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(Updated) Passenger Safety? Screw that! There’s money to be made!
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Many people often think that libertarians assume that whatever corporations do, since they aren't government organizations, is perfectly OK. To me, this is a mistaken assumption about libertarianism. Yes, libertarians distrust government, because of its power, and its monopoly on the use of force, but that's only a partial understanding of libertarianism.

More generally, libertarianism opposes aggregations of power, whether that aggregation is found in government—the most dangerous aggregation—or in corporations—less dangerous overall, but not benign.

A perfect example of why this distrust is so important can be seen from this apparently illegal corporate experimentation at JetBlue.
Without seeking approval from Federal Aviation Administration headquarters, consultants for JetBlue outfitted a small number of pilots with devices to measure alertness. Operating on a green light from lower-level FAA officials, management assigned the crews to work longer shifts in the cockpit — as many as 10 to 11 hours a day — than the eight hours the government allows. Their hope: Showing that pilots could safely fly far longer without exhibiting ill effects from fatigue...

It has been nearly 18 months since the novel experiment, but the test — along with the FAA's ultimate conclusion that it amounted to a backdoor effort to skirt safety rules—continues to roil parts of the aviation world. Senior FAA officials, angered by the move, privately say the airline's approach has backfired. Because of heightened emotions about the test, proposals to extend the workday for commercial pilots have been pushed even further down the list of priorities at the FAA, they say.

FAA headquarters heard about the test from pilot-union officials and their supporters. When the head office "became aware that JetBlue operated some domestic flights outside the standard rules, we immediately investigated and took corrective action," said James Ballough, head of flight standards for the agency. Mr. Ballough says officials are "confident that JetBlue's pilots are flying to the FAA's rules" now.

Another high-ranking FAA policy maker expressed his displeasure more bluntly: "We don't allow experiments with passengers on board, period."

The airline says it never intended to mislead anyone at the FAA, and the JetBlue spokeswoman chalked the situation up to "a miscommunication," though, she says, in retrospect the company understands "we have to widen the circle of consultation."
So, the bottom line—allegedly—is that JetBlue, without passengers knowledge, and in defiance of FAA regulations, made pilots fly 10 or 11 hour days, just to, you know, see what would happen.

Fortunately, what didn't happen was that the experiment resulted in flaming pyres of aluminum and JP-4 on Runway 28 East.

The paleolibertarian, of course, would argue that the remedy for such activities would be a massive lawsuit to punish JetBlue. And, really, that's not a bad idea in and of itself. No amount of money, however, would compensate a 30 year-old newly single mother who's seen the family's breadwinner be immolated on national TV.

Which raises, it seems to me, a question to the Anarcho-Capitalists. Is it better to have some amount of governmental regulation to prevent such informal cremations before they happen, or to simply compensate the surviving victims after the fact? And what if the offending business doesn't have enough assets to provide sufficient compensation after the fact? Are the surviving families just SOL?

If the answer is yes, then I guess the next question would be, why do you think that so few of your fellow citizens are keen to join you in the Anarcho-Capitalist Utopia you theorize?

Just asking.

UPDATE: And the first response is flatly wrong:
The problem isn’t any aggregation of power; the problem is fraud. They sold their customers something other than what they were led to expect, and didn’t tell them about it.
Sorry. That doesn't wash as an answer. We are talking about Anarcho-Capitalist land, where there isn't an FAA to enforce pilot work rules, or even to implement those rules in the first place. If you don't have an expectation of the work rules' even existing, then you are not being defrauded. The airline bigshots, as the managers of that property, have decided to implement new work rules, as is their right in Anarcho-Capitalist land, without let or hindrance. Nobody's defrauded you out of anything.
Yeah, right: as if your "some amount" of bureaubots are going to be able to see something like this coming before it happens.
And yet, some bureaucrats had already imposed those rules limiting pilot work time, many years ago. I'm mystified, truly, as to how that could possibly have happened. On the one hand, you imply that bureaucrats wouldn't have been able to foresee this, yet...some did, and it became standard regulation.

I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how that could possibly have happened.

I can only assume it was pure luck.
At the same time, I am happy to remind you that the FAA locals approved this nonsense.
Yes. they did. In blatant violation of FAA regulations Which raises the question, was the problem with the regulations, or with the low-level bureaucrats who ignored them? If the regulations are the problem, then as a matter of principle, the low-level bureaucratic decision was irrelevant. Indeed, to the extent that it freed the property owners to operate as they wished, it was a positive good. If the low-level bureaucrats were at fault for ignoring the regulations, then you imply the regulations were a positive good in principle, and the action of the low-level guys was wrong.

