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Bring On The Bad Guys!

One major difference I've noted between the left and the right in American politics is who they each prefer to cast as villains -- and it's a telling one.

Of late, the left's premier bete noirs are Big Insurance, Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Big Banks. They are the evil, rotten, despicable, selfish greedheads who are the cause of so many of America's woes.

On the right, the perennial baddies are the unions, the community organizers, the social activists, and the like.

I've been giving the matter considerable thought, and I've discerned a fundamental distinction between the two groups that strikes me as quite germane.

Both groups are actively seeking money and power, but that's no big deal -- at our core, that's what we all want. What separates us is what we are willing to do to achieve it, and what we will do once we achieve it.

The left's foes, for the most part, want my money directly from me. And in return, they're offering goods and services that I want or need. Big Oil wants to sell me gas and heating oil. Big Pharma wants to sell me medicine. Big Insurance wants me to pay them to handle my medically-related paperwork and expenses. Big Banks want to handle my money, offering me interest and services in return for its custody.

On the other hand, the other groups want my money largely indirectly -- from the taxes I pay the government. And in return, they promise -- honest! -- to take it and do good deeds. They'll help the oppressed, care for the needy, and hound the bad guys with the money -- just don't look too closely at the books, if you don't mind.

Further, our Corporate Masters are willing to let me in on the game. If I want, I can invest in them and share in their profits. And a lot of us do -- especially those of us with retirement funds. (My own 401K, by the way, has recouped most of its losses over the last year or so. And they were significant -- about 25%. I am reminded of the late, great Paul Harvey's observation that the stock market is like a roller coaster -- and the only people who get hurt on a roller coaster are the ones who try to stand up or get off.)

On the other hand, the Do-Gooders aren't that interested in helping out those who help them. Well, you can sometimes get tax credits for donations, and if you end up in dire straits they might help you, but in the main the only payback you get is that warm, fuzzy feeling that you did a good deed. Probably.

I have no problems with that, but I prefer to make my charitable contributions more directly. I like to personally decide who gets the largesse of my generosity (or, more often, guilt). I don't like the government taking my money and then deciding who is worthy of it -- after it takes its cut, of course.

In the end, it's all a matter of who you choose to trust: those who are upfront and say that they're out for themselves, or those who insist that they're just trying to do good deeds out of the goodness of their hearts -- but still manage to keep "doing well by doing good."


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Comments (44)

Big Oil wants to ... (Below threshold)
James H:
Big Oil wants to sell me gas and heating oil. Big Pharma wants to sell me medicine. Big Insurance wants me to pay them to handle my medically-related paperwork and expenses. Big Banks want to handle my money, offering me interest and services in return for its custody

Wait a minute, though, Jay Tea. All of these villains (abstractions at that) try to do business in a way that minimizes the benefits to you.

Big Oil sells you gas, but it also tries to shift the environmental costs of its transactions to other parties. And time and again it tries to minimize regulation of its transportation of hazardous substances.

Big Pharma sells you medicine. But Big Pharma also tries to game the patent system and minimize its liability for hazardous medications. When possible it cuts corners on clinical trials.

Big Banks ... don't get me started. Big Bank tries to sell you crap and tell you its ice cream. Bing Bank piles on fee after fee, hoping you will misbehave in some small way so it can whack you with penalty fees. Big Bank's brother, Big Finance, was on the government teat after it nearly imploded. And even now, despite risky behavior that led to its need for the government eat, Big Finance fights tooth and nail against regulations that would at least promote good behavior.

I think you can argue that all of these entities offer a certain amount of good. But they also act in ways that demand effective regulation because they cannot be trusted to behave ethically on their own.

All true, James. But in the... (Below threshold)

All true, James. But in the end, they are still trying to persuade me to give them my money. Those feeding at the government troughs want to keep their hands clean and themselves unanswerable to me for what they do with my money.

I'm not saying they're heroes, just that I prefer the "honest" crooks.

J.

James ...buyer bew... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

James ...

buyer beware has always worked to control business ... do your homework and you won't be taken advantage of ...

Why is it that you believe that corporations won't do the right thing without regulation but you assume that NGO's, government regulators and activists will do the right thing ? Do you really believe they don't have the same self interests involved ?

