There’s a reason

Author: admin

The next time you hear someone say – most likely a weathered conservative left out in the sun too long – “We need to get rid of all those damned regulations,” tell him to “Put a sock in it.”

Then, just softly say “East Palestine, Ohio” and “Silicone Valley Bank.” Just six words. But they’re all you need to make your case.

Ronny Reagan was probably the most noted Republican presidential candidate who campaigned loudest against federal regulations. “Damn ’em all,” I heard him once cry during an Idaho campaign event. “The current mass of government regulations is hobbling free markets.”

Reagan was elected in November, 1980, and again November, 1984. It was widely believed his strong advocacy for erasing federal regulations played a major role of success in those two instances.

And, he largely fulfilled his promise to cut, cut, cut. Maybe that was good. Maybe that was bad. Depending on where you sat on the political spectrum.

For me and my brothers and sisters in mass communications, his success in killing the Federal Communications Commission Fairness Doctrine applying to our livelihoods was a major loss. The ramifications of that loss are still being felt.

Under that very necessary requirement – read regulation – Faux Noos likely wouldn’t have become the B.S. factory it is because the Doctrine required broadcasters to balance viewpoints – especially political – wherever possible. Required! Hannity would have had to sell shoes or cars rather than be allowed to sell B.S. on the tube five nights a week.

As the Ohio and SVB disasters show, there’s a reason for proper regulatory requirements in certain areas where the public welfare is deemed important. Like railway and bank safety. And airlines and cruise ships.

But, back to that Fairness Doctrine. Without it, we’ve had a plethora of right wing crap fouling our airwaves. Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Ingraham and the rest blossomed and were sustained by the resultant “freedoms” previously prohibited by the Doctrine. Whether we, as a nation, are better for their “freedoms” is up to you.

The Biden infrastructure victory is indeed that: a victory. A victory for better roads, upgraded public transportation and government investments meant to bring more private dollars into public areas. With accompanying regulations, of course.

It should come as a shock to no one that our rail industry, in particular, is in terrible shape. And, not just the rail beds and the stations. We are far, far behind China, Japan, England and even South Korea in development of high speed trains. Trains that can offer comfortable and safe alternatives to higher airfares. Imagine Seattle to Portland in 45 minutes or so.

As a country, we’d be in pretty bad shape without proper and necessary regulation. It’s the individual view of “proper” and “necessary” where we get into trouble at times. Which is why so many regs get kicked up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But, laws put on the books by Congress, most often need regulatory directives for implementation and use. The detail work.

As reported by NBC News, “Five years ago, Sen Elizabeth Warren was the most outspoken opponent of the Republican-led Congress’ push to undo regulations imposed under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law for small and mid-size banks. The bill, led by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, sought to reclassify the “too-big-to-fail” standard, which came with enhanced regulatory scrutiny. By raising the threshold from $50 billion in assets to $250 billion, medium-size banks were exempted from those regulations.

“Had Congress and the Federal Reserve not rolled back the stricter oversight, SVB and Signature (Bank) would have been subject to stronger liquidity and capital requirements to withstand financial shocks,” Warren said. “They would have been required to conduct regular stress tests to expose their vulnerabilities and shore up their businesses. But, because those requirements were repealed, when an old-fashioned bank run hit SVB, the bank couldn’t withstand the pressure — and Signature’s collapse was close behind.”

Yes, there are bad and unnecessary regulations at times. Depends on who writes the and how they’re implemented Which is why SCOTUS gets into the fray at times. Sorting things out.

It’ll be interesting to see if either – or both – the derailment or bank closure came about by running afoul of regulation or some other circumstance. Could be.

Either way, there’s reason to believe those who loudly decry regulation are wrong. If necessary and properly handled in creation and implementation, your next trip in an airplane could be a whole lot safer.

You’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Comments are closed.