Cake: 1) Have it. 2) Eat it.

Please choose one of the above.
Assuming that the actual damages were appropriately calculated—a long shot, I’ll grant you, given the difficulty of assessing the value of human life and future potential—why shouldn’t it be "just another cost of doing business"? The critical part is whether that kind of cost sufficiently outweighs the perceived benefits of irresponsible behavior, and thus changes the firm’s behavior.
What irresponsible behavior? According to whom? We're in Anarcho-Capitalist Land now. There won't be an NTSB investigation to determine the cause of the crash. Who, exactly, will be pinpointing the irresponsible behavior? The airline, who will do their own investigation, and assure us that in their opinion, some unfortunate and unavoidable mechanical error was at fault?

Or, really, why have an investigation at all, if the airlines band together and decide that buying a ticket constitutes a waiver of liability on the part of the passengers? It's their airline, after all. You wanna fly, you fly by their rules.

Now if the plane crashes, well, it sucks to be you. Or your family.

"Well," you say, "everybody will have to buy flight insurance to protect themselves. And the insurers will ride herd on the airlines."

Really? let's assume that the airlines don't become wildly reckless. Let's just say that they push it to the point where there's one or two extra domestic airline crashes per year. The insurers are collecting money on millions of term life insurance policies that they'll never have to pay off. As for those extra one or two crashes per year, they can probably pay those claims out of petty cash. So, where's their incentive to keep the airlines on the straight and narrow. As long as nobody gets too reckless, well, everybody's making a bundle of money.

Sounds like a good deal for everyone involved, if you ask me. Except for 500 or so extra passengers each year.

But, you know, omelettes, eggs.
 
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The problem isn’t any aggregation of power; the problem is fraud. They sold their customers something other than what they were led to expect, and didn’t tell them about it.

It could be, some passengers would be willing to take part in this little "experiment," although the price of that ticket would probably be different than that of a normal flight.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
"Is it better to have some amount of governmental regulation to prevent such informal cremations before they happen, or to simply compensate the surviving victims after the fact?"
Yeah, right: as if your "some amount" of bureaubots are going to be able to see something like this coming before it happens. At the same time, I am happy to remind you that the FAA locals approved this nonsense.

Personally, I stopped flying Jet Blue after that itinerary data gag that they pulled four years ago. Me? I don’t have a problem in the world with them. I’ve solved it.

I might go on, but I’m not interested in attempting a rational discussion of something like this with someone with that dumb-ass "utopia" chip on his shoulder.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Blegh. "and didn’t tell them about it" is redundant, obviously...

Anyway, to continue...
After the fact, that they knowingly exposed passengers to increased risk without letting those passengers know ahead of time should be punished in some way that will get them to change their behavior; what we’re mostly worried about at this point is whether the feedback is effective enough to deter others from trying the same fraud.

Had the plane crashed, and the details of pilot "experimentation" revealed to the public, well, that’s negligent homicide on a pretty big level. What do the courts usually do if the perpetrators can’t pay entirely for their crime?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Oh, and Billy, you gotta change the URL in your cookie so it actually leads to your site.

Dale was so kind as to custom-craft a solution for you. So go kill your cookie and try again.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I know my own URL and I’m not going to use another one. Forget it.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
People still seem to have the preception that large corporations have single, lifetime owners who care about being in business 5 years from now with good reputations.

Corporations are run by executives who can cross their finger and hope they can BS the shareholders and their customers long enough to make a buck and move on. With a little luck an exec could have years before the poor quality rears its head. Unfortunately that could be something catestrophic.

And especially aviation has another twist, many markets have a single primary carrier and its not practical to consider going elsewhere.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Billy -
It’s just a redirect site, for cryin’ out loud. It’s just like if someone put your URL in code and gave everyone the decoder key, free.
Maybe I’m blind to the lofty principle behind having an incorrect URL after your name, consequences be damned, just so it looks something like your actual URL. But you can’t just do something because it works?