Why is it that you... (Below threshold)
James H:
Why is it that you believe that corporations won't do the right thing without regulation but you assume that NGO's, government regulators and activists will do the right thing ? Do you really believe they don't have the same self interests involved ?

Why, yes, there will be some of that involved in the nonprofit sector, as the recent ACORN videos demonstrate. And I am quite familiar with public choice theory, thank you very much. But at the same time, I'll put marginally more trust in people whose professed interests lie toward "public good" rather than toward "earn profit."

But, yeah, humans are bastards the world over.

This goes along with my tho... (Below threshold)
Matt:

This goes along with my thoughts that "non-profit" is generally an oxy-moron. It might apply to GM or Chrysler though...

I understand the traditional definitions of for-profit and non-profit. I don't have a problem with corporations making a profit and them/me benefiting from it.

I accept that traditional non-profits don't pay a dividend like for-profits that you can invest in, but most take profit in other forms. These, maybe consider them non-traditional profits, are hidden as overhead or operating costs. Of course several non-profits have millions salted away, just in case. They might be N-P but they take their profit in executive salaries, bonuses and perks like per-diem, company vehicles, first class travel and accomodations, bribes to government entitities and bribes to politicians and their campaigns etc. They have to keep generating and taking in income to pay for lavish office spaces, lots of up keep and very often to fund employee healthcare and retirement plans/funds. An example that springs to mind would be United Way or your average "non-profit" state college that continously needs more and more money.

i'm just the opposite, jame... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

i'm just the opposite, james. how many bastards throughout history have committed atrosities of one form or another all in the name of the public good? all they are after is the power to mold the world to fit their own vision. at least with the "honest" crooks they are upfront with what they want

I'm not talking about grand... (Below threshold)
James H:

I'm not talking about grand acts of evil, ke_future. I'm talking about ordinary, everyday bastardry.

Like a woman (wish I could locate the story) who was hit with overdraft fees from her bank when she went over the balance. When she called her bank to complain, they pointed to fine print that indicated she had been enrolled in an overdraft protection program that charged a fee for each transaction that went past her account balance. When she asked them why they had pulled from this overdraft program rather than pulling money from her substantial savings account, they said, "Well, you didn't sign up for that program."

See? Little acts of bastardry.

I just "love" people who ar... (Below threshold)
mag:

I just "love" people who are generous with other people's money.

I don't think your list of ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

I don't think your list of the right's perceived baddies is on the money. First off, the number one bad guy in the right's eyes is big government itself. Also, unions don't really fit your argument.

Union are not in the main looking for government money , they are looking for employer money. Yes, I do realize that these days most unions are public employee unions, but you didn't slice the category that thinly and there are still many unions that are just dealing with private employers. Do they try to get the government to set the rules in a way that is to their advantage? Absolutely, but then, so do their employers.

A conservative and a progre... (Below threshold)
davidt:

A conservative and a progressive are walking down the sidewalk together when they come upon a man begging for money.

The conservative looks him over, goes into his wallet, takes out a $20 bill and one of his business cards and gives them to the man, and says, "Here, get something to eat and get yourself cleaned up. Then come see me tomorrow and I'll give you a job. That way you'll be able to support yourself instead of being dependent on handouts."

"Thanks," said the man, "I'll see you tomorrow!"

As they continue down the sidewalk the progressive says to the conservative, "Wow, that was really something you did back there!"

The conservative replied, "It's a win-win all around. I get a worker for my business and he gets to be a self respecting, productive member of society."

"You know what," says the progressive, "I think I'll try something like that too!"

A little further down the sidewalk they come upon another man begging for money. The progressive goes into the conservative's wallet and takes out two $10 bills. He gives one $10 bill to the begging man and keeps the other $10 bill for administrative costs.

"Here," the progressive tells the man, "Get youself something to eat. Be here tomorrow and I'll do the same thing for you!"

"It's a win-win!" the progressive tells the conservative.

One other distinction is th... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

One other distinction is that with one group the transaction requires my consent and with the other group the transaction doesn't require my consent - it's done through the use of force.

Incidentally, I've freelanc... (Below threshold)
James H:

Incidentally, I've freelanced occasionally in the past few years, and nonprofits annoy me. Many of them want writing or editing services for free and don't really comprehend that a "freelancer" needs to make money.

