With the spiraling nose-dive of the economy due to deregulation and risk-free corporate greed in the news, I thought I’d start this short post with a reminder that banking and securities and lending industries aren’t the only areas that suffer from deregulation: the herbal/dietary suppliments are also completely unregulated (well, except that suppliments can’t claim to cure cancer…that’s about it).
But what harm can herbal supplements cause? They’re “all natural”! Well, a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has reported that more than 20% of herbal supplements medicine that comes out of India have dangerous levels of (all natural) heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic. In some cases 100 to 10,000 times more than the acceptable level of “all natural” heavy metals.
Back to financial deregulation, I guess I just have this comment someone made to an article on Phil Gramm (the McCain financial advisor and probable Sec. of Treasury if McCain wins who said we’re a nation of whiners and it’s “mental recession” earlier this year) on the subject to add:
82boat69: “Government is the problem.”I keep hearing that mantra over and over from free-marketeers.Yet the 19th century was NOT some “golden age” of capitalism, as if the economy was stable and the stock market was earning a decent return, year after year. Financial panics and depressions happened roughly once every 10 or 15 years. There was outright fraud much of the time, even counterfeit stock certificates being sold as the real thing (read about the “Big Four” in the railroads), because the Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t exist yet.And in the 19th century, the stock market was a playground only for the very wealthy. Ordinary workers couldn’t count on investing in the stock market for their retirement, because they didn’t have the financial cushion to ride through those wild shocks.In the 19th century, old age was a one-way ticket to poverty for many, because Social Security didn’t exist yet. And poverty could mean starvation for your children, because there was no significant social safety net. Failure to pay your rent on time meant the landlord would show up in your apartment and literally toss your belongings out into the street–and call the cops to throw you out. The slum conditions and factory conditions back then were terrible, because there were no regulations governing humane treatment. In medicine, quack cures, such as dangerous radium and opium, were common, because the FDA didn’t exist yet. Many innocent people got hooked on opium or radiation poisoning from radium.That was the “free market” before the Government reforms of the 20th century.Is that the free market “ideal society” you would like to live in?