Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Regulation By Objective Standards v. Grading On The Curve

To my knowledge, every profession, trade or service subject to regulation by federal, state regulators or board of professional responsibility must meet minimum proficiency standards to be licensed and remains authorized to conduct trade or business until determined in violation of a prescribed standard of conduct.

For example, neither the bar exam nor the medical exam is graded on the curve, nor is it predetermined how many lawyers or doctors can pass the bar at any one sitting. Once licensed, the public can rely on the practitioner's license as evidence the practitioner meets the high standard of care and ethics set by the regulatory body and is fit to use until or unless the regulatory body suspends or disbars the licensee.

The consumer is a beneficiary of the regulations and does not have to second guess the regulators determination that the regulated vendor or professional is a competent and fit service provider.

Who determined after decades of regulation by the ICC that interstate trucking was any different? Did Congress decide that only an interstate trucking should the consumer be liable for the tortious conduct of regulated vendors?

Did anybody conduct a study to examine the effect on the shipping public of having to independently certify and continually monitor every motor carrier in fear of litigation? Or is the errant notion that over 50% of the ranked carriers are damaged goods, the product of an over zealous commitment to highway safety at all cost and regardless of all consequence?

I thought the purposes of regulation was to protect the consumer, encourage choice and competition while ensuring that decisions of professional competence and marketplace safety issues were decided by expert and competent regulators.

Apparently, I missed something. Who agreed to privatize enforcement of truck safety rules and make shippers and brokers responsible for credentialing carriers?

Henry Seaton

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