But for-profits aren't always that great either. A company once sent along a 70,000-word book to be copy edited and said the pay was $50. If they'd been a local company, I would have headed to the office and found some creative places to put the 70,000-page manuscript.

I'll put marginall... (Below threshold)
I'll put marginally more trust in people whose professed interests lie toward "public good" rather than toward "earn profit."

Me, I'm just the opposite. It's the guys who profess to be motivated by "the public good" (whatever the hell that is) who are more likely to commit unspeakable atrocities (as well as little acts of bastardry), and what's more, they'll do with with an untroubled conscience, convinced they are of their own purity and righteousness.

May God save me from such men.

Greed can be sated and sometimes sleeps. But this sort of faux sanctimony never is and never does.

James H: "But at the same t... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

James H: "But at the same time, I'll put marginally more trust in people whose professed interests lie toward "public good" rather than toward "earn profit.""

Why?

Les:Because they d... (Below threshold)
James H:

Les:

Because they do not necessarily stand to profit by deceiving me.

But I'm going to say both impulses need to be present. You need companies' profit motive to impel them toward innovation and risk-taking. But you also need regulators' impulse toward more conservative behavior that tries to minimize risk to third parties or to ensure safety in the marketplace.

Keep in mind we take a lot of government regulation for granted, from drug trials to meat inspection to securities regulation and beyond.

I would argue that, for example, health inspections of your local restaurant are a Good Thing, while allowing restaurants unfettered license to keep kitchens as filthy as they like are a Bad Thing.

My daughter recently asked ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

My daughter recently asked me my thoughts on the differences between socialism and capitalism. I considered for a moment and responded that socialists believe they know better how to use an individual's money, and are willing to use force to exercise this right in the interest of the collective (if you disagree, think about what happens should you neglect your tax 'obligations'). Conversely, capitalists believe that individuals naturally possess the right to use their money according to their own principles.

You forgot the epitomy of e... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

You forgot the epitomy of evil, Jay Tea - WalMart. BIG RETAIL!

Oh, how HATED that store is! It moves into an area, providing jobs where there were few before, providing food and goods at low prices - and the left HATES them with a frothing rage!

Wal-Mart offers lower cost, higher quality food. It offers affordable, durable clothes. It offers cheap electronics and household goods. It lets poor folk think they're actually living well, the poor damn fools!

JLaw:I don't like ... (Below threshold)
James H:

JLaw:

I don't like Wal-Mart, but mainly because shopping at my local store is a miserable experience.

But on balance, I consider Wal-Mart a mixed blessing. On the one hand, the company does provide affordable prices. On the other hand, however, I've seen evidence that Wal-Mart's prices motivate companies to cut corners on quality in their products.

mag-"I just "lo... (Below threshold)
914:

mag-

"I just "love" people who are generous with other people's money"

Than You should really be enamoured with the WON.

He's very generous to dictators and lobbyists alike.

I would argue that... (Below threshold)
I would argue that, for example, health inspections of your local restaurant are a Good Thing, while allowing restaurants unfettered license to keep kitchens as filthy as they like are a Bad Thing.

And I would argue that government regulation of restaurant cleanliness is ultimately a Bad Thing and that it could be more efficiently accomplished by word of mouth, competition, private "standards" organizations, etc. Granted, this puts more of a burden on the consumer to education himself or herself to make informed choices.

The dirty restaurants will either have to clean up their act or go out of business. But if they don't, or if all the restaurants are dirty, then the solution is obvious: stop going to restaurants. No one is forcing you to patronize dirty establishments. Also, if dirty restaurants manage to stay open, then what thsat means is that many other people don't agree with your assessment that these eateries are dirty, otherwise, they wouldn't go there, either.

while allowing restauran... (Below threshold)
Clay:

while allowing restaurants unfettered license to keep kitchens as filthy as they like are a Bad Thing.

How long would their filthy kitchens allow the to stay in business? How about letting me decide if I want to patronize a restaurant with a dirty kitchen? I submit that your concept of entrusting my security in the hands a bureaucrat (who may, or may not, be accepting 'gifts' to augment his salary) is a false security. I'm perfectly at ease with caveat emptor.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." ~Thomas Jefferson

JH:"Because they do not nec... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

JH:"Because they do not necessarily stand to profit by deceiving me."

Neither do for-profits.

