Thursday, July 18, 2013
Via RealClear Policy, I have encountered a Reason Magazine
article titled, "Why the Government Was Wrong to Shutdown Fung Wah Bus
Company." The piece missed a golden opportunity to indicate that
the regulations and the shutdown were improper uses of government. However, it offers value by
detailing the degree to which the government micromanages transportation
safety -- and the fact that it often does so incompetently on multiple levels.
I also found the following cost-benefit analysis of the inter-city bus company shutdown worthwhile, although with the usual caveats such analyses deserve:
Fung Wah customers actually have much to be nostalgic for and little to fear. Regulators could have shutdown Greyhound, or practically any bus company, on the same grounds they used to force Fung Wah out of business. And if saving lives is the whole idea, regulators should more logically prohibit intercity travel in passenger cars, while mandating travel in buses run by companies like Fung Wah. ...Again, unless riders were being forced or duped into using the buses, or the company were acting negligently, the government had no business shutting it down. The proper role of the government is to protect our right to make judgements, such as what we regard as safe or what risks are acceptable, ourselves. Even if the government were not forcing people to do something riskier (on average) than they might otherwise do (i.e., travel in cars instead of buses), it shouldn't be dictating to us how we should live. That said, this example eloquently illustrates one danger of the government imposing its "wisdom" on everyone.