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Author Topic: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights  (Read 7346 times)
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September 03, 2011, 12:12:51 AM
 #61

I want the FDA to enforce complete and truthful labeling for homeopathic remedies and other products intended for human consumption. If I point out instances of effective FDA regulation, you say that private entities could do the job. If I point out areas that the FDA doesn't effectively regulate, where private entities aren't doing the job either, you use those failings to argue that the FDA can't be trusted and ignore the absence of competing private agencies that you earlier claimed would materialize if government didn't regulate. I guess that less regulation is always the answer, no matter what the question at hand or the evidence.
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September 03, 2011, 12:29:44 AM
 #62

I want the FDA to enforce complete and truthful labeling for homeopathic remedies and other products intended for human consumption. If I point out instances of effective FDA regulation, you say that private entities could do the job. If I point out areas that the FDA doesn't effectively regulate, where private entities aren't doing the job either, you use those failings to argue that the FDA can't be trusted and ignore the absence of competing private agencies that you earlier claimed would materialize if government didn't regulate. I guess that less regulation is always the answer, no matter what the question at hand or the evidence.

I think it would be more accurate to say that if the FDA was an organization that freely associated, and that their purpose was to root out fraud (of the medical kind, I presume), and they asked either for donations or advertised and offered their services for a fee, then there would be nothing wrong with the organization.

I, were I inclined, should also be able to do the same, and compete (as in a free market) with the FDA. If my services were in some way more improved, more efficient, more inexpensive, or more serviceable such that I drove the FDA out of business, then that's that. Or we could coexist.

That is not the current incarnation that the FDA is today. It is an organization who forces all within its jurisdiction to bend to it's will. Can we avoid that scenario?

To wit, I want all medical fraud investigators (i.e. FDA and others), their would-be victims, and their members to make their case before an unbiased court to air their grievances.

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September 03, 2011, 01:24:14 AM
 #63

I did some more research trying to figure out why homeopathic product manufacturers haven't been pummeled by private action in the courts. I found a high profile action from 2003, where the defendants successfully argued that only the FDA, not the courts, can regulate homeopathic products. Since the FDA enforces no standards for efficacy on homeopathic products, vendors have free reign for fraud. Additionally, the defendants successfully recovered lawsuit costs from the suit initiators under anti-SLAPP law, arguing that their baseless medical claims were protected commercial speech. In the absence of government regulation, medical fraud is easy and profitable while fighting fraud is difficult and unprofitable. You can find hundreds of web pages by quacks and their supporters cheering this ruling: "our products still don't need any evidence for their claims, hooray for freedom!"

Honestly this undermines your whole position.  Private interests are trying to sue companies for fraud but failing because the government has given a monopoly on food and drug regulation to the FDA which isn't adequately handling the situation.  Why is your conclusion that we have to expand the government's power to solve this?  If the FDA isn't adequate why would you want to increase it's power?  Why not break up the government monopoly which caused the problem in the first place?
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September 03, 2011, 01:28:03 AM
 #64

I want the FDA to enforce complete and truthful labeling for homeopathic remedies and other products intended for human consumption. If I point out instances of effective FDA regulation, you say that private entities could do the job. If I point out areas that the FDA doesn't effectively regulate, where private entities aren't doing the job either, you use those failings to argue that the FDA can't be trusted and ignore the absence of competing private agencies that you earlier claimed would materialize if government didn't regulate. I guess that less regulation is always the answer, no matter what the question at hand or the evidence.

You want the FDA to act out of self-less, altruistic motives to fairly and honestly regulate food and drugs.  You want humans to act outside of their nature which is inherently self-interested.  The absence of competing private agencies is because the FDA has a coercive monopoly on food and drug regulation and no (or very little) accountability to the people.  To prevent human greed from being a force for evil there has to be checks and balances.  What is the check and balance to the FDA?  Why is the answer more regulation and more power to government monopolies no matter what the question at hand or the evidence?
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September 03, 2011, 02:10:34 AM
 #65

I found a high profile action from 2003, where the defendants successfully argued that only the FDA, not the courts, can regulate homeopathic products. Since the FDA enforces no standards for efficacy on homeopathic products, vendors have free reign for fraud.

So, you present evidence that the FDA is ineffective and public courts aren't enforcing laws against fraud and this is supposed to instill confidence in the government? You want more of that?

Let's examine the hypocrisy of bitcoin2cash's remark here.

It's been stated above that the FDA has chosen to not regulate homepathic products. Bitcoin2cash is apparently implying that that is undesirable based on his statement: "You want more of that?" Emphasis his. Yet, bitcoin2cash's stance is always an argument against regulation. Furthermore, in the absence of regulation of homepathic products by the FDA, it would appear that this would be the perfect opportunity for the free market to analyze, rate and publicize the efficacy and safety of homeopathic products, which is something that bitcoin2cash constantly states would be the natural and efficient state of things if the government would just step out of the way. Clearly, the government has stepped out of the way in this instance, and bitcoin2cash hypocritically implies incompetence because of that, yet simultaneously, fails to note that his idealistic market model has failed in the same instance.
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September 03, 2011, 06:14:13 AM
 #66

Let's examine the hypocrisy of bitcoin2cash's remark here.