Both groups can choose to use deceit. Both groups can choose not to use deceit. Only one group can use coercion and the force of law to make you do what they want.

I'm still not sure why you trust the 'public- gooders' over the 'for-profits'.

Wal-Mart's prices motiva... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Wal-Mart's prices motivate companies to cut corners on quality in their products.

The market is a more efficient judge of a product's quality than any government bureaucracy.

*Sigh*Well, we hav... (Below threshold)
james H:

*Sigh*

Well, we have to assume for the start that restaurants will be on the hook financially for damages patrons sustain for their dirty, unsanitary kitchens. Say the restaurant gives around 100 people severe food poisoning in one day. These 100 people rack up an average of, say, $10,000 in medical bills and $500 of lost wages because of the food poisoning. 100 people times $10,500 in individual damages yields $1,050,000 in immediate liability to the restaurant. Because of this liability, the restaurant is likely to declare bankruptcy and the poisoned people get to recover some fraction of their damages from the restaurant's dessicated financial corpse and/or its insurance policy. (Was the restaurant required to purchase liability insurance? Nope? Oh, yeah, that free market thing. Oh darn.)

Contrast this cost with a local food inspector, employed by the local government, who does his job to the best of his ability. He earns his keep, inspects restaurant kitchens, and is a lower overall cost than potential food-poisoning liability.

The market is a mo... (Below threshold)
James H:
The market is a more efficient judge of a product's quality than any government bureaucracy.

I'm not talking about government regulation here. (That discussion is elsewhere). I'm talking about my own behavior. When I buy things, I try to stay away from lower-cost, low-quality items. You know, as part of the marketplace.

"Contrast this cost with a ... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

"Contrast this cost with a local food inspector, employed by the local government, who does his job to the best of his ability."

Or consider the case of my mother who insisted on visiting the kitchen of any restaurant she visited before sitting down and looking at the menu. If that kitchen did not meet her rather lofty standards, she would leave but not before informing every diner in the restaurant what she had witnessed. Even a government food inspector can be bribed - not my mother!

*Sigh*</blockquote... (Below threshold)
*Sigh*

James, you do realize that the scenario you presented could just as easily happen with government food inspectors, right? Just because the government is inspecting the food doesn't mean that botulism is guaranteed never to break out.

Because of this liability, the restaurant is likely to declare bankruptcy

Not necessarily. You're assuming that there is no such thing as liability insurance that the restaurant owner could purchase to protect himself against such eventualities as you are describing.

"13. Posted by OregonMuse |... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"13. Posted by OregonMuse | December 15, 2009 12:39 PM"

Spot on.

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it." -H.L. Mencken

I think that sums up many of the do-gooders, most especially the govt or quasi-govt do-gooders.

James, you do real... (Below threshold)
James H:
James, you do realize that the scenario you presented could just as easily happen with government food inspectors, right? Just because the government is inspecting the food doesn't mean that botulism is guaranteed never to break out.

No guarantees are absolute, Oregon. However, I'd argue that putting this regulatory regime in place is superior to assigning liability after the fact.

Not necessarily. You're assuming that there is no such thing as liability insurance that the restaurant owner could purchase to protect himself against such eventualities as you are describing.

Um ... no ... I did not assume that:

Was the restaurant required to purchase liability insurance? Nope? Oh, yeah, that free market thing. Oh darn.
James H -"When ... (Below threshold)
Jlawson:

James H -

"When I buy things, I try to stay away from lower-cost, low-quality items. You know, as part of the marketplace."

So do I - but there's times when I'm looking at what's available at WalMart and what's available at the other stores - and I see the same or equivalent at WalMart for less.

Hardware? If it's on the way, I'll stop at WalMart or Home Depot. When we were looking for a new TV last year, the Sanyo 42" at WalMart caught my eye, and we looked at a LOT of other TVs at a lot of places before buying there. If I'm looking for an MP3 player - Apple's well represented, and they've got XBox360s, WIIs, and PS3s - and the wiring to connect 'em all together.

Clothes? I like their pants - they're cheap, good looking, and durable enough to last a year or so of near-constant wear and I won't feel bad about spending $20 to replace them. I've had more expensive clothes that didn't wear nearly so well.

Consumer goods? Their towels are fluffy, their lamps work well enough. The Mr. Coffee I got four years back has been much more reliable than the much more expensive bean-brewer we used for almost 6 months before it died.

