Wednesday, December 01, 2010

This Infuriates Republicans

If you buy groceries, you probably like this label. It's on most commercially available food, and it's helpful for debunking the crazier nutritional claims on the bigger label on the other side. Forcing companies to list ingredients also has a chilling effect on the inclusion of certain unhealthy but legal ingredients, like formaldehyde. It's a nice little tool for determining what you're consuming. What's not to like?

Well, for starters, it's the result of government interference in business. The FDA was started under Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 and expanded under Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. Most Republicans are vehemently opposed to any government interference in business, preferring the free market to regulate products. That is, if someone sells tainted bacon, you the consumer will take notice and switch brands. Maybe you'll buy that new brand of bacon, started by the guy who was selling tainted bacon last month under a different name.

Should a bacon supplier not be allowed to change brand names? No, that's regulation and regulation is bad for business.

That label - if people want it, then companies will put it on their products and consumers can choose to buy labeled products over unlabled ones. Suppose someone sells bacon that claims that one serving is a whole rasher, it's only 50 calories, and contains no sodium. That's their perogative! The consumer can always do some testing at home to verify the claims. And if it turns out to be a baldfaced lie and someone becomes morbidly obese because they eat a rasher of bacon every morning for a year, they can always sue.

Well, no. Republicans always are working to limit your ability to sue business. You should have known better than to trust unregulated labels! What are you, stupid? Get a clue, blimpy!

(By the way, too bad your private insurance company dropped you. If they treat you, it cuts into their profits; the profits they made by charging you for a guarantee to treat you! If you aren't comfortable with that arrangement, you shouldn't have been buying insurance.)

Republicans are also insanely furious about the idea of regulating drug companies, though not about clamping down on Marijuana, a free-market alternative to legal drugs. I'm still puzzling that out.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the near future now that Tea Party candidates are the majority in all branches of government. I'm looking forward to access to radioactive beverages, which were banned in the 30's.

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