A conservative friend sent me a news article today which I found intriguing because it serves as a perfect microcosm of how regulated so many issues in our lives are today and all the people who are involved in such issues. For me, this news article would be perfect for instructing students on the forces driving modern society. For example, from this one short piece we see:
- Government bureaucrats who discover a new problem and set about launching new plans, programs and regulations over a multi-year period to deal with the issue.
- Liberal politicians who aren’t satisfied with the glacial pace of the bureaucrats, label the issue a “crisis”, and pontificate and demand that more things need to be done quicker!
- Reporters who jump onto the issue as a new alarming story to run with.
- Experts who make “findings” that the issue is real, that industry is incapable of dealing with the issue, that government is needed to solve the problem, and who start calling the problem “dangerous”.
- Studies that claim that solving this problem could save 100,000 lives a year!
- Government officials who must now undertake complicated analysis of a wide array of products.
- Public citizens who will be allowed to comment, but who’s support is not needed.
- Health officials who have grown alarmed.
- Government programs failing in their attempt to “educate” consumers of the risks and failing to change consumer behavior.
- Private industry under government pressure racing to deal with government edicts while trying to prevent consumer revolts.
- Industry scientists developing novel solutions to comply with the new edicts while maintaining the factors that compel the purchase of their products.
- Spokesmen for the industry looking to lose the most money, claiming that the science is actually on their side and that the new regulations will create a “disaster”.
- Public interest pioneers who weigh in with their opinions after fighting for such regulations for decades.
- Metropolitan officials who couldn’t wait and have pushed ahead of the leviathan federal regulatory system.
- University researchers who pushed out “recent” studies claiming that even small changes will prevent tens of thousands of health issues.
- Activist scientists, who serve on government advisory committees, who point their finger at one predominate industry as the culprit for all these problems, saying individuals cannot be relied upon to solve the problem, and stating point blank that industry manufactures “have” to change their ways.
- News reports leaving till the end of their reports that the proposed changes will be a “massive and technically challenging” undertaking.
- Psychologists who weigh in on why these changes will be difficult for the public to handle.
- Policymakers who must juggle competing interests and make micro-decisions regarding a multitude of products.
- The marketplace which will judge the results, make adjustments, and possibly make the whole massive undertaking pointless.
- Industry executives who attempt to put a good spin on the issue though clearly under pressure to be politically correct.
And lastly, we have my conservative friend, who because the conservative side of the issue was left out of this news report, was forced to weigh in with her own comments on how this all spells government control of “anything whatever” in our lives.
So what was this new issue that is a “crisis” and that we must undertake massive new government involvement and regulation for?
Why, didn’t you guess? It’s salt!
What a world we live in!
Here’s the link to the actual news story: here.