Their box fans, however, rarely last more than two summers. Well, what do you expect for $10?

Your mileage may vary, but I think the price/value point intersect quite nicely. If name is more important than value and durability, I can see where WalMart might not be your thing. But when you're looking to make your money go the furthest - WalMart's the place to shop.

Dr. Mr. Walton: Please send... (Below threshold)
James H:

Dr. Mr. Walton: Please send the check to JLawson, c/o Wizbang ...

JLaw, I joke a little bit. I hope you don't mind.

But I'l throw my 2 cents in here. When I was fresh out of college, I bought more than a few things at Wal-Mart for my first household. All of the items purchased there, except for some dishes, fell apart, or were otherwise unsuitable for long-term use.

I have also found that when I shop for shoes, clothing, or other items I don't know well, Wal-Mart is unsatisfactory. Not necessarily because of the products themselves. Rather, I have yet to visit a Wal-Mart where a friendly, knowledgeable salesperson will devote 30 to 45 minutes to helping me select and purchase a suit or a pair of shoes.

On top of that, my local Wal-Mart is poorly laid out. Aisles are narrow, the stores are crowded, and the building itself is too small for the number of goods they try to cram in. All in all, it's an unpleasant shopping experience.

I'm also extremely wary of low, low prices. I bought a couch some years ago for a low, low price ... and it virtually fell apart within a year.

Like most people, I try to find a reasonable accommodation between price, service, and goods. For furniture, I shop Ikea. Until about a year ago, Ikea sold the best damned dining table I've ever seen. For clothes, I tend to go to JCPenney or Macy's. General shopping is at my local Target. Which, I might add, has large aisles, an inviting layout, and somewhat knowledgeable salespeople.

Also, I've found that for a lot of items that matter to me, Wal-Mart's prices tend to be at or near those of their competition.

The eco-wackos will have yo... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

The eco-wackos will have you think that BIG OIL wants to drive the polarbears into extinction so they send you their junk mail and ask for $500 and then use it for sending out more junk mail THE GREENS ARE A RIP-OFF

If it is true that the gove... (Below threshold)
Burt:

If it is true that the government exists only to take care of its citizens, why do government employees need to be unionized?

James H, so in other words,... (Below threshold)
Brocko, bender of grade curves:

James H, so in other words, you give WalMart a B+ ?

No guarantees are ... (Below threshold)
No guarantees are absolute, Oregon.

Right, and that's my point. The nightmare scenario you described is equally likely in either a regulated or unregulated regime, so that's not a very good argument for you to use.

However, I'd argue that putting this regulatory regime in place is superior to assigning liability after the fact.

I wouldn't. And contrary to your assertion here that in an unregulated environment, the only recourse consumers would have would be ex post facto liability recompensation, there are a number of mechanisms that could be set up privately to provide consumer safety, at lower cost and greater efficiency; in fact, I listed a few of them in my original comment.

I will admit, though, that in the vast scheme of things, restaurant cleanliness inspections are not as onerous as government interference in other businesses, say, medicine, where the necessity of compliance with the myriads of regulations adds significantly to the cost of doing business, to the point of having to hire full-time employees whose sole purpose is to process all the regulatory paperwork.

So there are industries I'd like to work on deregulating first, before restaurants.

James -Now SHOES, ... (Below threshold)
Jlawson:

James -

Now SHOES, I'll agree with ya there. I've gotten ONE pair of shoes from there - and discarded them after one day's wear. I'm still not sure just how something which was so comfortable in the store turned into such Inquisition-esqe foot manglers, but I haven't gotten any since!

I love IKEA also - but they've got a few groups mad at them. (Not like I care in the first place...) I like their POANG chairs, their sheets and comforters, some of their lights and I'm thinking about getting one of their Beddinge sofas. We've already got one of their mattresses, and my father got one and a support base. It replaced their old queen CertaPedic, which was about two years old and falling apart. (BTW, mattress warranties? They're friggin' worthless.)

Mattress warranties? If we... (Below threshold)
James H:

Mattress warranties? If we had government-sanctioned co-ed mattress inspection teams, I'd support that. I'd sign up for it, in fact.

Y'know, it's about intersections of acceptable quality and acceptable price. A couple years ago, I bought a pair of shoes from a higher-end boutique for around $150 or so. Damn things developed a hole in them after less than a year. And they were God-pounding uncomfortable.

