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Sunday, January 23, 2011

But, Yogi! What About The Regulators?

Every time I bring up deregulation people have apoplectic fits, conniptions and aneurysms. Especially if you're in a room with a bunch of "Someone to Watch Over Me" Liberals. So, I gird my loins with Milton Friedman and my logic with Ayn Rand and Aristotle and I begin to lay the groundwork for my theory of a Free Market Society. It's Utopia for Capitalists without puppies, kitties or unicorn farts.

In my Free Market Society I do not believe in regulation of any kind. I firmly and completely believe that the market can and will correct itself of bad actors.

When I start out like this the frothing at the mouth begins, blood boils, steam escapes ears and you can hear one woman in the back quietly weeping for the children. Honestly. There are tears.

"What about the FDA you child killing hun?!" They will demand with hubris borne outrage.

Easily. Those of my generation remember vividly the horrors of a drug called Thalidomide. It was a tranquilizer given to pregnant women to ease morning sickness in the 60's. It causes horrific deformities and brought about the caution that nothing should be taken by a pregnant woman unless it was dire. It is always brought up as the harbinger of the FDA and how they do wonderful things for us all! Yes, we have decisions made about medicines not by doctors and physicians but by bureaucrats who will not pass anything because if they do and it's bad it will be their head that rolls. Don't believe me? I wonder if the guy who rubber stamped Vioxx is still employed at the FDA.

Thalidomide prompted Congress to act, and the Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments were passed in 1962, granting oversight of drugs to the FDA and compelling manufacturers to prove that their drugs are safe for public consumption.

Emphasis mine. Safety. All they are supposed to do is say that it is perfectly safe to take any given medicine out on the market. They are not to speak to its effectiveness, cost or color of tablets. I bet the guy who passed Vioxx wishes he would have stayed on task.

This is the point, if a drug company makes a drug and it's not effective, people will not buy it. The marketing theory on word of mouth is that if you like a service or products, you will tell people who show an interest in that same type of service or product about it. However, if you are unhappy with any service or products you will tell anyone who will listen about how displeased you are.

In other words, if the company screws up, you will stop buying from them and their competitor who makes a like or superior product will get their business from then on. It is the company's own rational self-interest to deal with the public honestly. This is why homeopathy really doesn't work. It doesn't work. Just watch The Amazing Randi take a bottle of homeopathic sleeping pills at the beginning of any of his lectures. BTW, the "active ingredient" in homeopathic sleeping pills appears to be caffeine. Go figure.

If Tylenol keeps getting in trouble for poison packs of pills and dirty lab facilities, people will stop buying Tylenol and Bayer Aspirin and Motrin will rake in the profits of Tylenol's stupidity. And it is stupidity, laziness, greed and hubris. They act in bad faith with the American Public and they are going to lose. I honestly don't think that this recent recall is something they can recover trust from because it's too many, too recently for the public to push aside as the cost of doing business.

So other makers of pain relievers profit because Tylenol thought they could cut corners to enhance profits and executive bonuses and now they will reap what they have sown. People who would not put that pill in their mouth if a gun was held to their head, much less pay money for it at the local drug store.

Here endeth my lesson on Free Market Corrections. You guys are smart. I'm preaching to the choir here.

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