For the past week, that clucking class of liberals that always seems to find itself on our television screens has hovered above the tragedy and chaos that Hurricane Sandy left in her wake, assigning points to the Dems, defeats to the GOP and validation from heaven for all its schemes and ideas.
After all, we can’t have a weather event without the reliable street preachers chiming in, saying climate is not the same as weather except in the cases that promote their ideology, and proclaiming that if only America sacrificed its industry on the altar of environmentalism, the storm gods would show mercy. See, with these clowns, there isn’t an event on the damn planet — from wildfires to home runs — that doesn’t confirm their world view. And we know this, and we deal with this.
But as the dust settled and we took in what was going down on the ground, a strange world emerged: A world where Democrats in New York peeled away regulations; a world where an NGO took the lead in recovery and private businesses came to the rescue; and a world where Chris Christie, a top-dog surrogate for Mitt Romney, appeared in campaign-ready photos with President Barack Obama.
Aside from how damn weird these things are, for good and for bad they all confirm the conservative world view. As, of course, conservatism being right and good, all things do.
The hell are we talking about? Here it is:
1) Attention: Emergency (de)regulations are now in effect
During and after the storm, in an effort to help the most people in the worst trouble the fastest, the powers that be actually loosened their grip, allowing market efficiency to step in.
So while some governments respond to shortages and emergencies with nationalization and stricter controls, at a Friday press conference, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed an unusual request: He had asked the federal government to relax the protectionist provisions of the Jones Act — an act that makes it so that only American vessels, crews and companies can transport goods between American ports — so that gas could reach the energy-starved region. The feds complied.
In addition, in an effort to increase the speed and efficiency with which energy reached the coast, Mr. Cuomo waived the docking taxes and registration process tankers typically have to endure when anchoring in New York Harbor.
Meanwhile, to increase the number of taxi drivers on the chaotic streets, the overseers of that heavily regulated industry relaxed the rules: Instead of limiting cabs to only being able to pick up one additional customer while on a route, and regulating the cost, the city stepped back, allowing the negotiations to take place directly between the customer and merchant. In addition, lanes into the city usually reserved for official vehicles or car pools of three or more allowed taxis access, regardless of how many people were in the car.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that making it easier to complete a transaction will make it easier to complete a transaction, but damn if we weren’t surprised that the city that invented the Big Gulp ban figured that one out.