We all know that there is corruption and cronyism in government. Working as a high-level politician or bureaucrat in Washington DC almost implies that there are conflicts of interest.
When it comes to big business, the left criticizes it heavily, while some on the right defend big business. If big business existed due to consumer demands and meeting marketplace efficiencies, then all would be good (although maybe not still for some on the left).
The problem with big business is its alliance with big government. Some call it crony capitalism. I prefer to just call it cronyism because there is nothing resembling capitalism. It may involve making money, but not through the free market.
In a voluntary market, big business would be no threat. Employees aren’t forced to work for any companies and consumers are not forced to buy from any one company. The problem with cronyism is that companies bend the laws in their favor. This could be through direct subsidies or just through rules limiting competition, thus limiting the choices for consumers.
One industry that has received more attention, but still probably not enough, is the pharmaceutical industry. The laws are definitely written to benefit the big drug companies and to restrict consumer choice. This is bad enough, but the government is basically encouraging people to get on more drugs. This is not surprising given that it is an industry with major lobbying.
Another industry that is protected by the government is the food industry. Again, the lobbyists do their talking and money giving to politicians, and the big food companies get special favors. Monsanto is probably the worst, and it is one of the worst for our health as well.
It is no coincidence that these two industries are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is filled with cronies who worked for Monsanto and big pharmaceutical companies. It is much like how the U.S. Treasury always seems to recruit people from Goldman Sachs. Some of the FDA employees (like the Treasury employees) move on to lucrative careers in consulting and lobbying after their time in Washington.
Obama recently nominated Robert M. Califf, MD to head up the FDA. Unsurprisingly, Califf has made a lot of money from some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies for consulting and research. If he heads up the FDA for a few years and doles out favors to his buddies, he can expect to make millions more after.
This is similar to the former head of the CDC, Julie Gerberding, who heavily promoted vaccination while there. Once she left the CDC, she became the head of Merck’s vaccine division. Only in Washington could you have such blaring conflicts of interest and not get in trouble with the law.
Abolish, Not Reform
Whether it is promoting vaccination or promoting drugs for every little ailment (or even non-existent problems), the government bureaucracies are doing the bidding of the big companies. These people can be bought for surprisingly little money.
The lobbyists for big pharma only have to spend millions and they reap the rewards of billions.
I think most Americans are aware, or at least sense, that there is something not right about the system. They understand there is cronyism. The problem is that they put up with it because they are under the illusion that they need the FDA to keep their food and drugs safe.
This is a false notion, and it hardly makes sense to trust the very people who are actually harming others just for the sake of money and power. Not only is the advice from the FDA sometimes wrong, it is about the opposite of what is right.
In a free market environment, food and drugs would be regulated by the marketplace. This doesn’t mean that you as a consumer have to know every little thing about the food you want to eat and even the drugs you might want to take.
It might be compared to buying a car. You don’t have to be a mechanic to make a decision about buying a car. There are certain government standards that have to be met, but it is really the marketplace that ultimately produces quality. There are companies out there that will certify products and test them. And in today’s world of instant communication, word of mouth (some call it word of mouse) keeps people informed.
People can call for reforms or investigations all they want. But as long as there is power to be had, there is going to be corruption. Consumers are going to get the short end of the stick, whether it is paying more, or worse, jeopardizing their health due to bad advice from the people who are supposed to be protecting them.
The only solution is to defund or abolish these agencies. There is no reason the FDA has to exist. Anything it does that could actually be considered useful can be done through the marketplace.
At a minimum, the FDA should be an advisory agency only. It could make suggestions and issue statements on what it deems safe and unsafe, but nobody would be forced to take something that the FDA approves of. Perhaps more importantly, nobody would be prohibited from using something that the FDA doesn’t approve of.
The alphabet agencies and big business are in an alliance, and it is hurting you the consumer. They do not have your best interests at heart. They are worried about their own bank accounts and wielding power over others.
You want a win-win situation? We can abolish the FDA and reduce the federal budget. At the same time, it might actually make us healthier. It would not be a win for the FDA, big pharma, and all of the lobbyists.