Letter: Tell President Trump that regulations are a sign of advancement

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Who knew the 21st century would be so complicated? On December 17, 2017, the president was disparagingly comparing the difference in amount of federal regulations in 1960 to voluminous regulations of 2017. Crooked Donald sets the stage with a few tricks, the most egregious: the 1960 pages had the 8 1/2" side fronted to camera, while the 2017 pages were front and center turned to their 11 inch side. But, it's not all window dressing.

In 1960, there was no Medicare, no Civil Rights Act, no Veterans Administration, no National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), no Occupational Safety and Health Administration, no Americans with Disabilities Act, no Pell Grants, no food labeling, no zika virus, no Patriot Act, no internet. The cutting edge of medical tech was x-ray, and penicillin was the wonder drug. Women were hardly allowed in business/legal/medical schools, virtually no woman had property rights, and women were not afforded credit without a male cosigner.

Plans to slash federal regulations, send control back to state level, get rid of half the cabinet level departments have become today's GOP orthodoxy. Aside from fact that our population has nearly doubled since 1960, standards are simply more complicated now. Take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): In 1960, the vast majority of FAA regulations were for propeller driven airplanes. America had a couple dozen or so major airports. Visual Flight Rules were often used by commercial pilots. I'll go out on a limb to say “not a whole lot of FAA regulation circa 1960.”

In 1968, I was at Columbus Municipal Airport headed to Airline Hostess Training. I was invited up to the Control Tower to observe how it functioned. There were two air traffic controllers at work. Each typically had no more than eight airplanes under his watch at a time, which he kept track of by penciling flight numbers onto wooden slats, which were moved downward, until each landed. Only then would a new slat/flight could be added to the top. Whew!

By 1975, I could have been flying as an "extra" hopping from 747 to 727 to 1011 on a single 10 hour duty tour. My FAA Safety Regulations Manual for flight attendants was 8 1/2" x 11" by 1" thick. I would bet good money that adding FAA pilot Safety Regulations and Procedures Manuals for those 3 jets to mine would be a good 1/2 ream of regulations. Ream that, Crooked Donald!

Oh! One more thing. 1960 was before Lake Erie caught fire.

Nancy Heath