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Free-Market Regulation


Before the government became our collective nanny, insurance companies were primary defenders of our health and safety.

A house built to low standards, for example, would either be uninsurable or face premium surcharges. One might still build the shoddy house, but in case of fire, the loss would fall totally on the owner. And that owner would have to finance construction out-of-pocket, as no lender would make a loan against an uninsurable building.

Similarly, auto insurers were—and still are—responsible for much vehicle safety testing. As the attitude that “there ought to be a law” has become dominant, insurers have taken a leading role in creating and shaping safety legislation.

Although I find the lawmaking intrusive and significantly immoral, I can’t argue with the results. We are much, much safer:

I have been a subscriber to Consumer Reports. Unbiased product test info helps make better buying decisions. But they have elevated their mandate to become a legislative advocate that does product testing to support their agenda. Too often their tests are not relevant to my needs, or based on political views I find abhorrent.

Still, I’m happy we’re building cars safer than that Bel Air.