Re: Nanny State.

Someone on xanga commented on a blog about a mascara ad being banned as false advertisement because the clumps in the mascara had been photoshopped out.  The commenter waxed about how evil the “nanny state” is to get involved in something like this because the company’s competitors should just run ads saying their models aren’t photoshopped and cost them business.

To which I said:

“So dishonesty shouldn’t be against the law?  Should people be allowed to give false expert testimony in court?  I mean isn’t not allowing perjury just getting in the way of the business of competing experts who could be hired to rebut them?  And why stop a car company from selling cars they know are defective, isn’t that just stopping their competitors from running ads saying their cars aren’t defective?  And what’s with this nanny state nonsense about food companies not being able to lie about what’s in their products on the label, shouldn’t the thousands who die from allergic reactions fuel lawsuits and ads from their competitors to fix the problem that wouldn’t have existed without regulations?

I say let the free market (and a pile of dead bodies) sort itself out.

And for that matter who needs actual nannies?  Why not just let the babies who can leave their cribs die so natural selection (a sort of free market) will select for babies that don’t or can’t leave their cribs.  Because blind market forces are always better than intelligent design.”


About agnophilo

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29 Responses to Re: Nanny State.

  1. ascultafili says:

       It’s funny how Social Darwinism gets reborn in whatever new guise every generation.  Just like trickle down economics.   

  2. Aloysius_son says:

    We should just ban laws altogether… let anarchy rule…

  3. agnophilo says:

    @ascultafili – Trickle-down is only social darwinism for the poor.  And darwin was against so-called “social darwinism” and most people who accept evolution tend to be against it too, ironically.  It’s all the evolution denying conservatives who tend to side with it as a model for how the world should work.The strangeness of people never ceases to amaze.@Aloysius_son – Yeah, a free country is a country without rules!*  *Unless you’re poor.

  4. galadrial says:

    Sigh.My daughter’s dad works for the much vilified EPA.Every state has an area that needs cleaning desperately…but since SuperFund was UNFUNDED under Bush, almost nothing gets done.Many will tell you the EPA is just a government bureaucracy, limiting business. I always ask them…:WHERE THE HELL do you think the toxic waste CAME from, you moron? And we pay for their clean ups, while they fight ENDLESSLY in court. But of course, the EPA is the problem…

  5. n_e_i_l says:

    Apropos of this, it’s not only the Supreme Court that’s at stake in the upcoming elections—see here.

  6. UTRow1 says:

    What’s really ironic is that businesses, not nanny-state legislators or dastardly government forces, are the people who wrote and backed most truth-in-advertising legislation. They believed it was necessary for the market to work effectively. How can consumers choose the better products and help the better businesses “win out” if they aren’t receiving accurate information about the products they buy? People can’t see/test most products, so they can often only make decisions based on advertising. So yeah, the person you are referring to is simply assuming that these laws were passed by nanny-state government forces as part of some anti-business conspiracy when they weren’t. Because that person is likely retarded. 

  7. UTRow1 says:

    @galadrial – Plus, the EPA was created specifically because businesses had failed to effectively clean up their wastes or self-regulate for hundreds of years. Conservatives promote the idea that businesses can self-regulate more effectively than the EPA can regulate, but there’s simply no historical basis for this belief. Furthermore, because businesses have no real economic incentive to regulate interstate wastes and externalities, a system of state regulations of self-regulation would just promote businesses to pollute in such a way that dumps the costs of clean up on other people. For instance, a company might avoid the pollution control laws in his state by packing waste in containers and then simply releasing the containers in a large river, to be carried into another state where it may be difficult to prosecute them under this second state’s law. The Florida nutrient crisis, and countless other historical examples, demonstrate that we need a strong federal entity policing pollution standards. Nothing else works in theory or in practice, and you would be hard-pressed to find many environmental law attorneys who believe the EPA should be abolished and replaced with the type of system anarcho-capitalists have advocated. And all this aside, the conservatives who bitch about the EPA are horrifyingly ignorant about water law and pollution control law. These systems work through cooperative federalism, where the federal government merely sets minimum standards of safety that states may achieve throughout whatever regulations they desire. That is, all the EPA does is say “Water cannot have more than X amount of dangerous chemical Y per Z amount of water, which is the amount that independent scientific literature indicates is dangerous to the population.” States are put in the driver seat. All the EPA does is require that states keep their water at the minimal level of cleanliness (though states can set the standard of cleanliness much higher if they want, they just can’t dip below that threshold). It doesn’t get any less intrusive than that.  

  8. PPhilip says:

    What you are not a skull talking? Nor am I a young man who is writing. However if an ad promises by picture something that is not true, they should get flack for promoting a falsehood.Unfortunately politicians are promoting false hoods like how “Obama apologizes” for a lot of things. Looks like the Republicans will be unapologetic and get things done their way……

  9. @ascultafili – Trickle down economics is Obama and the Democrat’s economic plan.  It works like this:1.  The government sucks trillions of dollars out of the economy essentially killing it.2.  The government redistributes $1 trillion dollars to all the people who once had jobs.3.  The rest of the money goes to cronies and campaign contributors.

