lobby to have implemented to their own advantage.
Again I would suggest that the opposite is true. By his very nature, the capitalist will always be scheming and looking for ways to use the system to his advantage. Collusion with regulatory bodies is a goldmine for the capitalist. It is an ideal tool to slant the playing field in his favor. Free Market theory is nothing more than economic Darwinism and ultimately creates monopolies. True free market capitalism is not a a system that is good for a society. Left to it's own devices, it becomes predatory and self destructive. Regulation is necessary to protect the welfare of the society from the capitalist.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
As for the notion of under-regulating in at the expense of safety, this is largely the consumer's fault. Consumers need to be informed enough to stress that safety is a design priority for whatever industry they are patronizing but this just isn't the case. The vast majority of consumers are underinformed and ignorant, often willfully so. With this sort of atmosphere, it doesn't matter how much regulatory agencies try to provide oversight, it will result in greater de-emphasis on safety because market forces eventually overhwelm any regulatory forces.
Are you for real? Are you really suggesting that as a passenger, Joe Q Public should be an expert at aeronautical engineering? What, as a passenger I should personally inspect the aircraft and read the maintenance logs before deciding if it is safe to board? That is absurd. We create agencies to act as proxies to do this. Lack of regulation and lack of enforcement always allows complacency and jeopardizes safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
I don't know about that quote, but there is a risk inherent in everything.
You don't "know about that quote" because you didn't bother to even watch the video. You only want to post your opinion not listen to any others. Had you watched, you would clearly understand the context of the quote. The point of that quote is that certain procedures were established ( not by the evil government but by a private company; namely the people who made the airplane) regarding the maintenance and those procedures were deemed by the airline to cost more than the cost of a major crash every 5 or 10 years. Now if you agree with the morality of that logic, I would suggest that you are a sociopath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
At some point, yes, we have to accept the risk of imparting certain services and products into society. The marginal costs of increasing safety past a certain point become unfeasible.
We are not talking about spending tons of money trying to eliminate the risks of highly unlikely events. We are not talking about retrofitting every airline with meteorite avoidance systems, we are talking about enforcing safety procedures to deal with known, common events like metal fatigue in older airplanes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
A plane *will* crash every once in a while no matter how much maintenance programs and aviator training is audited and improved. Should we just get rid of planes altogether? Should commercial flights cost $1000 to fly 300 miles so as to have a budget to squeeze out more precentage points of safety?
See above statement. We are not talking about trying to eliminate every possible unlikely scenario. We are talking about preventing easily avoidable ones. The vast majority of accidents are not the result of some unforeseen event, they are the result of someone not following a long established procedure. Accidents don't generally just happen, they are caused. Generally complacency and lack of regulatory oversight is at the root of the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
Look at the Fukushima earthquake and the problems with the reactors. This is a matter I am intimately familiar with since those reactor vessels (GE BWR Gen III with Mk IV Primary Containment) are the exact same design at the facility I work at. Those plants performed admirably for the given conditions, yet everyone is being lambasted that reactor design isn't "safe" enough. People don't understand there is an inherent risk in producing power and the only way to 100% eliminate risk is to eliminate power production altogether.
I agree that the design may be "safe" and that much of this lambasting is the result of an acute lack of understanding of nuclear power. On the other side of that argument I would suggest that placement of certain facilities comes into play. I am far more comfortable with a nuclear power plant in central Wyoming than I am sitting on the San Andreas Fault next to Los Angeles! Many would argue that nuclear power, while the risk of accident may be low but the results of accidents are so catastrophic, is just not worth the risk. It seems many nuclear countries like Germany are now turning away from nuclear power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
I would argue that nuclear plants have saved many more lives and increased the quality of life than the opposite even including the Chernobyl and Fukushima events.
I am a proponent of nuclear power too but I think you are way out on a precarious limb here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
In addition, the industry continues to improve itself without prompting or regulatory mandate/decree. The general public doesn't understand that, and since these regulatory industry generally appeal to the emotion of the masses as a measure of their efficacy, the result is often needlessly burdensome regulation which increases our costs. That increases our cost to produce power which is passed on to the consumer and hurts their quality of life.
Too simplistic. Yes some innovation is the result of competition to find cheaper ways to generate power and yes the industry does look for safer ways to produce energy. But to totally discount the effect of regulatory pressure is intellectually dishonest, grossly naive or both. Many advances are the direct result of the industry trying to comply with regulation. Take "clean coal" as a prime example. The coal industry and coal fired plants would never of their own accord invested hundreds of billions of dollars to developed highly efficient stack scrubbing technologies of their own accord. It took passage of increasingly strict air quality regulation to get them off of their butts to do it.

Same thing applies to diesel engine manufactures who now have DPF filter systems to eliminate all soot from exhausts. It was EPA standards that forced this issue. Because of the EPA requiring engine manufacturers to comply with higher standard, you can now follow a new diesel pickup on the road without gagging on exhaust fumes.

I grant you that like anything, regulation does get out of hand and we need vehicles to quickly redress those cases. I also grant you that public pressure and competition within industry is also a factor. But the reality is that it is a combination of these forces that enact change and improve safety and quality of life. You seem to be adamant about refusing to accept that regulation is a major force for good in this arena and that just makes you grossly incorrect. Like the capitalist, you judge "quality of life" by how cheap material assets can be had. Society is changing their views on this and most of us will be happy to pay a little more for a safer, more sustainable "quality if life".

Last edited by Outlander; 10-27-2011 at 09:40 PM.