24 Jan 2011


A few weeks ago, I landed in Los Angeles, got in my car and drove up to Berkeley.

On the way, I "ran into" this accident. I was about 30 second behind the girl who was driving. She was "looking at the pretty hills," drifted into the neighboring lane, and her car was crushed between two tractor-trailers. She ended up spinning across four lanes. I stopped and ran back to her car; another guy was already there (a doctor!), and she was only suffering from a scratch on her arm.

As you can see in the photo, the car was trashed.

Bottom Line: Car safety regulation saved this girl's life. I am not sure how "the market" would have saved it, since she was driving her sister's car. It's not like she got to choose her price-safety combination that morning. (It's possible, OTOH, that the manufacturer (Toyota?) sold a safe car to her sister, but few people choose a car exclusively for its safety features.)

Later on the trip, I passed a number of "Congress Created Dust Bowl" signs. Near Mendota, I saw this photogenic example of Farmer Created Dust Bowl.

Sprinklers are cheaper to operate than drip irrigation, but they use a lot more water. I guess that these farmers have lots of cheap water to apply to their dusty lands, eh?

Bottom Line: Shortage results when demand exceeds supply. Farmers need to get their own house in order before they point fingers at Congress an overstressed supply system.