Then someone out there can say, "Hey, this Billy Beck guy’s comments at QandO sound interesting. I’d like to listen to more of what he has to say." And then they can click on that URL under your name, and they won’t go on benighted by a lack of exposure to your ideas for one unnecessary minute.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
And especially aviation has another twist, many markets have a single primary carrier and its not practical to consider going elsewhere.
Sure it’s practical. It just involves a different set of costs, maybe costs that don’t end up with you greasing a black crater somewhere.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
The paleolibertarian, of course, would argue that the remedy for such activities would be a massive lawsuit to punish JetBlue. And, really, that’s not a bad idea in and of itself. No amount of money, however, would compensate a 30 year-old newly single mother who’s seen the family’s breadwinner be immolated on national TV.
Not only that, but barring nasty punitives (which I presume any good paleolib would oppose) the damages probably would just be another cost of doing business, not enough to deter similar experimentation in the future, and probably not even enough to stop them from continuing this very practice. Tired pilots are going to save money every time, while causing accidents only a small fraction of the time. Think Ford Pinto, only with more people being blown up at once.

Also, given the huge role played by limited liability in corporations, anyone who seriously advocates relying entirely on tort law to deter bad corporate behavior would have to support the abolition of the corporate entity, or at least a law allowing tort victims to disregard it and go after individual shareholders if the business goes under. Otherwise, rational investors reap all the profits associated with dangerous behaviors, while only assuming a portion of the associated risk (the rest of which would be discharged in bankruptcy).
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
Why should investors be punished if they’re not any more conscious of "dangerous behaviors" than the passenger-victims? What kind of behavior is that supposed to deter? Recklessly investing in a company about which you don’t know every last detail?
Not only that, but barring nasty punitives (which I presume any good paleolib would oppose) the damages probably would just be another cost of doing business,
Assuming that the actual damages were appropriately calculated—a long shot, I’ll grant you, given the difficulty of assessing the value of human life and future potential—why shouldn’t it be "just another cost of doing business"? The critical part is whether that kind of cost sufficiently outweighs the perceived benefits of irresponsible behavior, and thus changes the firm’s behavior.

People accept risks every day, but they tend to ask for something appropriate (from their perspective) to compensate them for that risk; this goes for everything from small amounts of money to one’s own life.
As long as they’re informed of the risks they’re taking, why not let them determine what they’re willing and not willing to accept?

By this logic, in this situation the state’s only legitimate role is to discourage and punish fraud (and, I suppose, discourage and punish externalities associated with their planes crashing into things).
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I might go on, but I’m not interested in attempting a rational discussion of something like this with someone with that dumb-ass "utopia" chip on his shoulder.
So, it’s a form of social organization that has never existed in any human society at any time in history. But it’s not Utopian.

Great. Thanks for clearing that up.
Dale was so kind as to custom-craft a solution for you. So go kill your cookie and try again.
I know my own URL and I’m not going to use another one. Forget it.
And...there you go.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
And the first response is flatly wrong:

The problem isn’t any aggregation of power; the problem is fraud. They sold their customers something other than what they were led to expect, and didn’t tell them about it.
Sorry. That doesn’t wash as an answer. We are talking about Anarcho-Capitalist land, where there isn’t an FAA to enforce pilot work rules, or even to implement those rules in the first place. If you don’t have an expectation of the work rules’ even existing, then you are not being defrauded. The airline bigshots, as the managers of that property, have decided to implement new work rules, as is their right in Anarcho-Capitalist land, without let or hindrance. Nobody’s defrauded you out of anything.
Except that, in the situation you quoted from the WSJ—the situation to which I was responding—we weren’t in Anarcho-Capitalist land. We were in the real world, with the FAA having created the expectation of a certain low level of risk. And the threat to that expectation was not how powerful JetBlue is, but that they were sold something without being informed of the extra risks involved in their service.

Now, one can be informed without having an industry-wide, government-dictated set of expectations; that kind of knowledge will come with costs of its own, to be sure, but I’m not asking people to "fly blind." If they change their work rules and it affects the product, and the customer never learns of this, they’re paying a price that’s almost certaintly not representative of what they’d pay if they knew about this (substantially?) increased risk. Perhaps they’d even decide the cost isn’t worth it, and seek alternative means of transportation that, like I said, don’t end with them greasing a black crater.

