Donald Trump has embraced the anti-regulation zealotry of conservatives and Libertarians as he posted an idea about rolling back regulations enforced by the Food and Drug Administration in an online fact sheet. He derisively called the FDA the "Food Police".

Trump quickly scrubbed the press release, presumably after realizing that eating without getting deathly sick was a thing humans liked doing, but not before social media snagged it and spread it.


What Trump and the anti-regulation people don't want you to know.

When Libertarians and conservatives complain about "regulation" they often do so in the most generic way possible. They talk about how they'd end "burdensome" or "heavy-handed" regulations however they tend to avoid talking specifics.

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Donald Trump

When you can get them to talk specifics you realize they're crazy and have no concept of the consequences. They prefer a scorched Earth approach towards anything they don't like. If an agency has problems, their default idea is to scrap it completely.

Take this latest thing with the FDA. They may take a little longer to approve certain drugs than we'd like. However, this is not a reason to scrap it. This is a reason to reform it. After all, there was a time before the FDA. It wasn't exactly good for Americans who liked eating food or taking medicine.


A history lesson for Trump and the De-regulators.

People who say they don't like government regulation forget there was a time before we had it. Some look fondly at this time and say "America survived before! It'll be fine!" History actually says that many Americans didn't survive this alleged Halcyon period where government stuck its head in the sand and let corporate malcontents run free. Heroin was in cough syrup (and just about everything else) and cocaine was in Coca-Cola.

Snake-oil salesmen could stand out on the street corner and say any random substance could cure anything, regardless of whether or not the claim was true and the substance was safe to consume. Doctors, especially those in the mental health profession, were pushing bunk treatments like lobotomies and electro-shocking.

Food factories were regularly sending out batches of contaminated meat. Sometimes with the flesh of workers according to Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle." Foodborne illness ran rampant across the country.


Cosmetics were causing people to go blind.

Eventually, people decided they'd had enough and called the government to do something. As a result, the FDA was born.

Trump misses why regulations happen, and how they can save lives.

It is true that sometimes, regulations can be excessive. However, they do happen for a reason. Libertarians and their conservative allies act like they're all scams cooked up by bored government employees. Most of these agencies come into being after a huge tragedy.


More often than not, these regulations and agencies can and have saved lives.

Take the story of thalidomide. It was created in Europe as a cure for nausea. It just had a nasty habit of making pregnant mothers give birth to severely deformed babies, about half of whom died. The FDA, despite pressure, kept the drug out of America. As a result, we were spared that disaster. If we "let the market decide" there would have been a lot of dead kids.

Next time you hear some conservative or Libertarian rant about how we should stop regulating and "let the market decide", stop and remember this history lesson. 

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