Japan is reeling from the devastating earthquake and tsunami. It's people are suffering mightily from a 9.01 magnitude quake.
The deathtoll is likely to be well into the thousands. Horrible.
But it could have been much worse. Skyscrapers in Tokyo, nearly 175 miles from the epicenter, swayed, but did not collapse. Why not? Those pesky government regulations required them to be built to meet tough earthquake codes.
Buildings housing nuclear reactors at power plants are collapsing and fuel rods may be melting down. But radiation leaks -- at least those the companies are admitting to -- are at elevated levels but not yet lethal ones. Why not? Those pesky government regulations that required containment shells to be built around the reactors.
As horrible as the devastation is in Japan, it is not at the scale of Haiti. Why not? Those pesky government regulations.
Things are horrible. They could have been worse. And right now, I wonder how many people in Japan are wishing the government would get off their backs by repealing earthquake codes and nuclear power regulations.