The new food-safety bill, soon to be law, features all the usual suspects of the regulatory state
- Strong support from large corporations, who know the regulations will kill off their smaller rivals and make it harder for new entrants to compete with them
- Regulations nominally aimed at fixing a recent "crisis" (e.g. last year's salmonella outbreak) with no actual logic of how the new regulations would have prevented the past crisis. In fact, they very likely would not have (just as TSA new x-ray machines sold as a way to stop future underwear bombers likely would not have detected the original underwear bomber)
- Numerous special exemptions, subsidies, etc. for narrow, favored constituencies
- Pious statements from the priests of statism, who define small government per se as a problem. Example from Tom Harkin, "It's shocking to think that the last comprehensive overhaul of the food-safety system was in 1938." Why is the lack of new legislation a better indicator of a problem than, say, incidence or death rates which have fallen consistently for years.
For an extra bonus, those who most vocally support the law are also politically among those who most support the local food movement, which one can pretty much write off unless they get exemptions from this law. And if they do, what's the point? Do I really fear the operating safety of Nestle more than Joe who has a farm 30 miles away? Remember the toy safety law -- it was spurred by a series of recall of mostly Matel toys, but in the actual law Matel became exempt from Federal inspection while the regulations have become a crushing burden for small toy makers.