If they’re actively *hiding* their change in work rules that affects the quality and risk of the service, I’d say that’s fraud. If they’re not hiding it, i.e., the knowledge is available to the customer, then the customer has some incentive to take on the costs of informing him- or herself, doesn’t he/she?
Assuming that the actual damages were appropriately calculated-a long shot, I’ll grant you, given the difficulty of assessing the value of human life and future potential-why shouldn’t it be "just another cost of doing business"? The critical part is whether that kind of cost sufficiently outweighs the perceived benefits of irresponsible behavior, and thus changes the firm’s behavior.
What irresponsible behavior? According to whom? We’re in Anarcho-Capitalist Land now. There won’t be an NTSB investigation to determine the cause of the crash. Who, exactly, will be pinpointing the irresponsible behavior? The airline, who will do their own investigation, and assure us that in their opinion, some unfortunate and unavoidable mechanical error was at fault?

Or, really, why have an investigation at all, if the airlines band together and decide that buying a ticket constitutes a waiver of liability on the part of the passengers? It’s their airline, after all. You wanna fly, you fly by their rules.

Now if the plane crashes, well, it sucks to be you. Or your family.

"Well," you say, "everybody will have to buy flight insurance to protect themselves. And the insurers will ride herd on the airlines."

Really? let’s assume that the airlines don’t become wildly reckless. Let’s just say that they push it to the point where there’s one or two extra domestic airline crashes per year. The insurers are collecting money on millions of term life insurance policies that they’ll never have to pay off. As for those extra one or two crashes per year, they can probably pay those claims out of petty cash. So, where’s their incentive to keep the airlines on the straight and narrow. As long as nobody gets too reckless, well, everybody’s making a bundle of money.

Sounds like a good deal for everyone involved, if you ask me. Except for 500 or so extra passengers each year.

But, you know, omelettes, eggs.
Again, Dale, I was responding to the real-world scenario, not the Anarcho-Capitalist one. I believe in having law to redress and discourage harm, clearly. I recognize the limits of customers to pick up knowledge that should affect the terms of their commerce with firms like JetBlue, particularly if JetBlue is actively betraying customer expectations by hiding that knowledge.

Let me repeat: I was responding to this passage (which I thought would be clear, but was apparently not clear enough):
More generally, libertarianism opposes aggregations of power, whether that aggregation is found in government—the most dangerous aggregation—or in corporations—less dangerous overall, but not benign.

A perfect example of why this distrust is so important can be seen from this apparently illegal corporate experimentation at JetBlue.
That’s why my response said:
The problem isn’t any aggregation of power; the problem is fraud. They sold their customers something other than what they were led to expect, and didn’t tell them about it.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I’d like to add that what probably got me commenting in the first place was the idea that corporations have real power, y’know, the kind that’s dangerous to liberty. I don’t think corporations have the power to do anything besides provide the best of all alternatives, provided that:

1. corporations are not able to defraud the public, i.e., their customers are able to develop reasonable expectations about what good or service is being offered to them,
2. corporations are held accountable for harmful externalities, such as pollution, and most importantly,
3. corporations are not able to get government to intervene/regulate on their behalf to limit the activities of others

Now, there’s some room also for debate on strategic commerce, but I’ll leave that be for now since it doesn’t seem to be pertinent to this debate.

Other than the above reasons, I don’t see how corporations are dangerous aggregations of power. That’s conflating private economic "power" with government power like they’re interchangeable. They’re not.
So long as folks’ interactions with corporations involve voluntary transactions based on the customers’ informed expectations, corporations aren’t doing harm (except insofar as there are limits to how well informed our exectations can ever be).
But the state always uses coercion, the threat of coercion, and the legitimacy of the former two, which is far less robust and responsive in its feedback mechanisms than the constant tweaking of expectations and results delivered by markets.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
"So, it’s a form of social organization that has never existed in any human society at any time in history."
Neither had the polity that resulted from the principles first espoused in 1776.

Stop acting like a garden-variety moron. It’s unseemly and quite unnecessary in your case.

