Keeping Red Tape Cut

Various politicians are receiving praise for using their executive power to waive or otherwise ignore laws and regulations that are getting in the way of an effective response to the Wuhan virus pandemic. Now, some of those laws and regulations might make sense in normal times but might be unnecessary in the current unusual circumstances. For example, New York City has waived restrictions on e-scooters. They are useful in delivering carry-out food orders, and they’re less of a hazard in the current very light traffic. It may be that sort of regulation should come back eventually.

OTOH, Texas has insurance regulations which prevent physicians from being paid the same fee for a telemedicine consultation with a patient than for a face-to-face examination. That regulation is now being waived, and it’s the sort of regulation that should be throughly scrutinized before it is reimposed after the pandemic crisis.

Each law and regulation that has been suspended in order to promote public safety during the Wuhan virus response should be careful reexamined. Some may be worth restoring, but others, I’ll bet most, never had anything to do with public safety. At best, they were the result of nanny state busybodies bullying the public. Often, they were the result of rent-seeking by favored businesses and individuals, In many cases, they provided opportunities for graft. They should not come back.

Lobbying at the Speed of LightSquared

It’s not surprising that LightSquared is pulling out all the stops to try to distract folks from the NTIA test results that show how their proposed system interferes with most GPS receivers. I have to admire their creativity—they’re lobbying state legislators in Minnesota, home of one of their business partners Best Buy, to work with Minnesota’s U. S. Senators on an end run around the NTIA and the FCC.

Someone should point out to those legislators that maintaining good GPS coverage is a public safety issue. New cell phones have a GPS receiver so that the origin of 911 calls can be logged even if the person dialing the call isn’t able to speak.