Another Death by Libertarianism
Posted on August 9, 2016
A ten-year boy died Sunday on the Verrückt water slide at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The park was located in KCK rather than KCMO, presumably to escape Missouri regulation. Due to heavy lobbying, amusement parks are not regulated by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Kansas has some purely nominal regulation, but so far the state can’t find any evidence of any actual inspections since 2014. Nationally, around 7000 injuries were reported in amusement parks in 2015. Since there is no national regulation, we can probably assume that is a substantial understatement.
Granted that regulations would not prevent all deaths, but most economists believe there is a close connection between (e.g.) drastic and ongoing reduction in automotive deaths, and federal regulation of automobile and highway safety.
The cops say the Schlitterbahn death was a civil problem, not a criminal problem. That is a judgment call I might want to second guess.