Deregulation

Trump’s Deregulation Isn’t to Blame for Airline Crashes

The passengers of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed March 10 had not even been buried before some commentators had identified the cause: deregulation.

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The passengers of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed March 10 had not even been identified or buried before some commentators thought they had identified the cause: President Trump's push for deregulation.

"On an earnings call in April 2017, Boeing's CEO [Dennis] Muilenburg was asked how deregulation early in Trump's term affected the company," CNBC reported, noting that the aerospace executive replied, "Things like FAA certification processes is one place that we're seeing some solid progress."

A Wall Street Journal subheadline faulted "a pattern of lax regulation" by the federal Department of Transportation, of which the Federal Aviation Administration is a part.

The Wall Street Journal column went on to quote a vice president at the National Consumers League, John Breyault, who complained that the Trump administration's transportation department, led by Secretary Elaine Chao, "seems to be even less willing to engage in serious consumer protection efforts than it did under President Obama's watch, which is a pretty low bar."

A plane of an Ethiopian or Indonesian airline crashes, and the person blamed is not the pilot, not the Ethiopian or Indonesian airline regulator, and not even the president or prime minister of Ethiopia or Indonesia, but rather President Trump.

Call it "Blame America First."

Had the downed jet planes been European-designed Airbus models rather than American Boeings, doubtless the race would have been on to trace the problem to a U.S.-made component.

In the case of the Ethiopian and Lion Air crashes of the Boeing 737 Max, the Trump deregulation narrative doesn't pass the test of logic.

A long investigation by the aerospace reporter of the Seattle Times begins, "As Boeing hustled in 2015 to catch up to Airbus and certify its new 737 MAX, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managers pushed the agency's safety engineers to delegate safety assessments to Boeing itself, and to speedily approve the resulting analysis."

Did you catch the year "2015" in that sentence? President Trump was elected in 2016 and inaugurated in 2017, the same year the 737 MAX finally did enter commercial service.

The same Trump critics constantly assuring us that he is an ineffective fool manage simultaneously to ascribe to him the mysterious, even miraculous power of controlling the actions of federal bureaucrats during the prior administration.

If Trump wasn't to blame for crashing the planes, then what was the cause? The Seattle Times offers up the claim that "The FAA, citing lack of funding and resources, has over the years delegated increasing authority to Boeing to take on more of the work of certifying the safety of its own airplanes."

This is an agency with a roughly $16 billion annual budget and the equivalent of about 45,000 full time employees. When the Republican-majority House of Representatives passed a bill last year reauthorizing the agency and essentially shelving the idea of privatizing air traffic control, it was legislation to spend $90 billion over five years. The measure was approved by a vote of 398 to 23.

Maybe with $16 billion and 45,000 employees, the FAA still has a "lack of funding and resources." But government agencies seem to want more funding and resources regardless of whether they are succeeding or failing. And the taxpayers and passengers who are being saddled with taxes and fees to pay for the bureaucrats do not have bottomless pockets.

There is a problem of "regulatory capture," where regulators become too cozy with the industry they regulate. But that risk underscores that the most effective regulation is free market competition, which avoids the "capture" hazard. The most powerful force, in other words, wasn't the government grounding the 737 MAX, but passengers rebooking their flights to avoid the plane. It's not as if Boeing or its management have strong commercial incentives to sneak a dangerous plane past regulators. Plane crashes are hard to hide, and they are bad for the business of a plane manufacturer.

The situation raises the question of why the press and the self-described consumer advocates are so desperately eager to discredit airline deregulation. Perhaps it's just the way they are. The New York Times Book Review over the weekend somewhat astonishingly quoted one of that lightly regulated newspaper's own in-house lawyers, David McCraw, as writing in his new book, "The reportorial default is to think that most regulations are good."

Airline regulation, though, is a special case. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was signed into law by a Democrat, President Carter. It was championed by another Democrat, Senator Edward Kennedy, and by Kennedy's aide Stephen Breyer, who is now a Supreme Court Justice. A key role was also played by Alfred Kahn, a Ph.D. economist who was a professor at Cornell University.

That Act mostly got the government out of the business of setting airplane ticket prices and of allowing or disallowing new domestic routes. It was a huge success in democratizing air travel, allowing the growth of discount carriers, and decreasing costs for consumers without adverse effects on safety. On a fatalities per billion passenger mile basis, U.S. commercial air travel, after deregulation, is less dangerous than traveling by railroad, bus, car, or truck, according to a 2013 study by Ian Savage of Northwestern University.