  10. @ascultafili – A three step description of reality is not a zinger.

  11. I love how the people who promote Social Darwinism in society and the economy tend to be the people least likely to believe in Darwinism in biology.

  12. i saw The_ATM’s response to you.  what a whiny douche.  i’ll never understand how people can have so much faith in businesses that care about one thing only: profit.  

  13. BobRichter says:

    Given that the definition of “Free Market” requires a lack of fraud, I’m just not seeing the argument.

  14. The_ATM says:

    @BobRichter – You might take a look at the original comment, since it is very (dishonestly) out of context on this blog. The comment was about another make-up company–that does the same thing in their advertisements–twisting the governments arm in order to disadvantage another. This to me is cronyism. If there really is an information problem–which is what this sort of fraud is about–then the customers would be the ones who would deserve reprisal from the government. I thoroughly believe, as pretty much every other person commenting on the same post, that the people looking at those magazine ads are smart enough to know the product will not make their lashes look like the fake ones makeup artist glued to the model then Photoshopped.One of the big problems with the mixed economy is that people praise companies for turning to the government to strong arm their competitors, rather than seeing it for what it is, a company using political pull to increase their market share. My comment was not indicating that a uber-free market would fix this, only that the government should be more neutral when it come to companies who obviously have a conflict of interest in filing such complaints.Not sure whether it is intentional dishonesty or not, but what is pretty lame is posting it here as if to lure me into the lion’s den.@GodlessLiberal – I don’t ‘believe’ in evolution. I understand and know it. You know what they say about assumptions… Turns out I studied evolutionary algorithms (which are pretty obviously biologically inspired) for part of my MS, and employed them for my thesis, but that is a whole other story.

  15. Are the clumps life threatening?  Are there any harmful side-effects?

  16. dw817 says:

    Faking out the Mascara Clumps ?? What will our clever advertisers think up next ? I know ! I can see it now, I can predict the future, y’see ? A polite stranger will visit you, he will wish you a Happy Halloween, and he might even leave a curious link to a pretty Halloween picture. [Card]That’s it, I got nuthin’.

  17. BobRichter says:

    @The_ATM – To be perfectly honest, I have no idea where the original comment is, or what it’s about. That is why my comment was rather general and I stand by it as such.  If you want me to read it in its original context, by all means link it and I promise I will.I should say that good outcomes can come even from naked self-interest. If a self-serving complaint leads to more truth in advertising, it’s a win for the market, cronyism or no. Meanwhile, if a company feels it’s been unfairly disadvantaged by its opponent’s false advertising, it’s certainly within its rights to complain, and the government within its mandate  to intervene as may be appropriate.

  18. BobRichter says:

    @PrisonerxOfxLove – It turns out you don’t understand economics, or what the phrase “trickle-down economics” means.So let’s see if I can educate you.Government spending does not depress an economy. In the best of times, it’s neutral, an equal trade-off with economic activity crowded out of the private sector. In the worst of times, it actually doesn’t have a crowding-out effect. These circumstances can be recognized by the simultaneous existence of high unemployment and low interest rates — such as now, or during the Great Depression.In this circumstance (such as now,) massive debt-financed government spending is simply good economic management. The deficit is large, and it should be larger (thus the sluggish recovery.)”Trickle-down economics” is the (entirely disproven) idea that cutting taxes on the rich will lead to broad prosperity. It is not advocated by most Democrats, and any economist who advocates it should be trusted as much as a doctor who prescribes homeopathic remedies (i.e. not at all.) Such an economist is either dishonest or incompetent.Whatever you think of the morality of them, redistributive policies are actually good for an economy. That’s a fairly lengthy argument, but any economist who tells you otherwise is, once again, lying or incompetent.Basically, economies are driven by spending. People with large incomes spend relatively little of them, while people with small incomes spend relatively much of them. Redistributive policies help to create a broad middle class by compressing the social strata, and lead to a healthier economy.

  19. The_ATM says:

    @BobRichter – It is here: was less gracious than I should have been, so I will apologize for that before you go read it.

  20. @BobRichter – “Trick-down economics” was a term coined in the early 1980’s by Ronald Reagan’s budge director, David Stockman.Reagan got rid of Stockman and went on to prove him wrong.  By cutting taxes and regulation, Reagan began 25 years of economic prosperity.Excessive government spending ($6 trillion in new Obama debt and $6 trillion more on the way) must necessarily depress the economy because it is from the economy that government acquires its money, through taxation, borrowing or printing money.FDR turned a 2 year recession into the 10-year economic catastrophe called the Great Depression by instituting the same policies that Obama is using today.The stock market fell over 300 points upon the news of the Obama victory.  And there are no greater friends of Obama then Wall Street and Big Banking.It is Obama’s intention to cause complete economic collapse.  That is the meaning of his policies which yielded the same results in ancient Rome as they did in Weimar Germany as they did in Great Depression, USA.

