Governor Mitch Daniels and his preferred mode of transportation

We pay a frightful price in lost jobs and economic opportunity for what I think of as the mad pursuit of zero.  When, at great expense, we have reduced the amount of a given pollutant to a few parts in a bajillion and it produces no meaningful benefit, we reduce the amounts even more.  But the more of these tiny changes we implement, the more it costs.  We may spend $100 for the first 99 percent improvement, $1,000 for the next half percent, and $10,000 chasing the final half percent, when there is absolutely no additional measureable protection to be gained.

From Keeping the Republic by Mitch Daniels

HKO Comment:

In the private sector marginal costs are weighed against marginal benefits.  Consumers in the private sector make marginal or incremental decisions.  They may be willing to spend an extra $500 in safety features in a car that delivers 20% better safety, but they may not choose to spend an extra $2,000 that only delivers an additional 5% better safety.  But regulatory agencies make few marginal distinctions and will insist on the $2,000 improvement because it will “save 1,000 lives”.  The result may be fewer cars sold and drivers will remain either in older or less expensive less safe cars.