Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Green Party solutions: Reliable, accountable public safety regulation - Toyota, anyone?

The Wall Street Journal covers a story about yet another Toyota vehicle racing out of control, and the driver being saved only after the brave efforts of law enforcement.

WSJ has a video report:

Some questions come to mind:
1. How can this happen?
2. Where are the safety regulators?
3. What can we do?

How did this happen? The problem is called "agency capture." This occurs when a given industry exerts significant influence or completely takes over the regulatory agency that is supposed to regulate it. There are several ways this can happen:
A. The company can contribute significant electoral campaign donations to the Congressional committees that oversee the regulatory agency.
B. The company hires former employees of the agency, and finally
C. Factors A and C combine to a point where members of the regulated industry and their lobbyists are chosen to regulate the industry by the congressional committees that have had their campaigns funded by corporate donations.

Great for the company, right? They get the inside track on derailing or watering down any new regulations, and in doing so, can support their profit margin over the safety and the political wishes of the American people.

What is the Green Party solution?

First, the Green Party and its candidates do not accept any corporate donations, funds from PACs, or other non-human, non-citizen sources.
Second, the Green Party supports robust and effective safety regulation, and stopping the influence of corporate lobbyists over the legislative process.
Third, the Green Party support open government and sunshine laws to facilitate transparency at all levels of government.

The Green Party: Real solutions to real problems.

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