Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Rotten Eggs and the Regulated Economy


How come there’s an egg recall due to salmonella poisoning? Don’t we have government regulations and regulators for this sort of thing? Don’t we have government inspectors? Don’t we have a regulated economy so that the government will keep us safe from rotten eggs entering the marketplace?

Well, what’s the point of a regulated economy if it’s not going to work? Doesn’t it just lull people into a false sense of security, even while vesting ever-growing power in the hands of government officials?

Indeed, the questions can be asked for other parts of our lives.

What about Bernie Madoff, for example? How come he was able to defraud so many people of so much money? Don’t we have the SEC for that? Don’t they regulate and inspect people in the investment world?

Well, again, what good is a regulated economy if it’s not going to protect people? Doesn’t it instead lull people into falsely thinking that the government is taking care of their money?

Why not simply separate the economy and state, in the way that our ancestors separated church and state? Just ditch all the regulations, fire all the regulators, and abolish all the regulatory departments.

Better yet, enact the following constitutional amendment: “No law shall be enacted by either the states or the federal government respecting the regulation of commerce or abridging the free exercise thereof.”

Sure, bad things will continue to happen, but at least people won’t operate under the delusion that the government is somehow protecting them from those bad things.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.