(Cross-post from my other blog, Freedom is Moral.)
The sinking of the Titanic is usually blamed on that careless, horrible Captain Smith and the greedy, capitalist shipowner who didn’t want the expense or inconvenience or clutter of enough lifeboats. Rarely discussed is the role of the regulators in the tragedy.
Chris Berg points out in his Wall Street Journal article a year ago, The Real Reason for the Tragedy of the Titanic, that the regulators, the British Board of Trade, required all boats over 10,000 metric tons to have 16 lifeboats. It didn’t matter how many passengers were on board. Just put 16 lifeboats on.
Was the Titanic in compliance? Yes.