Safety Fascism Infects Both Major Parties
July 25, 2012 2 Comments
Eric Peters at American Daily Herald wrote a good piece on safety fascism. Governments use business to force “safety” on citizens and in turn businesses use government to force citizens to buy safety products from them. Peters uses the example of rear view back up cameras, which the Feds threatened to mandate in 2014. That date has been pushed out but nearly every new car available today has a rear view back up camera, at a cost to the consumer. In the 70′s air bags were optional and at $800 very few bought the option. Then government came along, at the behest of the auto industry and mandated it.
That these safety regulations don’t actually provide any safety is beside the point. They make government look like they’re “doing something” for an imaginary, trumped up “crisis.” At the same time they add profits to politically connected industry and at times their unionized labor force. That air bags don’t do much for drivers in most crashes and are in fact dangerous for some drivers is beside the point. That they unnecessarily added $800 to the price of a car matters not to government so long as their business and union benefactors benefit.
In the last decade government has declared that children need to sit in a special car seat until they’re practically teenagers. The various manufacturers of these seats lobbied government, trumped up a “crisis” of injured children and convinced the state to take action. Better still they pushed through regulations that declared these seats were only to be used by one child and “expired” after 5 years. Thus they largely prevented a secondary market of used car seats from opening up. Go to a kids consignment store, odds are you won’t find any of these booster seats. That there isn’t a safety issue with a used car seat isn’t the point. This is all about making money for various businesses at the expense of consumers. All in the name of safety of course so anyone who questions must hate kids or want to see them injured in car crashes.
This of course isn’t limited to safety issues. Regulations that benefit politically connected businesses at the expense of consumers and businesses not politically connected happen all the time. Whether we’re talking about low flush toilets, light bulbs or pharmaceuticals, the Federal government consistently favors the politically connected over consumers. Have you ever noticed how when a drug patent is about to expire the FDA suddenly declares the drug ineffective and removes it from the market? Magically politically connected pharmaceutical companies come up with a new patented drug that does the same thing thus preventing generic drug companies from profiting from the original drug no longer protected by a patent.
What we’re talking about here is essentially fascism. It is a top down economic philosophy that is only slightly more free than the fascism of Europe. Here business can dictate to government, a slight difference from Europe where government took orders from the state alone. It has the same result for consumers though. We pay more in taxes to fund the big government safety apparatus and we pay more for consumer goods that government mandates we buy. In this regard Obama and Romney aren’t much different. Obama has greatly expanded the state and its control over us. Romney might dismantle some of Obama’s expanded state but he isn’t going to dismantle all the safety regulations and other nonsense created by administrations of both parties over the last half century. There are other reasons of course to support Romney over Obama but this issue isn’t one of them.