The Left’s Invisible Victims

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The National Transportation Safety Board has again recommended that airlines require a separate seat for all children, regardless of age, eliminating the current practice of permitting children under the age of 2 to fly for free on the lap of a parent. Will mandating child restraint systems make air travel safer? The answer is probably yes but that’s the visible.

Having to purchase an extra airplane ticket, some families will opt to drive to their destination instead. Thus, mandated CRS will force some families to switch to a less safe method of travel and some highway fatalities will represent the invisible victims of NTSB policy. By the way, if parents wanted a greater measure of safety for their infant, it’s available to them right now. They can purchase a seat and seat restraint for their infant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is charged with ensuring that drugs are safe and effective. Drugs must meet FDA approval before they can be marketed. FDA officials can make two kinds of errors. They can approve a drug that has unanticipated, dangerous side effects that might cause illness and death. Or, they can err by either not approving or causing huge delays in the marketing of a safe and effective drug. Statistically, these are known as the Type I and Type II errors.

FDA officials have a bias toward erring on the side of over-caution. If FDA officials err on the side of under-caution, approving an unsafe drug, they are attacked by the media, patient groups and investigated by Congress. Their victims, sick and dead people, are highly visible. If FDA officials err on the side of over caution, keeping a safe and effective drug off the market, who’s to know? The victims are invisible.

If you conclude that FDA officials have a bias toward errors that create invisible victims, who don’t know whom to blame for their illness or death, step to the head of the class.

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  • flowerknife_us

    Lightweight cars with batteries vs. tractor trailers. So much for "safer" highways.

  • Grob Hahn

    Having unrestrained children on aircraft was foolish to begin with. Doing it to compete on fares was even worse. Now they are to be condemned for instituting long overdue safety measures because some families will decide it's not worth the price?

  • McKean

    The real problem is not errors but intentional destruction of anything they can destruct without being put out of business.

  • wesley69

    As EPA enforces laws governing the environment, or the FCC enforces laws dealing with interstate and international communications, an agency makes regulations to carry out a law in their area of responsibility. The agencies presented in this article, such as the FDA, under the Health and Human Services Department, and the NTSB, an independent agency like NASA, the EPA, are just some of the many departments, agencies created by Congress over the years.

    Some agencies prefer to make policy, which is not their function, but that of Congress. The problem is overregulation, which can be costly and dangerous for people as well as job-killing. The red tape created by these agencies may cause businesses to raise prices, move out of the country or shut down totally. Depending upon the people in charge of a particular agency, its interpretation of their duties can be conservative or extremely radical. Under the Obama regime, radicals have been appointed to many agencies reflecting Mr. O’s belief in big government running every aspect of our lives and that of business.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • Barry Cooper

    I have argued for some time that approving drugs should be a private sector function. The example I would use is Underwriter's Labs, which tests most all electrical devices for fire safety among other things, or the Canadian Standards Association.

    Anything anyone wants to sell should be made available, but if it has not been vetted, it should note the fact on the label. Perhaps the label could literally read "Caveat Emptor".

    Freedom is not Nanny State preventing us from being stupid. I would go so far as to argue that any nation in which it has been made impossible to be stupid, will for that very reason BECOME stupid. We're halfway there already.

  • Jim Johnson

    Testing for new drugs has a protocol that must be followed with great rigor. This is not always the case especially for off label use. Off label use is sometimes promoted by the enthusiasm of the Doctors that are using it off label. That enthusiasm is greatly appreciated by drug companies who will see to it that the espousing Doctors are given favorable notoriety for benefit of their careers.

    Not speed but through testing is the important thing.