Perhaps the reason critics are so eager to pin the plane crash on deregulation is that they are afraid that once people realize how well deregulation worked for the airline industry, they might be tempted to try similar approaches in other heavily regulated sectors of the American economy.

Ira Stoll is editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com and author of JFK, Conservative.

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55 responses to “Trump’s Deregulation Isn’t to Blame for Airline Crashes

  1. Call it “Blame America First.”

    I’ve heard that America is also to blame for conflict between India and Pakistan.

    1. As well as the shootings in New Zealand.

    2. The new series gained FAA certification on March 8, 2017

      the article is wrong. deregulated under trump and rushed through look wikipedia

      1. A multiple year process, that ended a couple months after Trump takes office. The PROCESS of certifying the aircraft took place during the Obama administration. And I am not blaming the Obama administration for anything either. Your attempt to make it Trumps responsibility however is bullshit.

        Notice these accidents did not take place on US flights with US pilots. They took place on foreign flights with generally more poorly trained foreign pilots. Further, this problem is very similar to the problems Airbus had with a series of accidents (including an Air France flight where an iced up pilot tube caused the plane to stall into the ocean).

        The fact is that unless training forces them to, pilots of the new airliners are more autopilot managers than actual pilots. This means that 1000 hours of experience does not provide the same understanding of the aircraft than it did when it meant 1000 hours of hands on flying.

        The airlines want the planes on auto-pilot because it saves fuel, but it has consequences, and one of those consequences is that when the computer encounters a problem … the pilot may not have the skills to save the plane. The FAA address’ this with required simulator training that is specific to the aircraft.

        This is not a Trump problem or an Obama problem. indeed, it is a pilot training problem, and one that mostly shows up OUTSIDE the control of the FAA.

        1. From what I’ve read, there are real problems with the automatic systems designed to trim the flight, and the pilots ability to shut it off when it’s apparently malfunctioning (such as driving the plane full throttle into the ground). Boeing tried to cut costs by claiming that pilots didn’t need hours in a simulator to fly the new plane, that if someone knew how to fly an older 737 they could fly a Max. Better trained pilots are more likely to handle unexpected problems any plane may throw at them, but third world pilots might not have as good of instincts trained into to them to avoid disaster.

          I take every opportunity to push the regulation of the markets, but in this case there is a role for making sure products meet specs before people die. Unfortunately, that part of the process is the easiest to game and become corrupt.

          1. Unless you’re digging very very deep into the pilot/aircraft enthusiast Google hole I can tell you with 99% certainty that most of what you read about this (in fact anything you have ever read about the nitty gritty of how aircraft and the systems surrounding them work) is total hogwash and the remainder is fairly one sided (IE: pilots are fickle and hate all automation unless it’s hidden or makes them look like they’re better pilots than they actually are).

            But ignoring all that… lets do a thought experiment….

            How many planes has the FAA built such that the have the knowledge required to know what a proper certification should look like? The answer is they don’t, they ask the industry for help and the industry regulates itself for the most part. At best the FAA is auditing their paperwork and keeping track of lessons learned. It works pretty well since the safety record for the actual aircraft flying around right now is greatly improved over even 20 years ago.

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  2. Of course not. It was the Jews.

  3. The passengers of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed March 10 had not even been identified or buried before some commentators thought they had identified the cause: President Trump’s push for deregulation.

    Heck, I can’t tell you what the next natural disaster is even going to be but I can already tell you that’s going to be Trump’s fault, too. Him and them damn Nazi libertarians.

  4. We’re not even sure it was the same issue that caused both crashes, and it is telling that they happened on two foreign budget airlines in 3rd world countries. Apparently whatever issue might be causing the errors is easily manageable and shouldn’t be a problem for pilots.

    1. I agree we don’t know what the issues are yet, though nothing is apparent to me since we don’t know what the issues are.

    2. No the problem is not ‘easily manageable’. Best explanation I’ve seen was at Zero Hedge

      This is not really ever gonna get fixed. They’re just putting band-aids on a plane whose modifications have made it very difficult to fly while selling it as just the same as the 737’s you’ve been flying for decades. Considering this model has just started shipping, the safe bet is that many of those future deliveries will be cancelled in favor of a far more reliable Airbus A320.