Earlier this year, I hit my local Penneys. I picked up dressy (as opposed to dress) shoes. Two pairs. One brown, one black. $40 bucks a pair, and damn if they aren't durable and comfortable. I may need to replace them in 2010, however.

IKEA has plusses and minuses. I am of the opinion that if they came up with a name and put a couple dots above the A, we'll buy it. "Hey, honey, it's the Shittenkräppen. That sounds Swedish. Let's get it!" Their bookshelves are damned durable, too. My ex still has several sets of their Billys, and I've got three Leksvik units. Good stuff.

Be careful with their sofas, though. They're easily the most uncomfortable thing this side of your Aunt Millie's couch. You know, the one you're not allowed to sit on?

Y'know, it's about... (Below threshold)
Y'know, it's about intersections of acceptable quality and acceptable price. A couple years ago, I bought a pair of shoes from a higher-end boutique for around $150 or so. Damn things developed a hole in them after less than a year. And they were God-pounding uncomfortable.

Yeah, I had a similar experience a few years ago; I bought a toaster out of the Hammacher-Schlemmer catalog, a high-end, hoity toity outfit that brags about how great and how high quality their products are.

The stupid thing lasted all of 8 months.

It's damned hard to find a decent toaster that does what it's supposed to do and lasts more than a few months.

Oregon:That damn f... (Below threshold)
James H:

Oregon:

That damn free market isn't producing a good toaster, is it? (I'm truly sorry, OregonMuse. I really, really couldn't resist)

did you try this one? it seems to get good reviews on Amazon and it's not too expensive.

James, Maybe not, ... (Below threshold)

James,

Maybe not, but I did find a beautiful example of a toaster built according to government regulations:

Isn't she a beauty?

And thanks for the Amazon link; I will keep that link handy for the day when my current toaster gives up the ghost.

That's not nearly as funny ... (Below threshold)
James H:

That's not nearly as funny as the OSHA Cowboy.

Look, Oregon, I'm the first to admit regulation can get out of hand. Way out of hand. But I do like having some regulation out there aimed at ensuring health and safety, at ensuring market players behave non-fraudulently, and at ensuring people have access to market information.

But I do like havi... (Below threshold)
But I do like having some regulation out there aimed at...ensuring market players behave non-fraudulently

Fine, I agree we should have laws that say that when I pay for a pound of coffee, I should get a pound of coffee, not 3/4th pound of coffee. I have no problem with that.

But I do like having some regulation out there aimed at ensuring health and safety,

But this is where it gets more dicey. Fraud is relatively easy to define. But what constitutes "health" and "safety"? I say that I can define these terms for myself better than any government can. And all the regulations that are driving up medical costs astronomically were enacted out of concern for "health" and "safety".

And every time some new regulation is put in place, that means it has to be paid for, and that means more money out of taxpayers' pockets. This in addition to the direct regulatory costs assumed by the affected businesses.

So I'm all for a lot less regulation, but as I said, the restaurant industry is not first on my list.

Well, if we're talking abou... (Below threshold)
James H:

Well, if we're talking about restaurants, my first thought is the food supply generally. Meat is sold together, resold, mixed up, and so forth. Companies have ways of tracking their own meat, but not necessarily of tracking other companies' meat. And when that meat gets remanufactured into other products, the contamination could spread quickly if it is not isolated.

I suppose it is possible for the private sector to create a Meat Processing and Tracking Authority, but private companies get incredibly antsy about sharing information with each other (something about trade secrets), and private-sector Meat Processing and Tracking Authority wouldn't have the same regulatory powers as a government agency.

A government agency, meanwhile, can collect information on disease outbreaks and, if needed, notify companies of the need to dispose of contaminated food products.

In point of fact, companies do currently inspect their own food products. But I would argue that having redundant private and public systems is, as Martha Stewart says, a Good Thing (TM)

If ya'll would rather argue... (Below threshold)
klrtz1:

If ya'll would rather argue facts than theory you could try to look up the incidence of food borne illnesses originating/propogated in restaurants before and after city inspections were mandated. Aw, who am I kidding. No one would do all that hard work when they can just make shit up instead.

Great article Mr. Tea. Five thumbs up.




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