Better Than Dead
May we choose life?
ABC journalist John Stossel makes a good point in a recent column about how the chance to save your own life is better than certain death. Too bad there’s a government agency that often acts to stop people from choosing life.
Which agency? Well, you could toss the names of various government agencies into a hat and whichever one you pull out, you could probably make a case about its destructive effects. But Stossel means the Food and Drug Administration, a.k.a. FDA. He thinks that rather than regularly force innocent people to die, it might be a good idea to kill the FDA.
Without an FDA, we’d get a good idea which drugs are safe and effective the same way we learn how other products are any good, which Stossel identifies as “newspapers, magazines and word of mouth. In a free, open society,” Stossel adds, “competition gets the information out, and that protects consumers better than government command and control.”
And that’s especially true if you have some horrible illness and the one drug that might save you hasn’t made its way through all the regulatory hoops.
Stossel suggests at least making FDA scrutiny voluntary. Then we’d likely see private groups stepping in to compete, like Consumer Reports and Underwriters Laboratories. As he observes, “the UL symbol is already on thousands of products. No government force was required.”
Force was not required because consumers have a real need for this kind of assessment. In economics it’s called “demand,” and it gives people an incentive to provide a supply.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.