      1. “…They’re just putting band-aids on a plane whose modifications have made it very difficult to fly…”
        Bull
        .
        .
        .
        .
        shit.

        1. Well I can take the word of actual pilots

          Or a particularly retarded dog.

          Hmm.

          1. Your link does not mention your idiotic claim that it is ‘difficult to fly’, you imbecile.
            Let me help you, since the English language seems to bee difficult for you:
            They are complaining about a lack of training.

            1. Thank you for demonstrating ‘particularly retarded’. You have now advanced to ‘special’.

              1. “Thank you for demonstrating ‘particularly retarded’. You have now advanced to ‘special’.”

                So your lack of reading ability, or, more likely, your lack of honesty, advances me on your list? Keep it up! I want ‘unique’ from a lying piece of shit like you.

      2. Nope, Zero Hedge told a great story. Mostly a story.

        There are no perfect aircraft … or perfect anything else. Airbus aircraft had a series of similar crashes causes by computer control combined with an iced pitot tube. In both cases (Airbus and Boeing), a well trained pilot could have disengaged the autopilot and simply flown the plane out of the situation. in both cases, the problems showed up on foreign airlines with lower pilot training requirements than those in the US.

        Yes, in both cases the computer controls and instruments could be improved, and were, after the problem showed up. In this regard Boeing actually deserved kudos in that they has already identified the need for improvement and had one already in the FAA approval process. Airbus was caught completely unaware.

        This should be a cautionary tale as well for all you who eagerly await aircraft without pilots and cars without drivers, this stuff is extremely difficult. As a working control systems engineer, I don’t want planes without engaged pilots or cars without engaged drivers. Trained people are much better at handling the unexpected than computer controls are.

        1. In this regard Boeing actually deserved kudos in that they has already identified the need for improvement and had one already in the FAA approval process.

          How many dead people would there have to be before you take away the kudos for identifying need for improvement award?

          Trained people are much better at handling the unexpected than computer controls are.

          So then explain (from the Seattle Times article linked to by Stoll) – Boeing decided that 737 pilots needed no extra training on the system ? and indeed that they didn’t even need to know about it. It was not mentioned in their flight manuals. That stance allowed the new jet to earn a common “type rating” with existing 737 models, allowing airlines to minimize training of pilots moving to the MAX….The company’s website pitched the jet to airlines with a promise that “as you build your 737 MAX fleet, millions of dollars will be saved because of its commonality with the Next-Generation 737.”

          And obviously flight testing has revealed that MCAS IN FACT can often deploy on takeoff when there is no altitude to ‘fly out of the situation’ before ‘impact with terrain’. From that same article, the Lion Air MCAS deployed 21 times in the 13 minutes between takeoff and crash.

          1. Every thing every where at all times needs to be improved so yea Boeing gets credit for starting a newer better system. Every one always upgrades otherwise we would be living in caves still

            1. So this is basically the corporatist-libertarian equivalent of the participation award in kindergarten.

              1. Corporatist-libertarian?

                I’ve never seen a libertarian advocate occupational franchise much making companies add employee and customer representatives to their Board of Directors or converting the Fed in a fascist Finance Corporation. Bernie Sanders, yes, but not a libertarian.

          2. JFree, you are repeating media reports without actually understanding what they mean. Boeing decided pilots needed no extra training on the system because unwanted MCAS activation presents the same as runaway stabilizer trim, a malfunction that IS rather easily dealt with. MCAS automatically trims nose down to increase control yoke feedback at high angles of attack. If MCAS activates inappropriately pilots don’t even need to know the problem is with MCAS to avoid a mishap. Here’s why:

            There is a large (~10″ diameter) wheel mounted to either side of the center console next to both pilots’ knees. These wheels spin rapidly with a loud whirring noise any time the electric motor is moving the stabilizer trim. It would be impossible for a pilot not to notice this. Right next to the wheel is a switch that cuts power to the electric motor. If the wheel moves unexpectedly, pilots are trained to cut power to the electric motor. Problem solved; catastrophe avoided. If the wheel moves unexpectedly, cut power. Shouldn’t take more than 3 seconds tops for the entire sequence. Obviously, allowing the trim wheel to spin until the aircraft is no longer controllable will result in a crash, which is why most professional pilots are very confused that MCAS activated 21 times in 13 minutes. Why didn’t the pilots cut power to the stabilizer trim system THE FIRST TIME THE WHEEL MOVED UNCOMMANDED?

