“…what is the matter with YOU?” one reader, Walter E. writes in response to yesterday’s episode.
[If you missed it, it’s in your inbox titled, Privatize the FDA, Save a Million Lives.]
“The FDA,” Walter goes on, “IS a private Corp. — same as the EPA, the Fed and ALL other governmental departments on Federal and State levels…
“WHY are you obfuscating the truth…!?”
This might be a good time to mention something interesting we’ve noticed since we started writing these daily missives.
Many a reader has implied — or even outright accused — that yours truly is in cahoots, behind the scenes, with the shadowy cabal that rules the world.
The idea that people believe we, with only a tattered laptop in tow, are deliberate pawns in a global shell game of deception is the best and most bewildering compliment that just keeps — month after month — coming.
[We love it. So allow your suspicions to run wild. Keep the theories coming: Chris@lfb.org.]
All right, now that we’ve checked that discussion off our list…
If you’re saying, Walter, that the FDA is essentially owned by Big Pharma, then, sure, we can fox with that.
But, we must point out, there’s a difference between a crony collectivist organization on an artificial, government-sanctioned perch…
And one that’s truly private. At least, by our definition.
OK. Let’s take another caller…
“Make the FDA advisory,” Allen H. writes, “NOT mandatory! Today’s information and computer knowledge will weed out the bad actors.”
Aha! That’s more like it. We agree, Allen.
Here’s the way we see it…
Since the FDA is so good at what it does, it should have no problem, then, competing in the marketplace. Let people choose who to trust by making the FDA an advisory board and not a market-granter.
By making the FDA advisory rather than mandatory, we relieve the pressure from the FDA to do the impossible — and that is only approve drugs which are 100% safe and 100% effective. This would give the FDA incentive to support innovation and transparency. Which, right now, it does not.
Instead, as you saw in detail yesterday, the FDA has only destroyed jobs, murdered innovation, shuttered transparency and killed millions in their misguided journey to keep people safe from their own decisions…
But this level of protection, the sane mind must conclude, only holds us back. And it definitely doesn’t make sense in our digital age.
We have, at our fingertips, the most incredible human-informing technology in known history. And most people, when given the choice and chance to make informed decisions on their own behalf, will.
With an FDA advisory board, moreover, we wouldn’t even have to conjure up the dreaded word which strikes fear into the lifeless hearts of zombie institutions — privatization. Everybody wins. (Except, of course, those who get off on controlling other people’s lives. And… yeah… the pharmaceutical companies that have enjoyed a marketplace devoid of real competitors. OK. Not everyone wins.)
But what if we did privatize the FDA’s role completely? What would life look like without the FDA?
We’ll get to that in a moment.
First, the bottom line is that centralized regulatory agencies, in general, simply don’t work.
As a national and heavily centralized regulatory agency, it’s in the agency’s best interest to consolidate the industry it has been tasked to regulate.
Otherwise, its job would clearly be impossible (as opposed to appearing somewhat possible).
In the case of the FDA, rather than having to run all over the country to audit thousands of drugs from small firms, the FDA’s life is easier when it can focus on a select few companies. Meaning, eliminating the “need” for competition, in the FDA’s eyes, is a good thing.
The bottleneck, therefore, creates the unbeloved monopolies.
And as a result, again, for the sake of simplicity, the organizations that played nice… made friends… brown-nosed… and bought their way into the heart of the FDA’s inner sanctum… won big. They became the protected class. And the invisible revolving door between the FDA and Big Pharma was formed.
In a world without the FDA, competing private certificate agencies would take its place.
Then, watchdog agencies would crop up to make sure these agencies were doing their jobs with integrity.
Innovation, transparency and trust, we posit, would become the name of the game. Justified trust, that is. Not blind faith.
Third-party testing, through publicly trusted agencies, would become the norm. And these agencies would be able to adapt to meet the rise and fall of innovation in the market.
Innovation, therefore, would move faster, competition would expand and the cost of drugs would, over time, become more and more affordable…
Even if you don’t find this argument convincing…
At the very least, the FDA should loosen the reins and allow unapproved drugs into the market. In the same way it does with unapproved supplements. They can even slap their beloved WARNING labels on them.
It’s true… when individuals are given the freedom to choose, some individuals won’t choose correctly. That’s a given. (This is also why you shouldn’t put the decisions of the many into the hands of the few). But most individuals are very good at self-correcting when given the opportunity.
When people have no freedom to choose, though, they must rely on the choices of stagnant and corrupt organizations to choose for them.
Worse, the organizations that do the choosing are normally immune to the consequences of their choices. The people these choices affect, on the other hand, aren’t so privileged.
Which leads us to tomorrow’s topic. We call it “State Privilege.”
We hear a lot of yip-yapping about “privilege” and “wealth inequality” coming out of America’s rising community of what some are hilariously calling “crybullies”.
But very little of this talk is directed at the place with the greatest amount of privilege — the State. And few voices are crying out about the worst type of inequality in America…
The inequality of power.
More on that, though, in tomorrow’s episode.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
P.S. Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.