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The Corporate State

Perhaps no article better illustrates what happens in a modern progressive corporate state.

Two highlights (lowlights):

But now he and others like him — makers of small toys and owners of toy resale shops and boutique stores — say their livelihood is being threatened by federal legislation enacted in the last year to protect children from toxic toys through more extensive testing. Big toymakers, including those whose tainted imports from China led to the recall of 45 million toys and spurred Congress to take action, have more resources and are able to comply with the new law’s requirements.

“This is absurd,” said Mr. Woods, whose toys are made of maple, walnut and cherry and finished with walnut oil and beeswax from a local apiary. He estimates it would cost him $30,000 — a figure he calculated from having to pay $400 in required tests for each of the 80 or so different items he produces — to show that they are not toxic.

“I use beeswax,” Mr. Woods said.

And then this:

Some major companies lobbied to shape it, including toy manufacturers, like Mattel, and Exxon Mobil, a maker of phthalates, substances used in many toys that are largely banned by the law.

And then people like Michael Moore blame “capitalism” for failing. This is the kind of fascism that doomed Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century, and we are perhaps its best practitioners today. Here is a summary of the lesson for those not quite following my point:

  1. Enlightened consumer groups and citizens point to a problem that needs correcting.
  2. These folks often point to free trade or market capitalism as the reason for the problem.
  3. Regulation is passed in order to make “capitalism work for everybody”.
  4. The regulation produces impacts that the regulators never saw coming – screwing consumers and small businesses that was never the intention of the regulation.
  5. The regulations themselves are often inspired by, written, and welcomed by, the major companies being regulated!
  6. The regulations turn out to make the companies being regulated MORE profitable and increase their market power. See the tobacco settlement, see the myriad auto safety regulations, see the health insurance industry, see the toy industry, see the Clean Air Act, …
  7. Critics call this capitalism again.
  8. Enlightened regulators try to improve regulations, carve out exemptions, and undo the poor consequences from the first round of regulation.
  9. Return to step 2.

Have a nice day. Oh, and then I read this.

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