            1. Boeing decided pilots needed no extra training on the system because unwanted MCAS activation presents the same as runaway stabilizer trim,

              The reason Boeing decided not to inform pilots/manual is in the sentence previous to the part I quoted Since MCAS was supposed to activate only in extreme circumstances far outside the normal flight envelope, Boeing decided that 737 pilots needed no extra training. But that ‘supposed to activate’ is not predictable beforehand – and was invalidated once test flights began where it can kick in on takeoffs which are not at all ‘extreme circumstances’ and where there is NO latitude for figuring out wtf is going on with a plane that is not flying AT ALL like a 737.

              How that activation ‘presents itself’ to the crew is also not at all the same as how a runaway stabilizer trim presents itself. That meme is just what Boeing is now communicating after having failed to communicate before. Again it’s in that article. Too long to quote but basically the MCAS activation presents as RESPONSIVE to pilot reaction where runaway trim would present as NONRESPONSIVE.

              The jury-rigged SOLUTION to both is the same but since they do not present the same, it is ludicrous to pretend that pilots should be able to already know what to do in the opposite context. That would require pilots experience that MCAS activation in a simulator – which undermines the sales pitch for the plane. And that solution is not an actual fix to the problem.

              1. Okay, it’s obvious you are not a pilot and you have no clue what you are talking about. The Seattle Intelligencer is not Boeing, so its opinion on why Boeing didn’t include PROCEDURES in the manual regarding MCAS is opinion. Please read the article at this link which includes information from pilots who actually fly the plane:

                http://tinyurl.com/yxe8jdz9

                The phase of flight has nothing to do with MCAS activation. It has to do with angle of attack. MCAS is disables when the flaps are down, such as during takeoff, for precisely the reason the jet is operated at high angles of attach during takeoff. The pilot reports you quoted with complaints of MCAS activation after takeoff were not about MCAS, and they were not test flight reports. NASA maintains a database where pilots (and other aviation pros) can report safety concerns. These reports were submitted by pilots flying normal missions. The reason pilots make these reports is because they can get in trouble for not complying with ATC instructions, and the reports provide a means to notify the FAA of the reason for a deviation BEFORE they are called on the mat.

                The incidents in question involved the aircraft starting a descent when the autopilot was engaged. The news media wants people to believe this is further evidence of MCAS devilry, but it’s not. These incidents have nothing to do with MCAS because MCAS is disabled when the autopilot is engaged.

          3. “How many dead people ….”

            How many dead people will be caused by people who now choose to drive vs fly long distances based on the FUD and nonsense the media has caused people like you to spout.

            A couple hundred people a month die due to vehicle accidents. Wheres your call to fix that problem.

            We’ll also never know how many people were saved by the MCAS system preventing poorly trained pilots from ending up in a stall near the ground.

            Just saying. Context is key.

      3. Here’s a better explanation:

        http://tinyurl.com/yxe8jdz9

        This is not from someone whose brother-in-law is a pilot, but from actual 737 pilots. Like all aviation accidents, the cause for these two will be attributed to many factors, but the bottom line is that Boeing designs airplanes such that the pilot is an integral part of the sensor suite. An unwanted MCAS activation will present to pilots exactly like runaway stab trim, which can malfunction independent of MCAS. Boeing pilots have been aware of and have trained for runaway stab trim since the first KC-135s and 707s went into service back in the late 50s. The requirement to recognize and react to runaway stab trim is part of the aircraft type certificate, and therefore part of the training standard. Why did four supposedly trained pilots fail to notice and correct unwanted stab trim movement? Why did the Ethiopian Air crew, who were supposedly briefed on the FAA’s emergency airworthiness directive about unwanted MCAS activation, still fail to notice and correct unwanted stab trim movement?

    3. What I understand is that the new plane’s center of gravity is further forward which makes it more likely for the nose to climb too high during flight. They added sensors and automatic regulators to handle this, but apparently they didn’t test the system thoroughly enough for bad sensor readings, like when the sensors errantly say the nose is too high and needs to be brought down. Pilots weren’t fully informed and it was difficult or impossible to disable the automated system and take manual control.

