Trump wants to get rid of 'wasteful' regulations. Here's why that's of concern.

While on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump made it clear what he plans to do to regulations.

"I would say 70% of regulations can go," he was quoted as saying at a town hall meeting. According to his website, his vision for regulations is to ask all department heads to submit a list of "every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs" — and then to eliminate them.

The site indicates an exception for regulations regarding "public safety." But the tricky thing is, the public, businesses, and the government don't always agree which regulations are necessary for public safety.


Image via iStock.

History shows us that many necessary regulations that we take for granted today were initially opposed by corporations that said they'd hurt jobs and destroy the industry. Fortunately, in these cases, regulation won the day.

Here are three prominent times that public safety regulations won out and we all benefitted — and not at the expense of business either.

1. Food and drug labelling laws

Image via iStock.

At the turn of the 20th century, the food and drug industries were virtually uncontrolled.

Chemical preservatives weren’t tested for safety; toxic colors were frequently used; milk cows weren't tested for tuberculosis; and opium, morphine, heroin, and cocaine were often ingredients in popular medicines — and there were no labels to warn consumers of their presence.

According to the FDA, Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, chief of the Division of Chemistry, was one of the first to crusade for safety laws in regards to food and medicine.

He started volunteer "hygiene table studies" where young men would eat food containing chemical preservatives (these trials became popularly known as "poison squads") to demonstrate that the ingredients were harmful. He wanted to show the public that these preservatives should only be used when necessary and that none should be used without informing the consumer on the label.

But it wasn't an easy task.

A "poison squad.” Image via the U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Flickr.

Whiskey distillers and patent medicine firms (the largest advertisers in the country) vehemently opposed a federal food and drug law.

They said it would put them out of business, and they argued that the government had no business policing what people ate, drank, or used as medicine.

A political cartoon pays homage to Wiley, who led the fight to institute a federal law to prohibit adulterated and misbranded food and drugs. Image via the U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Flickr.

In large part because of this and other opposition, the incremental progress toward food labeling took over a century. Many laws were passed and regulations approved that gave consumers information about what they were putting into their bodies, but each was met with resistance. Concessions had to be made when passing them so that revisions, amendments, and new versions were later needed to protect consumers.

Food labelling as we know it today wasn’t required until 1990. By then, public opinion had shifted, and it was recognized that these laws and regulations were helping public safety.

2. Mandatory seat belts

Image via iStock.

In 1970,  Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations proposed that all vehicles include an automatic restraint system.

The auto industry, led by Ford, GM, and Chrysler, balked, saying that things like seat belts and airbags would hurt the manufacturing industry by increasing costs.

In one leaked 1971 private meeting between Ford senior executives and President Richard Nixon that was caught on tape, Ford Motor Co. chairman Henry Ford II complained that "the price of a Pinto ... [would go] up something like 50% in the next three years with the inflation part of it, but that's not the big part of it. It's the safety requirements, the emission requirements."

The vehement opposition to the legislation led to over a decade of delays — until public pressure began to mount.

"When I was an administrator, I did a lot of crash testing of cars, and it showed how the occupant is thrown around in the interior of the car when the crash occurs. And people began to understand because they could see it — visually — how violent auto crashes are," says Joan Claybrook, the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration under President Jimmy Carter and former head of Public Citizen.

"So when the auto companies wouldn’t put provisions in the car or opposed them, the public began to understand that they were not helping the public by doing that. It was essentially allowing people to be killed," she adds.

Image via iStock.

It wasn't until 1984 that states began requiring seat belt use (starting with New York). By 1989, most states had seat belt laws in place.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts have saved an estimated 275,000 lives over the last 40 years.

"What regulation does is that it assures that every new car that’s manufactured meets certain minimum standards," says Claybrook, “If you don’t have regulation, the higher-income wealthier people in the country will demand that their more luxury cars have safety provisions and the rest of the public, in their less expensive cards, often don’t get them — or don’t get them for years.”

3. Banning smoking on airlines

Image via iStock.

It took almost 30 years for smoking to be banned on all commercial airlines and flights — despite health risks to both crew and passengers.

Tobacco companies actively fought any and all regulations against their products well into the 1990s, even though warning labels were first mandated back in 1965 — a year after the surgeon general's report on the health risks had come out — and the dangers of smoking were becoming well-established.

Airlines also worried that their customers wouldn't fly if they couldn’t smoke on long flights and that losing all their smoking customers could hurt business. The airlines thought it would be impossible to ban smoking completely, even if flight attendants and nonsmokers were advocating for it.

"Suitcases, uniforms, hair — all stunk from cigarette smoke," Tracy Shear, a flight attendant with U.S. Airways, shared with The New York Times. "And it’s astounding that we didn’t have more cabin fires."

Image via iStock.

In 1990, despite bitter resistance by the tobacco industry and after years of pressure from the Association of Flight Attendants, smoking was banned on all but a few domestic flights that were over six hours.

It took another 10 years for a federal law to be passed outlawing smoking on all flights by U.S. airlines — and interestingly, the move to make all flights smoke-free was celebrated by employees, customers, and even the airlines themselves. Customers didn't stop flying because they couldn't smoke — in fact, everyone was thankful for the clean air in the cabin.

Today, the battle over regulations is far from over.

Lobbyists and businesses still campaign every day for deregulation, saying that meddling from Uncle Sam will hurt them. Some of the loudest opposition comes from oil and energy companies fighting regulations to mitigate pollution and environmental damage — despite the frequent environmental disasters that occur and the looming threat of climate change.

Image via iStock.

Like tax cuts for the wealthy, we are told that deregulation is what's best for business and our economy because that is how innovation happens. When profits are good, they say, the benefits will "trickle down" to the rest of us. But time and time again, we have seen the opposite. Regulation doesn't kill businesses — it just makes them safer.

So as a new president takes office, it’s important to remember that regulation "equalizes the safety protections for everybody," as Claybrook explains. These laws are necessary to protect people’s lives. Perhaps one day we will think that environmental regulations are just as common sense as we now find seat belts.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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