Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ain't Nothin In Life Free #2


You write

"If I happen to McDonald's today I know what quality of food I'll get. "

Exactly so. But its certainly not because you are participating in a free market transaction. It's because in 1906 a muckraker  named Upton Sinclair published a timeless classic called The Jungle. The great irony of this masterwork is that Sinclair wrote it to expose the appalling working conditions in the Chicago stockyards, but it's chief effect was to create public revulsion at the complete lack of sanitary conditions within the meatpacking industry. As Sinclair famously lamented, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach".
But what came of Sinclair's work was the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, also in 1906, which led directly to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration, one of those agencies full of pointed headed bureaucrats that you loathe so. That's why you don't worry about the safety of the food you eat and the drugs you take and why I get to laugh at imbeciles like this .

And the reason you don't worry about what will happen to your money in a savings bank is because, in what may have been the single most transformative act of FDR's 1st 100 days in office, Congress in June of 1936 passed the Glass Steagall act, one of the components which established Federal Deposit Insurance and in so doing, along with the extended March banking holiday, almost singlehandedly stopped the run on the banks.
Oh yes, Glass Steagall got repealed in 1999. And we all know how that turned out.

But I forget. FDR was a failure. Country would have been much better off without him. Deregulation works. Always. Just look what it did for the electricity market in California


No comments:

Post a Comment