  5. “Needs more regulation” is the answer to every problem.

  6. Stoll – you are a dishonest hack.

    Here’s the FULL quote (bold is mine) from the Boeing earnings call re the FAA – Things like FAA certification processes is one place that we’re seeing some solid progress. That’s helping us more efficiently work through certification on some of our new model aircraft, such as the Max, as it’s going through flight test and entering into service.

    This wasn’t some generic quote about certification. It was specific to the model that was ‘streamlined’ into approval and that has now hull-crashed twice with only about 200 planes of that model having been delivered.

    Of course some people are going to go to some default notion they have about regulation. Just as you are going to your default notion you have about regulation – while also distorting the facts in question.

    How much is Boeing paying you?

    1. JFree proves once again that reading the English language is, uh, difficult for him with his room-temp IQ:

      “Here’s the FULL quote (bold is mine) from the Boeing earnings call re the FAA – Things like FAA certification processes is one place that we’re seeing some solid progress. That’s helping us more efficiently work through certification on some of our new model aircraft, such as the Max, as it’s going through flight test and entering into service.”
      “This wasn’t some generic quote about certification. It was specific to the model that was ‘streamlined’ into approval and that has now hull-crashed twice with only about 200 planes of that model having been delivered.”

      Stuff your innuendo up your ass.
      For lying scumbags who can’t read, picking an example is not specifying the only one, nor does “helping us work more efficiently” = ‘streamlining’ anything at all.
      How much are the ambulance-chasers paying YOU, you lying sack of shit?

      1. nor does “helping us work more efficiently” = ‘streamlining’ anything at all.

        Boeing’s CEO just before that quote – the administration has been very engaged across government agencies and with industry to find ideas and ways and opportunities to simplify and streamline

        Thank you for playing. But I’m afraid particularly retarded dog is WAY too far above your current level of accomplishment. You will now have to be demoted to particularly retarded rock snot

        1. “Boeing’s CEO just before that quote – the administration has been very engaged across government agencies and with industry to find ideas and ways and opportunities to simplify and streamline”

          Thank you for proving once again, you pathetic piece of shit, your inability to separate your dimbulb lefty bias from reality, including your oh, so clever link to nothing relevant to the discussion.
          Still waiting for a link which supports your idiotic claim: “They’re just putting band-aids on a plane whose modifications have made it very difficult to fly”
          Did you forget you made that claim, asshole? Or are you hoping others forget it? If so, I’m here to remind you on a regular basis you made a claim with absolutely no evidence to support it.
          So, you pathetic piece of shit, did you forget? Did you hope no one would remember? Tell us how fucking stupid you admit to be; we have evidence you underestimate the level.
          Fuck off.

          1. Still waiting for a link which supports your idiotic claim: “They’re just putting band-aids on a plane whose modifications have made it very difficult to fly”

            Maybe you should learn to read beyond the first fucking word in that link. eg

            FAA ‘airworthiness directive’ issued after Lion Air crash – This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain.

            Pilot 1 – The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag. Now we know the systems employed are error-prone ? even if the pilots aren’t sure what those systems are, what redundancies are in place and failure modes. I am left to wonder: what else don’t I know?

            The complete log of all the pilot complaints (also linked in that article)

            Now fuck off rock snot.

            1. Boys, boys, boys. Are your egos so desperately tied up in trying to one-up the other? Go get something out of the fridge; go for a walk or a bike ride …. it’s OK.

              Believe it or not, the rest of us really, REALLY don’t care which one of you wins the argument.

            2. If you read the rest of the airworthiness directive (AD) you’ll find it contains no new procedures for MCAS equipped aircraft. The statement you highlighted is standard FAA boilerplate: “You must pay attention to this or the plane could crash.”

              Unwanted MCAS activation presents as runaway stabilizer trim, something that can happen on any aircraft with an electric motor to move the stabilizer trim system. The procedures to correct for runaway stab trim are the same across the 737 fleet no matter the cause (which is the primary reason Boeing didn’t include specific procedures for unwanted MCAS activation). The AD simply warns pilots that MCAS may activate due to erroneous sensor readings and to apply EXISTING RUNAWAY STAB TRIM procedures.

              The pilot logs you linked to report uncommanded descent after autopilot engagement. This has nothing to do with MCAS since MCAS is disabled when autopilot is engaged.

