FDA, Salt, Mises, and Friedman
What brought this to mind was the recent report that the Food and Drug Administration plans to limit the amount of salt allowed in processed foods. To quote The Washington Post: “Officials have not determined the salt limits. In a complicated undertaking, the FDA would analyze the salt in spaghetti, breads and thousands of other products that make up the $600 billion food and beverage market, sources said.” This is indeed the Pandora’s box Mises was writing about. We are now at the point where the federal government gets to decide how much salt we can have in our spaghetti sauce. We have become so ingrained with the idea that the federal government can properly regulate behavior that there is clearly no limit on what our federal government can do to coerce us.
Thanks to the innovation, YouTube, which government will surely limit our use of in order to protect ourselves from harmful content, we can get Milton Friedman’s take on the prohibition against the sale and use of certain recreational pharmaceuticals. Friedman, who was a teenager during Prohibition, makes many of the points Mises did. It is well worth the time to take a look at the late Nobel Prize Winner’s consistent logic on the issue:
Gary Wolfram is William E. Simon Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Hillsdale College, President of Hillsdale Policy Group, a consulting firm specializing in taxation and policy analysis, and Chairman of the Michigan Alliance for Competitive Energy. He was a member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lake Superior State University, served as a member of Michigan's State Board of Education from 1993 to 1999, was Chairman of the Headlee Amendment Blue Ribbon Commission and has been a member of the Michigan Enterprise Zone Authority, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Board. Dr. Wolfram's public policy experience includes serving as Congressman Nick Smith's Chief of Staff, Michigan’s Deputy State Treasurer for Taxation and Economic Policy under Governor John Engler, and Senior Economist to the Republican Senate in Michigan. Professor Wolfram graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and has taught at several colleges and universities, including Mount Holyoke College, The University of Michigan, and Washington State University. He is a regular contributor to Human Events and The Detroit News. His publications include Towards a Free Society: An Introduction to Markets and the Political System, and several works on public policy issues. He was named Hillsdale College’s Professor of the Year for 2004. Michigan Runner Magazine also named him one of the top 25 runners in Michigan of the past 25 years.
Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.