  21. BobRichter says:

    @PrisonerxOfxLove – Actually, that’s not remotely what happened. It’s a nice story, but it doesn’t mesh with the numbers.Reagan had two important (entirely wrong) economic ideas, described as “trickle-down economics” (enriching the rich will help the poor) and “voodoo economics” (cutting taxes will cause rising revenues.) The 1980s disprove both of these assertions. The recession in progress as Reagan took office was caused by the Federal Reserve tightening the money supply to fight stagflation. This worked, with a recession being the natural result, as was the V-shaped recovery that occurred as soon as the money supply was loosened. Reagan’s tax cuts did have a small Keynesian stimulus effect, but increased revenues never materialized, and the Reagan administration managed to plunge the Federal Government into unprecedented debt. Likewise, trickle-down economics never manifested: the gulf between the rich and the poor widened, with the working poor getting the short end of the stick. Economic growth through the 1980s was slow compared to the remainder of the postwar period to that point. In short, Reagan’s economic policies were an abject failure. Again, government spending is neutral at worst. By spending money on things (as governments do) they return that money to the economy in the form of payments for goods and services, exactly what would have happened (at best) had the money stayed in the economy. In a depression, the money in question isn’t moving. It’s available to lend, but private actors can’t or won’t borrow it (thus the low interest rates and high unemployment that typify a Depression.)  Governments can borrow money that private actors can’t or won’t because governments are different than private actors in very important ways.FDR actually did extend the Great Depression, but not the way you think. In 1937, he managed to cause a double-dip recession by trying to balance the budget. It took a massive program of debt-financed spending (World War II) to end the Great Depression, and it took that long only because FDR didn’t trust Keynes’s reasoning — that is, he didn’t seriously pursue stimulus.There are several valid criticisms of Obama’s policies in the wake of the Great Recession, but “He’s spending too much” isn’t one of them. To begin with, Obama has done very little to increase federal spending (and what he has done has mostly been “paid for” — that is, revenues were increased to allow for the new spending.) Rather, the increased deficits we’ve seen are mainly caused by the combination of a drop in revenue (caused by the Recession and following Depression) and an increase in non-discretionary spending (again, caused by the poor economy.The problem with the upcoming “Fiscal Cliff” is that it will automatically raise taxes and cut spending (in the unlikely case Congress does nothing,) with the intent of reducing the deficit. Unfortunately, this is sure to have a contractionary effect and may even cause another recession. As such, substantial revenue increases or spending cuts may actually be counterproductive, increasing deficits rather than reducing them. The reverse of this is obvious — increased deficits would have an expansionary effect, exactly what a depressed economy needs to put it back on sound footing. The US borrows money in its own currency. Borrowing costs are at present very low and there is an enormous supply of idle capital, with no shortage of uses to put it to.In the long  term, of course, more revenue is needed (and non-discretionary spending will naturally decline as the economy recovers,) but in the short term increased taxes would only serve to damage an already weak economy.In summation, again, you don’t understand economics. That’s understandable, since you’re not (I hope!) an economist, but you should really recognize that’s the case and educate yourself if you want to talk about this stuff. I’d recommend going to your local library and borrowing any of the fine Macroeconomics textbooks likely available there.

  22. @BobRichter – It happened like I said.  I was a young man at the time and it was all over the news.  

  23. BobRichter says:

    @The_ATM – Okay, I read your comment in it’s original context, and I can’t see how it differs from agnophilio’s presentation here. I also don’t see any basis for your accusation of dishonesty. His response is a bit over the top, but it is indeed a reductio ad absurdum of your argument as originally stated (if not as you meant it,) lacking your clarification further down-thread.If I may, I have a slightly different line of attack.Tort law (that is, civil suits) relies on established responsibilities. I am entitled to recover money from the company that sold me a product only if they stepped outside the lines in doing so. Regulation can make the scope  of those lines more clear, and give me not only a better shot in court but a better idea when I should seek the court’s intervention.Meanwhile, relying exclusively on tort law might tend to overload an already strained judicial system, even laying aside the problems of a system where the verdict often goes to the side with more money and patience than the side actually in the right. Judiciary reform of some sort would be a necessary first step to placing this kind of reliance on tort law.Lawsuits can take years to resolve, and the action of high-level regulatory bodies can be substantially more agile.Note also that in this case L’Oriel would certainly have had standing (their business is impacted) and a judge might have ruled the same way to the same effect, so it’s really hard to see where your argument has any merit at all.

  24. BobRichter says:

    @PrisonerxOfxLove – And we all know the news is always perfectly accurate and entirely complete.

  25. @BobRichter – Leftists always try to re-write any history or facts that do not agree with their agenda.You are going to hallucinate an alternate reality because that is what leftists always do, facts be damned.

  26. BobRichter says:

    @PrisonerxOfxLove – This is a question of epistemology. If you want to delve into that, we can. The right wing “knew” going into the Nov 6 election that Republicans would win in a landslide. This suggests a flaw, or at least a limit, in their epistemology. Meanwhile, the New York Times (especially Nate Silver’s blog) called the election very close to what actually happened.So which epistemology do you think is more reliable? Your flawed memory and limited understanding bolstered only by right-wing sources, or the work of historians and scientists?I didn’t re-write anything. The story as I told it is the story as it actually happened. It’s a matter of science and history — a matter of fact, which is why I’ve been inviting you to go look it up.

Speak yer mind.

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