It's been stated above that the FDA has chosen to not regulate homepathic products. Bitcoin2cash is apparently implying that that is undesirable based on his statement: "You want more of that?" Emphasis his. Yet, bitcoin2cash's stance is always an argument against regulation. Furthermore, in the absence of regulation of homepathic products by the FDA, it would appear that this would be the perfect opportunity for the free market to analyze, rate and publicize the efficacy and safety of homeopathic products, which is something that bitcoin2cash constantly states would be the natural and efficient state of things if the government would just step out of the way. Clearly, the government has stepped out of the way in this instance, and bitcoin2cash hypocritically implies incompetence because of that, yet simultaneously, fails to note that his idealistic market model has failed in the same instance.

You fail to understand.

People always tend to use resources to their more basic needs and then go up the scale. When the government takes the money using violence or thread of violence from the people and uses it in a determined way, those resources are not available for the people anymore. Therefore, if you tax people you are taking resources from them and they will have it way harder to create the institutions they would if they had all the resources.

But even more important, when the government creates a monopolistic agency that has all the resources and could destroy your competing company, you can not expect anyone to take the risk to create such competing company. Specially when the governments have been proved to be very expeditive about destroying (by changing laws f.e.) competing systems that are providing good service to the people and therefore start to grow and attack the government monopolly.

The only hypocrite here is you that promote the use of violence to leave the people without resources to auto-organize and then come here to ask why is people not auto-organizing.
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September 03, 2011, 07:03:53 AM
 #67

Let's examine the hypocrisy of bitcoin2cash's remark here.

It's been stated above that the FDA has chosen to not regulate homepathic products. Bitcoin2cash is apparently implying that that is undesirable based on his statement: "You want more of that?" Emphasis his. Yet, bitcoin2cash's stance is always an argument against regulation. Furthermore, in the absence of regulation of homepathic products by the FDA, it would appear that this would be the perfect opportunity for the free market to analyze, rate and publicize the efficacy and safety of homeopathic products, which is something that bitcoin2cash constantly states would be the natural and efficient state of things if the government would just step out of the way. Clearly, the government has stepped out of the way in this instance, and bitcoin2cash hypocritically implies incompetence because of that, yet simultaneously, fails to note that his idealistic market model has failed in the same instance.

You fail to understand.

People always tend to use resources to their more basic needs and then go up the scale. When the government takes the money using violence or thread of violence from the people and uses it in a determined way, those resources are not available for the people anymore. Therefore, if you tax people you are taking resources from them and they will have it way harder to create the institutions they would if they had all the resources.

But even more important, when the government creates a monopolistic agency that has all the resources and could destroy your competing company, you can not expect anyone to take the risk to create such competing company. Specially when the governments have been proved to be very expeditive about destroying (by changing laws f.e.) competing systems that are providing good service to the people and therefore start to grow and attack the government monopolly.

The only hypocrite here is you that promote the use of violence to leave the people without resources to auto-organize and then come here to ask why is people not auto-organizing.

Have you read the book Bitcoin2Cash linked?  It describes a horrifying situation prior to the FDA where people were being killed by bad drugs.  The FDA wasn't created to make work - it was created in response to an unacceptable loss of life.  We've had the same conversation about food safety; it infringes free trade but it saves lives.  In all these cases, saving life is more important than free trade so a balance is taken by regulating the life threatening aspects of that trade.

Of course the implementation may be flawed; all human institutions are.  But the concept is basically sound.

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September 03, 2011, 07:25:54 AM
 #68

The hard part about this, Hawker, is we don't see the negative affects caused by the FDA.  It could be killing many people in horrible ways by being too slow and bureaucratic to release life-saving drugs on the market, but you will not see those deaths.  The deaths that stand out are the ones you see caused by bad drugs and impure food.  Economics is the art of the unseen as much as the seen, which makes it tricky.
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September 03, 2011, 08:22:41 AM
 #69

The hard part about this, Hawker, is we don't see the negative affects caused by the FDA.  It could be killing many people in horrible ways by being too slow and bureaucratic to release life-saving drugs on the market, but you will not see those deaths.  The deaths that stand out are the ones you see caused by bad drugs and impure food.  Economics is the art of the unseen as much as the seen, which makes it tricky.

I agree.  Another hard part is regulatory capture - the people doing the regulation often guaranteed nice jobs in the regulated industry with huge salary packages as soon as they quit the regulator.  Does that affect the quality of regulation?  Of course.  Does it affect self-regulated industries as much as state ones?  Yes; or at least in the UK its a definite yes.

