Regarding George Polley’s April 29 letter, “The level of corporate ineptitude“: I can answer Polley’s question about why Tokyo Electric Power Co. used a circuit breaker since 1978 even though it was apparently aware the breaker could be a problem in a major earthquake. It is the power of government-enforced monopoly.
Such arrangements always result in low-quality, high-cost products and services. In a competitive market, private actors will strive for levels of safety that go above and beyond government mandates because their very existence is at stake.
With government monopolies, failure is rewarded in the form of taxpayer-funded bailouts.
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