As for this:
"And yet, some bureaucrats had already imposed those rules limiting pilot work time, many years ago. I’m mystified, truly, as to how that could possibly have happened. On the one hand, you imply that bureaucrats wouldn’t have been able to foresee this, yet...some did, and it became standard regulation."
You’re fond of advising people to read for comprehension, but perhaps I didn’t make the point clear: No one who assumes the responsibilities for dictating the rules to others in the way that these slugs do will ever be able to foresee all the ways in which some people are going to try to break them, Dale. This is the part where you can go out and try to find me one of them who figured that Jet Blue was going to come along and run this sort of an experiment before it happened. You’re the one who called for "governmental regulation to prevent such informal cremations before they happen". Completely aside from the fact that your vaunted Law & Order got punted right there in the officials’ offices, here is a fact for you, babe: you’re never going to anticipate something like some cubicle-dink getting the bright idea of conducting a no-sleep study with paying passengers aboard. (How do I know this? You didn’t. And neither did the FAA or anyone else.) The general problem here is akin to trying to figure out which of the millions of gun owners in the country is going to go nuts in a mall with an AK.

And yet, this is exactly what you want them to do.

Except for when you want to punish the perps. (...who, BTW, manifestly did not sponsor these "informal cremations" worrying your brow and wrecking your sleep.) Well, guess what: you’re looking at the power to do that, right here in front of your face, in a way that has never existed before and that is far more effective than anything the government can or will dare to mount. Have you been watching the comments in the Wired discussion? Jet Blue dispatched a P.R. flack to that thing within twenty-four hours in order to start tamping it out. Do you know what that means? It means that — dumb as she is — she knows something that you don’t. She knows where the action is. It’s in the market.

I, for one, told her that I haven’t flown her rotten airline since the last time they lost their minds, and I’m never going to again.

You go run to Big Daddy if you want to, sonny. I know how to handle this like an American.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Tired pilots are going to save money every time, while causing accidents only a small fraction of the time."
I’d like to see you run the numbers on that.

Let’s take the going price of a single crashed B-777 — without the marketing disaster involved to the business. Now, let’s see you work through the number of pilot-hours it would take to "save" that amount of money.

Go ahead: show your work.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I’d like to add that what probably got me commenting in the first place was the idea that corporations have real power, y’know, the kind that’s dangerous to liberty. I don’t think corporations have the power to do anything besides provide the best of all alternatives, provided that:

1. corporations are not able to defraud the public, i.e., their customers are able to develop reasonable expectations about what good or service is being offered to them,


There’s no reason at all to expect this to apply, and plenty of reason not to. Incomplete information is core strategy to many a business plan, and you can walk that line quite a ways before we get to actual fraud. For example, in anarcho-capitalist land, perhaps airlines do not permit the collection of information on the number of plane crashes per year, as well all security measures neccesary to enforce such an operation.

The paleolibertarian, of course, would argue that the remedy for such activities would be a massive lawsuit to punish JetBlue.

Unless the judge was elected and the only available jurisdiction is in JetBlue’s hometown and JetBlue contributed $4 mil to his campaign. Or unless limited liability has been imposed because "lawsuits are killing the ability of our nation’s vital air transportation service to grow." Or unless the cost of litigation action has been raised high enough to discourage lawsuits. Or unless, Or unless, Or unless.

Lawsuits are a great idea in theory, but can be trumped in one hundred different ways, some of which sound very *free-market* at first glance.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
OrneryWP:
Why should investors be punished if they’re not any more conscious of "dangerous behaviors" than the passenger-victims?
In the real world, they shouldn’t be. In Anarcho-Capitalist Land, where runaway tort liability is supposed to protect us against everything, they must be. This protection can only happen through an appropriate cost-benefit analysis, which will never be conducted by anyone who bears only some of the cost, but stands to reap all of the benefit. For the numbers to work, you’ll have to either (1) abolish the corporate veil (at least as to tort victims) and make both the cost and the benefit unlimited, or (2) impose a cap on potential corporate earnings, reducing expected gains by roughly the same about as the corporate entity limits their expected losses.
Except that, in the situation you quoted from the WSJ—the situation to which I was responding—we weren’t in Anarcho-Capitalist land. We were in the real world, with the FAA having created the expectation of a certain low level of risk. And the threat to that expectation was not how powerful JetBlue is, but that they were sold something without being informed of the extra risks involved in their service.
Oh, please. Read JetBlue’s Contract of Carriage (or any other airline’s, for that matter) from top to bottom, and you won’t anything that creates a reasonable expectation on the part of any consumer that the airline will never violate a single FAR, nor at least any FAR relating to safety. Even if you could, at most you’d show evidence of a breach of contract, and one that in this instance resulted in no damages. Your fraud argument is every bit as weak in the real world as it would be in Anarcho-Capitalist Land; in fact, it would probably be stronger there, where consumers must rely on the market to do what is now the FAA’s job, and market forces would likely result in contracts of carriage that guarantee more than they do now.

