Thursday, August 27, 2009

Forgotten successes

I was not following the day to day of politics in the 70's s was not even aware of this from Nick Gillespie, which probably is Ted Kennedy's signature accomplishment for the people (as opposed to the state):

There is, buried deep within Kennedy’s legislative legacy, a different set of policies worth exhuming and examining, precisely because they were truly a break with the normal way of doing business in Washington. During the 1970s, Kennedy was instrumental in deregulating the interstate trucking industry and airline ticket prices, two innovations that have vastly improved the quality of life in America even as—or more precisely, because—they pushed power out of D.C. and into the pocketbooks of everyday Americans. We are incalculably richer and better off because something like actual prices replaced regulatory fiat in trucking and flying. Because they do not fit the Ted Kennedy narrative preferred by his admirers and detractors alike, these accomplishments rarely get mentioned in stories about the late senator. But they are exactly the sort of legislation that we should be celebrating in his honor, and using as a model in today’s debates about health care, education, and virtually every aspect of government action.

Now THAT's a teachable moment.

Thanks to Instapundit for the heads-up.

UPDATE 8/27: memorable Kennedy quote from that era: "The problems of our economy have occurred not as an outgrowth of laissez-faire, unbridled competition. They have occurred under the guidance of federal agencies, and under the umbrella of federal regulations."

If he had said that recently about health care or the housing crisis, it would have been every bit as on the money.

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