Luckily we live in an age where its harder and harder to hide this kind of thing.  "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."  It may be that exposure in itself forces change.  If not, it will be interesting to see what else is tried and if it works.

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September 03, 2011, 08:50:29 AM
 #70

The hard part about this, Hawker, is we don't see the negative affects caused by the FDA.  It could be killing many people in horrible ways by being too slow and bureaucratic to release life-saving drugs on the market, but you will not see those deaths.  The deaths that stand out are the ones you see caused by bad drugs and impure food.  Economics is the art of the unseen as much as the seen, which makes it tricky.

I agree.  Another hard part is regulatory capture - the people doing the regulation often guaranteed nice jobs in the regulated industry with huge salary packages as soon as they quit the regulator.  Does that affect the quality of regulation?  Of course.  Does it affect self-regulated industries as much as state ones?  Yes; or at least in the UK its a definite yes.

Luckily we live in an age where its harder and harder to hide this kind of thing.  "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."  It may be that exposure in itself forces change.  If not, it will be interesting to see what else is tried and if it works.

I think you are right, and I certainly hope so, but on the other hand the information media are just as adept at spreading misinformation as real information.  It will certainly be interesting to see how the internet shapes politics and society in the next couple decades.  I'm not looking forward to trying to explain to my kids what life was like before the advent of the internet.  Heck, I can barely remember myself.
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September 03, 2011, 05:41:40 PM
 #71

The issue I have with the FDA is with regards to it's regulation. The definition of regulate is to control or direct. That isn't what you want. You just want to expose fraud and connect the actors with the evidence, decide who's at fault and then finally to provide for a reasoned method of restitution.

The FDA directs people on how to do their business. It's similar to the way we have gun control laws. You should have laws for the criminal act itself, not the type, possession or utility of the gun itself.

If the FDA wants to release reports on specific drugs to the public regarding their efficacy and safety, that's great. Prohibiting anybody from willingly participating in human trials, using delay tactics with respect to the release of drugs or constraining innovation is not okay. An informed public is the best way.

If the drug is poisonous or ineffective, report that. It would seem reasonably obvious that any company that wants to stay in business wouldn't intentionally kill its customers. I'm not aware of too many companies which were formed for the sole purpose of supporting and encouraging serial killer scientists.

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September 03, 2011, 05:56:02 PM
 #72

The issue I have with the FDA is with regards to it's regulation. The definition of regulate is to control or direct. That isn't what you want. You just want to expose fraud and connect the actors with the evidence, decide who's at fault and then finally to provide for a reasoned method of restitution.

Do you stand behind that position with regard to all regulation, in all its forms, as applied to all industries and entities?
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September 03, 2011, 06:39:22 PM
 #73

Do you stand behind that position with regard to all regulation, in all its forms, as applied to all industries and entities?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say yes. I'm sure you'll find some edge case that will make me think twice about that position, but hey, why not. That's what were in this forum for, debate, right?

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September 03, 2011, 06:45:54 PM
 #74

The issue I have with the FDA is with regards to it's regulation. The definition of regulate is to control or direct. That isn't what you want. You just want to expose fraud and connect the actors with the evidence, decide who's at fault and then finally to provide for a reasoned method of restitution.

The FDA directs people on how to do their business. It's similar to the way we have gun control laws. You should have laws for the criminal act itself, not the type, possession or utility of the gun itself.

If the FDA wants to release reports on specific drugs to the public regarding their efficacy and safety, that's great. Prohibiting anybody from willingly participating in human trials, using delay tactics with respect to the release of drugs or constraining innovation is not okay. An informed public is the best way.

If the drug is poisonous or ineffective, report that. It would seem reasonably obvious that any company that wants to stay in business wouldn't intentionally kill its customers. I'm not aware of too many companies which were formed for the sole purpose of supporting and encouraging serial killer scientists.

Read  Bitcoin2cash's links to account of drug companies killing people and pretty much getting away with it as once a person is dead they can't really sue.  http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/chap6.html Its written by a libertarian so you will like the philosophy at least.

For the same commercial logic applied to selling poisonous food, read this: http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/essays/death-in-the-pot.php?page=all

Really, you have a touching faith in the goodness of your fellow man and I like that.  But there are genuinely evil people who do harm out of psychopathic indifference and genuinely stupid people who do harm because they don't know any better.  Society has legitimately chosen to intervene BEFORE the harm occurs.

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September 03, 2011, 07:01:21 PM
 #75

drug companies killing people

As I've already pointed out, the FDA has killed 4.7 million people by delaying safe and effective drugs and have saved around 7,000 by prohibiting dangerous drugs. Do the math.

once a person is dead they can't really sue

In our current legal system, their next of kin can sue. There are also arguments that anyone that wants to take the case should be allowed to sue on behalf of a dead person.