All that said, there is a good old fashioned capitalist solution to stunts like this: loss of customers, which is also the reason most airlines have safety standards that go above and beyond the FARs. JetBlue’s cute little experiment may not have cost them anything in tort liability, but in consumer revenue it may prove more expensive than they thought.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
I thought this might be a joke at first (the "newly single mother" bit - The children! - Won’t someone think of the children?!), but Dale defends it in the comments. (BTW, he seems to have a deleted comment — I don’t see one that OrneryWP responds to.)
I mostly don’t have libertarian instincts, myself; if something bad happens I want the government to fix it. Then I think about it and change my mind. I wish Dale had gotten to step two. Or one.

I have two problems with what JetBlue did. First, notification - they didn’t tell their passengers what they were doing. I can see why they might not want to - some people clearly become hysterical over trivial increases in hazard on airplanes, and might not even be able to realize that these flights were likely safer than normal (they were tracking pilot fatigue, so I assume they didn’t use the apparent industry standard of ’probably tired but hasn’t flown for eight hours’ or, if not, at least knew how fatigued the pilots started out). So, second, they went to the FAA with it, and the government told them it was all right - which, if they’d thought about it, was how they got into their last mess.

(I should add on the first point that the rules they followed for this experiment seem to (sorta) be ones they already follow for long flights, and AFAIK no airline now notifies passengers for those.)

And I just read a blog post about a plane crash near Fort Meade last week - a real one, not imaginary "flaming pyres of aluminum and JP-4" - in which it seems stupid government regulations likely played a big part. Dale?

I want airlines performing experiments. I believe possible deaths in the short run will be easily outweighed by certain improvements in safety in the long run. And by reductions in counterproductive regulation, parasitic regulators and crony monopolism. And by improvements in profitability. I believe air safety right now is mostly in spite of government, not because of it, because government does so much micromanagement and public relations that they’re not properly doing their job of keeping corporations publicly accountable. For all the other things they’re trying to do, the market makes a much better regulator.

Just look at fatigue. Reading the Wired discussion, government rules are clearly not keeping tired pilots out of the air. Wouldn’t it be better to have a quick fatigue test right before the flight? But it’d be new and different, and the unions and your competitors would scream, and the FAA would be MIA on account of CYA, and then the hysterical nanny-staters would join in - there’s at best a slim chance even if you try to sneak it in. Even an Anarcho-Capitalist Utopia sounds better than this.

DALE RESPONDS: Uh, I didn’t delete a comment. Ornery is responding to the post, which evidently, you didn’t fully read.
 
Written By: Larry Knerr
URL: http://
What were the results of this experiment? Any significant decrease in aircrew alertness? An increased incidence, perhaps, of landing on wrong runways or airports?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
glasnost -
I don’t think corporations have the power to do anything besides provide the best of all alternatives, provided that:

1. corporations are not able to defraud the public, i.e., their customers are able to develop reasonable expectations about what good or service is being offered to them,
There’s no reason at all to expect this to apply, and plenty of reason not to. Incomplete information is core strategy to many a business plan, and you can walk that line quite a ways before we get to actual fraud. For example, in anarcho-capitalist land, perhaps airlines do not permit the collection of information on the number of plane crashes per year, as well all security measures neccesary to enforce such an operation.
I’m not talking about "incomplete information." There’s no such thing as complete information, and if there were, it would be infinitely costly to obtain and impossible for a mere human to process. Some level of asymmetry in information can also be treated as a given.

I’m talking about reasonable expectations, which (bear with me here) include the known risk that nothing matches expectations perfectly, regardless of how detailed or vague those expectations are.

Fraud is deliberately creating a reasonable expectation in the buyer that the seller knows to be false, which causes costs/injury for the buyer which that buyer could not reasonably anticipate.
-=-=-=-=-=-
Xrlq - Since we’re in agreement on the real world in your first response, and I have little to say about the idea of "tort liability" in "Anarcho-Capitalist Land" except that it anarchy tends to lack a formal tort system, I’ll skip to the second response.
Except that, in the situation you quoted from the WSJ—the situation to which I was responding—we weren’t in Anarcho-Capitalist land. We were in the real world, with the FAA having created the expectation of a certain low level of risk. And the threat to that expectation was not how powerful JetBlue is, but that they were sold something without being informed of the extra risks involved in their service.
Oh, please. Read JetBlue’s Contract of Carriage (or any other airline’s, for that matter) from top to bottom, and you won’t anything that creates a reasonable expectation on the part of any consumer that the airline will never violate a single FAR, nor at least any FAR relating to safety.
Because they currently don’t have to. Customers’ expectations are currently shaped more by other factors, like government (FAA) assurances.