        2. JFree,

          I previously addressed you as if you sincerely did not understand the situation, or that facts. If this is indeed the case, you need to shut up, get your shit together, and re-engage more reasonably.

          If in fact, you are just an asshole who wants to blame someone, in this case Boeing, the FAA, or Trump (in order of increasing implausibility). Then just shut up period. We have plenty of stupid without your contribution.

          I am personally hoping for the first option. It is however, up to you.

  7. Various people, who have nostalgia for the days when air travel was ‘glamorous’ have been whining about how everything wrong with air travel anywhere in the world is the fault of ‘deregulation’. The only thing that changes in that narrative is which round of deregulation they are whining about.

    I stopped paying much attention as far back as 1988.

    The first bunch to start it were journalists who were used to traveling on an expense account, and thus were unaccustomed to rubbing shoulders with the kind of lower class riffraff that were suddenly flying. Since then the narrative has expanded to include people who never experienced the ‘glamour’ of air travel before the Reagan deredgulation. They whine without any appreciation of the simple fact before deregulation they would have been taking Greyhound.

    *spit*

    1. Ahhhh … the glory that was Rome! I remember the white, cotton table cloths they put over the entire cabins’ trays. They had real, metal “silverware” and the steaks were medium rare. It was awesome! The twenty-eight cylinder Pratt & Whitney radial engines made one of the finest sounds the human ear ever purred. (Ooops, I meant “heard.”) I was on the DC-7 as a kid and it was FUCKING AWESOME, dude!

      Eat your heart out!

    2. Airline deregulation sucks, it cost me less than 600 to fly to Phnom Penh from Vancouver BC last month. Do you have any idea how that impacted my carbon footprint? It is probably up there with a climate change activist like Bill McKibben. Of course it was a Chinese airline flying from canada, but I am sure it’s Trumps fault somehow.

  8. Hyst as Socialist mayor of Vienna, Karl Luger used to say “The Jews are to blame for everything,” so my POTUS is to blame for everything. Just ask Don Lemon.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

    1. Vill you visit ze camps vis me?

      1. Unzerzog?

    2. As Don Lemon once said “We need to stop demonizing people. Everything is the fault of the white man.”

  9. but the article is wrong and the plane was pushed though under deregulation under trump in 2017. that’s when the 737 max passed. look it up on Wikipedia…if you don’t think that’s also part of the liberal conspiracy with the media and doj and fbi.

  10. dishonest propaganda. its what they’re always telling you to watch out for right? the plane was put in service in 2017 and got there through deregulation. look it up on Wikipedia this author is a hack.

    1. Yep, the plane received final approval in March of 2017 after years of development and progress through the FAA certification process (the most stringent process of any aircraft certification process in the world …. by far).

      Trump was new in office, and the approval was all but complete before he was even sworn in. Not that Obama had anything to do with this issue either. The pilot always had the ability to disengage this system and fly the plane. The plane can always be improved … but this is primarily a pilot training issue. A FOREIGN pilot training issue … ie. outside the jurisdiction of the FAA.

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  13. “The same Trump critics constantly assuring us that he is an ineffective fool manage simultaneously to ascribe to him the mysterious, even miraculous power of controlling the actions of federal bureaucrats during the prior administration.”

    Nice.

    Same argument used by that smelly group known as conspiracy theorists. Dubya was as thick as two short planks, and if not for his dad he’d still be wearing a onesie sucking his thumb, but he also masterminded the 9/11 attacks, perpetrating the greatest hoax of all time.

    Or something like that.

  14. The examples of de-regulation cited in this report are by no means the only ones. Another comes from 2004, and thus from era of the last Republican administration. That was where “the Federal Aviation Administration proposed expanding the role of aircraft manufacturers like Boeing in deciding whether their planes were safe to fly“.

    It did so “at the direction of Congress, amid pressure from industry players like Boeing to help them compete with foreign rivals by speeding up approvals of new aircraft.

    Fifteen years later, that system is now well-entrenched, with much of the FAA’s regulatory oversight of companies like Boeing done not by the FAA but by employees of those aircraft companies.

    On the one hand it allows the FAA “to stretch the FAA’s resources”. On the other hand it is kind of like delegating the fox to regulate and guard the henhouse.

    For more, Politico’s article “The need for speed: Why Congress and the FAA outsourced oversight to Boeing”.

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