19 April 2010

Beware the Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Eurocrat!

(via Drudge)

From Financial Times:

Flawed computer models may have exaggerated the effects of an Icelandic volcano eruption that has grounded tens of thousands of flights, stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers and cost businesses hundreds of millions of euros.

The power of the bureaucrat is the power of no. Give a bureaucrat an opportunity to say no, and they'll say it. The calculus a bureacrat uses to assess risk has nothing to do with reason, and everything to do with power. This is at minimum a $1B mistake that disrupted hundreds of thousands of lives all because a tiny, previously unheralded sub-group of a UN sub-committee (The VAAC) got a raging regulatory hard on. I would bet good money that nothing will change at the VAAC, if anything, the discovery of their awesome power will only excite them to throw an even bigger monkeywrench into international aviation next time they're given an excuse.

Europe has decided unelected commissions, committees, study groups, quasi-autonomous non-government organizations, and their ilk should be welcome to run roughshod over the rights of citizens and sovereign governments to make their own decisions regarding risk. I would hope the next time one of our Cascade Volcanoes spewed in a similar manner, that our FAA would question any recommendations coming from the VAAC much more thoroughly than the European Union did.

In the European Union model of government, individuals don't have the right to say yes in order to override the bureaucrat's no.

Regulations exist for a reason, and bureaucrats must have some power, but that power should be limited, and subordinate to elected officials. Where individuals assume risks that only put themselves in harms way, that should be considered a basic human right (Pursuit of Happiness, and all).

Eurocrats have forgotten that, and the Obama Administration would like to pretend that the Pursuit of Happiness at the core of our founding doesn't also imply the notion of assumed risk.

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