Monday, August 11, 2008


Free Market = Bus Crashes?

I don't know exactly what the point of this short post (Free Market Update) is. The blogger points out that the in the recent bus crash in Texas the bus had illegal tires and the driver's medical certification had expired.

Then he writes: The thing about government regulation is, you have to enforce the regulations. Otherwise, the free markets will decide.

Is he implying that the free market is to blame or shares blame for this bus crash? Sounds like it to me.

Government regulations need to be enforced, true enough. But, we all know that government regulation is spotty. However, he continues on to make the logical fallacy that free market forces somehow caused or contributed to this accident.

Being old enough to remember when blown tires were more common, free market forces have made our roads, and buses, much safer over the years. Looking at tire technology over the past 50 or so years easily shows this. Tires used to use cotton cords and by bias ply rather than radial. The invention and introduction of nylon and kevlar cord, radial tires, better tread designs and improved rubber compounds have increased the safety of tires tremendously.

Was this the result of government regulations? No. It was the result of a competitive free market in which different companies fought for a larger market share by providing products superior to that of their competitors. When I first started driving, tires that lasted 40,000 miles were unheard of. Now 40,000 mile tires are the cheapest ones you buy at Wal-Mart.

Some government regulation is necessary to attempt to control criminally minded people such as the owners of the bus that crashed in Texas. But, over time, the free market provides us with the best available products and services.

AND! You cannot police every person every hour of the day. Yup that bus company gets theirs via lawsuit, and that is the free market also: what is the cheapest way of doing business? If you put retreads on the steers and you have an accident and get sued, that wasn't the cheapest way of doing business. Now the regulating body DOT is going to come in after the fact and prolly shut them down again. Like so many things it's all combination. The only thing besides free market is the not-free market of the government owning everything.

Then what happens if they do something negligent? Nothing, generally you can't sue a socialist government. "Things sometimes happen comrade, and there is nothing we can do..."

We don't have a free market anyway, despite the bleating of the sheep. It's a hybrid where the government has some reighn. The most difficult thing is to get the mix right. Most people do right because it's the best way of doing business in the long run. For those that refuse to do so, there are laws and regulations.

OI, but I know I'm singing to the choir, probably...
Amen, brother.
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