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  • rmacculloch

The Titanic Submarine causes a Global Health & Safety Fight to Erupt. It is of Great Relevance to NZ

One of the planks of National & ACT's touted differences with Labour in terms of election policies is cutting "red-tape". Ironically, National introduced more red-tape than ever when last in government, including sweeping health & safety laws, regards which John Key once belittled my suggestion of subjecting them to a formal cost-benefit analysis.

What's the problem economists have with too much regulation? It can stifle innovation & long-term prosperity, hurting people way more than protecting them from injury right now.

In the aftermath of the implosion of the submarine taking tourists to visit the Titanic, a global row has broken out related to the above issue. Some folks are mocking the billionaires who died. Others are calling for more stringent regulation. The Daily Mail reports, "Mikaela Straus, a 24-year-old singer, whose great-great-grand parents, Isidor & Ida Straus, died onboard Titanic, has been slammed for laughing on TikTok in a video mocking the victims". She said in a now deleted post, "So now these people are like, "Oh, I have so much money, I just want to go to the inhabitable depths of the ocean in a GameCube?" No. Dead. Sorry .. The sheer irony of these billionaires going down to visit the gravesite of other billionaires & then dying, is so crazy to me'. Mullaney's ancestors were amongst the wealthiest people on Titanic - they were German-Jewish immigrants to America & owners of Macy's Department Stores. Meanwhile the Washington Post says, "The catastrophic implosion that killed all five people aboard a submersible vessel is likely to intensify calls for stronger regulations and oversight of an industry that has long operated in a legal gray area, experts say".

Why can't people be free to do what they willingly want to do, if they know the risks before? Let the rest of the world regulate the fun and excitement and adventure out of life. Former United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson is all on for such risk-taking, arguing it should define his country. He quotes the immortal words of Captain Scott, just before he died from the Antarctic cold: ‘We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint...’

As Brexit Britain is still mired in red-tape and regulation as it simply shadows EU rules, Boris's dream of a low-regulation country looks lost. It is Kiwis who should be positioning NZ to embrace risk-taking & creativity, even when it can lead to things turning against us, in the name of innovation & prosperity & pushing the frontiers of knowledge. Our adventure tourism industry that began in Queenstown was built on risk-taking and Hillary would never have climbed Everest had he been scared of risk. We must throw off the shackles of our choking rules & regulations, exacerbated by Labour's nanny state approach to everything since the pandemic. That approach is not consistent with our history & culture.



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