Isn't it obvious that the latter *will* work better?
This is SUCH a dangerous assumption.
Imagine a certificate based situation.
Producer A produces milk, but his farm is in the neigborhood of Fukushima.
The milk is radioactive and he cannot sell it as a certified product.
He goes on to sell it to producer B that produces uncertified icecreams from it.
Producer B goes on to sell his icecreams in Europe and noone knows his milk came from next door to Fukushima.
Altho the customers know the icecream is uncertified they don't think it tastes spoiled and is much cheaper than certified ice cream and so they go ahead and consume the radioactive icecream en masse.
I see no problem at all. People should be free to take risks. Buying food from an unknown supplier from an unknown land with no certification at all is a considerable risk to take, but you should be free to do so. You should be free to play Russian roulette if you want to.
You are not asking for freedom or voluntary risk taking.
The problem is that in this case the risk is unknown.
You would have no means to know what has happened to the food before, how it was processed and who was looking after the process.
You assume a world where the manufacturers don't screw over end-users.
But remember that this human nature, it is happening *despite* regulations, altho the regulations help to control this problem.
Imagine if there were *no* regulations.
People would get killed just trying out a new thing (or, as you say, choose to take a risk).
Why would anyone want to take a risk with things like baby food? Or the quality of the metal in their car engine? Or their high-pressure cooker?
I mean, there are a lot of things that we want to have as risk-free as possible in our society.
If you want risk go mountain climbing or something, i want my food as risk free as can be sustained by our civilisation.
By the way, you might be overreacting to what happened in Fukushima (the German government-controlled organic farm was orders of magnitude more lethal), and you should consider that retailers that want to stay in business for long would not sell completely unknown products. That would avoid the need for the consumer to worry too much with producers certifications.
No, i'm not overreacting, it was just an example.
The retailers would be in the same position as the consumers, they will fall prey to their suppliers lack of regulations.
The suppiers, meanwhile, will mostly have no idea where their product came from and do not want to care becvause caring makes them liable. There IS no problem with our suppies. Right.
Yes, people need (want! demand!) to be taken care of because as an individual you have little influence over most aspects of society.
Precisely, and there's no better way to suit any demand than competition. A monopoly just won't do it well. This economic rule applies to everything, consumer protection is not an exception.
Nope, that's not true.
Only certain classes of things are better off with competition (like most luxury goods).
Other things are better off with a monopoly (like most utility services).
Again the question arises, why would you put your safety (or societies safety for that matter) in the hands of an organisation which primary goal is to make money off of you.
How do they see you and how are they able to affect your life?
If company X can get a competing edge by bio-engineering it's customers to like it more than company Y, why would they not do this?
Competition is becoming a game about who owns the consumers.
Are you going to sit still by te sideline untill the corporate world has figured out whom you will own money in the future?
Do we want this?
I think that your picture of the *Real World* is not grimm enough.
Self regulation will lead to the downfall of our civilisation as every company will take care of themselfs any way they see fit. At this point we, the consumers, would be completely out of the picture.
Competition is not about making a better product.
It is about beating the competition.
I think your fallacy is in assuming the best way to beat the competition is by making a better product.
If you had to choose between a party that wants to make money off of you by selling food and the government then i know what i would choose to decide what is healthy.
You really trust an armed gang that forces us to finance them more than an average retailer that voluntarily provide you something, without pointing you any guns?
Without this gang you would not have the internet, and radar, etc, etc, etc,..
But what is important is that they have (mostly) a monopoly on armed gangs.
This is important to the role they play.
They make sure the country is not invaded, for one.
They protect your shopkeeper from most robberies. What do you think your shopkeeper would think of the idea of taking care of his own security in a total anarchy? How much would he charge you THEN? And how would you go shopping in the first place, without being murdered on the street for the contents of your pockets?
You, again, assume that everyone would play nicely, but that is simply not how humans are configured.
Now to get back to the story. It is a shame that the regulations turned out to be bad for that business.
It's expected. Again, monopolies don't provide good products or services, when compared to free market competitors.
There are no free market competitors.
Maybe some small scale things, but nothing that would come close to providing a service or goods to a large part of the population.
And doing everything localy is just not an option in our modern society. Most people don't live at the same place as the resources they use up.
So, as i said above, some markets tend towards a monopoly because of how, for instance, infrastructure dictates it's shape.
I feel sad about the lady with the icecream shop and all, but to fix her situation you would need a big change to the underlying system that runs our society.
Free market will have a *lot* of collateral damage, so noone actually wants to do this.
So, as a challenge, come up with a good alternative (that would satisfy current needs) first before taking down the current system.
But these same regulations prevent the big ciompanies from selling poison.
And these big companies produce so much that there are a lot more people involved.
If they produced poisonous foodstuff then there will be a much bigger problem than this lady having to give up her icecream store.
You sound like a anti-corporations leftist. You really can't see that the only reason these "big companies" survive and make so much "big bucks" is because they can easily get rid of these annoying ice cream seller ladies with such state regulations? This is the whole point of OP by the way.
I won't deny that such regulations are abused, but no regulations would just make them abuse society in a more invasive way.
They don't abuse because of a lack of competition, they abuse because they are powerfull.
Power means you have the means to do things.
ANY big company has power, and thus means to do things, adapt their environment to them.
Would you rather have it so that big companies can use their powers completely unrestricted?
And how will that influence the little ones?
Another thing is that you can't over specify the law.
Too many exceptions and it will become unmanageable.
When voluntary regulations get unmanageable, people are free to pick others. Can't do that with those imposed by government, though.
Yes, let's pick more regulations when the old ones get unmanageable...
As if there are no consequences to these kinds of changes.