Today’s earthquake is another stark reminder that government regulations do save lives:
From seawalls that line stretches of Japan’s coastline, to skyscrapers that sway to absorb earthquakes, to building codes that are among the world’s most rigorous, no country may be better prepared to withstand earthquakes than Japan.
Had any other populous country suffered the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan on Friday, tens of thousands of people might already be counted among the dead. So far, Japan’s death toll is in the hundreds, although it is certain to rise somewhat.
Ironically, it was just over a year ago that I posted something along the same lines. That was following the Chilean earthquake, where the loss of life was minimal. In terms of regulations, Chile ranks right up there with Japan.
I really hate turning devastation, like we are seeing right now, into political debate, but this is life and death we are talking about. Every time I hear some Republican or Tea Partier talking about “government controlling our lives through regulation”, I got to wonder how dense they really are. I know I want to make sure my family is in buildings that can sustain whatever mother nature, or any other disaster, might throw its way. I don’t trust corporations to “do the right thing” and neither should you, because when you find out that they did lie, or cut a few corners, it’s usually too late.