Regulations are the problem per President Trump | New NY 23rd

Congressman Tom Reed today voted in favor of H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas under the Clean Air Act. –April 7, 2011

Citing the 41,662 pages added to the Federal Register thus far in 2012, Congressman Tom Reed today voted in favor of the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act. The Act, a package of seven bills,  puts a moratorium on new regulations which cost the economy $50 million or more. “The costs of compliance with all these regulations lead to higher consumer prices and reduced hiring,” Reed observed.–July, 2012

Regulations are the problem per President Trump. Excessive, illegal, unnecessary regulations stand in the way of economic growth, he says.

I wonder if this can be true. Is it reasonable to attack regulations in general without looking at the problem addressed? I think not.

For many years I was employed as a machine tool engineer. Machines manufactured in the 1960s were clearly less safe than those manufactured today. They lacked adequate guards, they filled the factory air with fumes, designers focused on function using available technology and not so much on safety. Many times, after an accident, the machine manufacturer was sued.

At first manufacturers made cosmetic improvements. Machines were covered with warnings–“danger, keep your fingers away from here.” When an accident occurred, engineers like me looked after the fact to see how similar incident could be prevented.

Today there are elaborate standards for machine safety. There are procedures and checklists for evaluating hazards, safety features must be shown to be adequate, safety features must be fail-safe. Sometimes safety features are inconvenient, but the inconvenience is necessary for safety.

Do we want to return to 1960 as President Trump suggests? There would be a human cost–lost limbs, loss of vision, death. Would it spur the economy if manufacturers could once again ignore safety? I don’t see how.

Would we return to automobiles without seat belts, to working without safety glasses or ear protection, to unregulated hospitals and drug manufacturers, to burning coal, to lead paint, to energy inefficient light bulbs, to freon in the atmosphere? Hopefully not.

Tom Reed opposes regulations in general, favors limits on airline crew hours, but proposed to remove restrictions on the hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel.

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