If the FAA weren’t there tomorrow, I’d bet good money to bad that the airlines would trip over each other trying to reassure their customers that they would still have safe flights. Any airlines that didn’t feel like making such guarantees would kinda stick out in that environment.
"Southwest Airlines promises: we practice the most stringent safety regulation on our planes and pilots. Our opponent, United, has elected not to make any such guarantees on how many hours their pilots fly. So, fly Southwest."
Even if you could, at most you’d show evidence of a breach of contract, and one that in this instance resulted in no damages.
Yep, nobody got hurt. This time. But the risks to the company are huge, even leaving lawsuits out of the equation.
Typical Customer X: "They were taking risks with our lives and not telling us about it?! I’ll pay a little more and take American Airlines next time, thank you."
Your fraud argument is every bit as weak in the real world as it would be in Anarcho-Capitalist Land; in fact, it would probably be stronger there, where consumers must rely on the market to do what is now the FAA’s job, and market forces would likely result in contracts of carriage that guarantee more than they do now.

All that said, there is a good old fashioned capitalist solution to stunts like this: loss of customers, which is also the reason most airlines have safety standards that go above and beyond the FARs. JetBlue’s cute little experiment may not have cost them anything in tort liability, but in consumer revenue it may prove more expensive than they thought.
So, wait, with whom are you arguing, exactly?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I’m sorry, I misspoke in one of my sentences.
Fraud is deliberately creating a reasonable expectation in the buyer that the seller knows to be false, which causes costs/injury for the buyer which that buyer could not reasonably anticipate.
I meant to say,
Fraud is deliberately creating a reasonable expectation in the buyer that the seller believes to be false or has no reason to suspect is true, which causes costs/injury for the buyer which that buyer could not reasonably anticipate.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
It would be nice to see how the original limits were set. Are the current numbers based on human performance research or were they picked because they sounded "reasonable".

 
Written By: TJIT
URL: http://
DALE RESPONDS: Uh, I didn’t delete a comment. Ornery is responding to the post, which evidently, you didn’t fully read.
Which evidently, you are correct, Captain Carrot. I was looking at the original post and the comments, and didn’t see the update (probably a good thing). Sorry for any confusion.


timactual, the study is supposedly due out in December.
 
Written By: Larry Knerr
URL: http://
Speaking of passengers and airliners...

One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I’ve ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting s***faced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports. These "hijackers" somehow managed to board all four airliners with their tickets, yet not even ONE got his name on any of the flight manifests. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn’t work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn’t work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won’t let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren’t supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name, more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn’t respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn’t happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn’t have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn’t even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers’ magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don’t laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn’t bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastical far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.
 
Written By: Enlightenment
URL: http://
Enlightenment -

I’m going to give you a piece of advice that will vastly augment your communication abilities: use the Enter key.

Simply put, you need breaks between paragraphs. Any time you go off on a new tangent, or change ideas a little bit, hit Enter twice and start your new sentence. Ever read a book or news story or magazine article or editorial without liberal use of spacing?

Also, you sound like a crazy person. Try toning it down a bit. You’re trying to convince people of something, right? Great. So stop talking to them like they’re gullible idiots.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Or, really, why have an investigation at all, if the airlines band together and decide that buying a ticket constitutes a waiver of liability on the part of the passengers? It’s their airline, after all. You wanna fly, you fly by their rules.
This reminded me of my situtation while I was on kidney dialysis, which is regulated by the way. Industry standard has 13 hr shifts for techs, and if you are the last group during that shift, you have to weigh the risk. Can I function enough if the techs falls asleep? If something happens probably no one would know. Do I fly?
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://hathor-sekhmet.blogspot.com
The WOW7 area need to be recruited warriors for fighting together now....
game
 
Written By: rich
URL: http:// www.sale-wow-gold.com

 
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