For the same commercial logic applied to selling poisonous food, read this: http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/essays/death-in-the-pot.php?page=all

You're talking about issues over a century ago. Do you really think that kind of logic applies today? I don't. There will be independent rating agencies. People will not eat food that hasn't been rated. People will not be able to buy health insurance if they eat unrated food. There are so many reasons why regulations aren't needed that you are ignoring.

Society has legitimately chosen to intervene BEFORE the harm occurs.

That's irrelevant. Society once deemed it legal to own another human being as property. Just because the majority wants something, doesn't make it right.
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September 03, 2011, 07:13:18 PM
 #76

drug companies killing people

As I've already pointed out, the FDA has killed 4.7 people by delaying safe and effective drugs and have saved around 7,000 by prohibiting dangerous drugs. Do the math.

once a person is dead they can't really sue

In our current legal system, their next of kin can sue. There are also arguments that anyone that wants to take the case should be allowed to sue on behalf of a dead person.

For the same commercial logic applied to selling poisonous food, read this: http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/essays/death-in-the-pot.php?page=all

You're talking about issues over a century ago. Do you really think that kind of logic applies today? I don't. There will be independent rating agencies. People will not eat food that hasn't been rated. People will not be allowed to have health insurance unless the only eat rated food. There are so many reasons why regulations aren't needed that you are ignoring.

The reason I linked to a century ago is the problem was solved by regulation.  There are still issues with food production, specially with new bugs that evolve, and its an issue that will never go away.  But the "how" of how to manage the problems is already in place in most decent countries

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September 03, 2011, 07:20:55 PM
 #77

Do you stand behind that position with regard to all regulation, in all its forms, as applied to all industries and entities?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say yes. I'm sure you'll find some edge case that will make me think twice about that position, but hey, why not. That's what were in this forum for, debate, right?

I don't think what I would present would be an edge case, but rather fundamental. I don't think its appropriate that libertarians (or a large portion of them), choose to solve the problems by arguing the problems do not exist. That is not a solution, but a politically motivated decision to ignore science when it's apparent that addressing the problem would in fact require regulation if the problem existed.

Let's assume two possible scenarios:

1. The scientific data is correct, and the problems are real. I am not just speaking of climate change, here.
2. The scientific data is incorrect, and the problems are not real.

When a political ideology is in direct opposition to something such as regulation, you will typically find them to denounce scenario 1, and instead promote scenario 2, even using underhanded tactics to do so (see this thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=40283.0 ). However, data is independent of political beliefs. Given that, there is no correlation between what the science says and what your political ideology promotes. In other words, scenario 2 does not necessarily manifest itself because it is more convenient for those who believe in a certain political ideology.

You can argue that your political ideology addresses scenario 2 all you want, but that hardly demonstrates the robustness of your political ideology. To truly demonstrate the robustness of your political ideology, assume for argument's sake, that scenario 1 is correct, and then proceed to show how your political ideology addresses it.

Regarding what you might think as an edge case, and what I am quite certain is the fundamental foundation upon which mankind depends, bear in mind that there are complexities, synergies, and pathways that the average joe is not aware of, nor will he necessarily ever be aware of. We can be certain that 13,000 years ago, nobody would've necessarily been aware of any of those complexities, but the impact of 10,000 individuals on a continent is negligible, as compared to today's population, so one can argue that back then, knowledge wasn't necessary. Note however, that there is compelling evidence that those 10,000, actually initially estimated to be 300, did in fact have a drastic effect - it is called the overkill hypothesis, and I would be happy to debate you on that topic  as well if you wish.

But back to the main point, and that is scenario 1. Are property rights, which are the premise of libertarians, robust enough to address scenario 1? Or is extensive regulation necessary?
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September 03, 2011, 08:36:08 PM
 #78

There are still issues with food production, specially with new bugs that evolve, and its an issue that will never go away.

I'm glad we're being realistic. No particular system will be able to get rid of the problem. The best we can do is make sure that the system in place actually rewards excellence and punishes incompetence. That's what a competitive free market does and a government agency does not do.
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September 03, 2011, 08:39:50 PM
 #79

I'm glad we're being realistic. No particular system will be able to get rid of the problem. The best we can do is make sure that the system in place actually rewards excellence and punishes incompetence. That's what a competitive free market does and a government agency does not do.

The above is flawed logic and short sighted. The reward of what the consumer deems excellent, and in the short term, is often irreversibly detrimental in the long term.
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September 04, 2011, 02:39:22 AM
 #80

drug companies killing people

As I've already pointed out, the FDA has killed 4.7 million people by delaying safe and effective drugs and have saved around 7,000 by prohibiting dangerous drugs. Do the math.

Whose asshole do you pull this stuff out of?

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