Tabarrok on Krugman

by Don Boudreaux on June 16, 2008

in FDA, Food and Drink, Myths and Fallacies, Nanny State, Regulation

This post by my and Russ’s colleague Alex Tabarrok, from this past Friday over at Marginal Revolution, is not to be missed.  In it, Alex casts serious doubt on Paul Krugman’s facile claim that today’s instances of tainted food are the result of deregulation of the sort championed by Milton Friedman.

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{ 9 comments }

Trumpit June 16, 2008 at 10:26 am

Do you and your family eat tuna fish? Good luck to you then. It's loaded with highly toxic mercury especially the albacore variety, yet it's allowed to be sold in cans and sushi bars without a warning label. Kids who are most susceptible to mercury's neurologically damaging effects are eating delicious tuna sandwiches everyday provided for them everyday in their cute Spiderman emblazoned school lunch boxes. Milton Friedman probably died from the cumulated ill effects of second-hand smoke, mercury poisoning, mad cow disease (that's a given), artery clogging partially hydrogenated oils in McDonald's French fries, fluoridated water and toothpaste, chemicals in diet soda, pesticide residue on produce, dioxin in meat and milk, etc., etc., and from just being an opinionated mean old greedy capitalist cuss. I didn't need Paul Krugman, who's also probably dying from some toxicity or another, to make me aware of the dangers we're exposed from industry that the FDA is doing little or nothing to eliminate or warn us about. The fact that we all have to die from something is also indictment of the entire monopolistic American Medical Association. Where is the graphic showing that MD's live longer as a group than the general public? They are a greedy sick bunch who pimp for the pharmaceutical companies. When was the last time your doctor prescribed an herbal remedy instead of some toxic pills? I wish on them a tuna sandwich for lunch, an early demise and a punitive tax on their estate.

piperTom June 16, 2008 at 11:04 am

It seems appropriate to quote Mike Munger here: "The Answer is 'End Capitalism.' (It doesn't matter what the question is)"

Jay June 16, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Post hoc ergo propter hoc! Taleb's book The Black Swan is a great expose on how "experts" (aka idiots) continue to be fooled by randomness. Too bad Krugman is blinded by dogmatic beliefs.

Paul from Florida June 16, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Trumpet,

You have to be a lefty, because you are scientifically ignorant. Mercury is one of the most common elements. It occurs naturally in most everything, including 'natural medicines'. Further, it doesn't much react with anything. It is, kind of, inert.

Do your self a favor. Take a chemistry class at the local 2-year college.
In the mean time, I leave you free to worry about power lines, magnetic fields, intestinal yeast disease from white bread, earth shoes, sleeping under pyramids, vapor trails, bottled water from plastics and any of the hundreds of superstitions that bedevil the scientifically ignorant arts majors of the left.

brotio June 16, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Paul,

I'm having my doubts about Trumpit's Leftism. It sounds more and more like sarcasm to me, but if Trumpit really is a Leftie, then the last thing we want to do is shut him up. He states the true nature of the Gorestapo and of today's Democratics so blatantly that I'm sure if he's the liberal fascist that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are, that they'd be begging him to shut up. We're not supposed to know what they REALLY think!

Methinks June 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Milton Friedman probably died from the cumulated ill effects of second-hand smoke, mercury poisoning, mad cow disease (that's a given), artery clogging partially hydrogenated oils in McDonald's French fries, fluoridated water and toothpaste, chemicals in diet soda, pesticide residue on produce, dioxin in meat and milk, etc., etc.,

Or he may have died because he was bloody well 93 years old and outlived the average American male by over 10 years. Uncle Miltie gave the average Okinawan a run for his lifespan.

…and from just being an opinionated mean old greedy capitalist cuss.

That's rich coming from a guy who wrote the above.

Paul Krugman, who's also probably dying from some toxicity or another,

He's dying of toxicity? That explains why he looks so bad then. Might also explain his dementia.

[Doctors] are a greedy sick bunch who pimp for the pharmaceutical companies.

Got it. I hear you loud and clear. If you, your wife or kid get sick, then you are not going to whore yourself to one of these pimps and take any medicine from him. Oh no! You're going to treat your cancer the old fashioned way – with tree sap and bark!

When was the last time your doctor prescribed an herbal remedy instead of some toxic pills?

That would be as a child when I was at death's door for several years in the communist utopia called The Blessed Soviet Union (y'know, totally the opposite of capitalist pigs). The good doctors prescribed the herbal remedy for two main reasons: 1.) there was no incentive to develop pharmaceuticals in the communist utopia, so we didn't really have any and 2.) the doctors really didn't give a damn if I lived or died. Worldwide, those are the two main reasons that trained doctors prescribe herbal remedies for serious illnesses in place of pharmaceuticals.

…to make me aware of the dangers we're exposed from industry that the FDA is doing little or nothing to eliminate or warn us about.

Right. That makes total sense…you want more regulation because regulation is totally not working.

Trumpit, I realize you want to be taken seriously. However, for that you would have to not be an idiot. Also, toning down your inner homicidal maniac would not hurt.

Methinks June 16, 2008 at 9:34 pm

He states the true nature of the Gorestapo and of today's Democratics so blatantly that I'm sure if he's the liberal fascist that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are, that they'd be begging him to shut up. We're not supposed to know what they REALLY think!

Beautifully said, Brotio! I particularly love "Gorestapo". I'm just warning you that I'm going to have to steal that one.

If trumpit is truly being sarcastic than he's a master! He so vividly illustrates the rage and blood lust of the leftists that it's hard to tell the difference between him and the average Berkley liberal arts professor.

colson June 17, 2008 at 1:07 pm

"Or he may have died because he was bloody well 93 years old…" – Methinks

You beat me to it. I was going to say something to the effect of "what, you think you're going to live forever?"

It reminds me of the warning that smoking "may cause premature death". Yeah, and getting hit by a bus might cause premature death too. It just depends on how you define "premature".

Methinks June 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm

"what, you think you're going to live forever?" – Colson

Well, DUH! Of course we would live forever – provided we don't produce anything because everything causes cancer and if we sip a tincture of nettles, tree sap and the blood of six virgins instead of taking evil pharmaceuticals for things like smallpox! JEEEZUS! Have Krugman and Trumpit taught you nothing,?!

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