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Re: Manufacturer's Profits at Buyer's Expense

To: MG List <>
Subject: Re: Manufacturer's Profits at Buyer's Expense
From: Max Heim <>
Date: Fri, 06 Dec 2002 15:53:58 -0800
You are looking at it through the prism of "the government can't tell me
what's best for me". True as far as it goes, but to take an example from
early in the last century: most mass-produced bakery products contained
significant quantities of chalk and sawdust (not to mention rat excrement
and hair). Why? Not because people chose to consume these substances, but
because people were led to believe that "whiter" bread was better
(marketing, peer pressure, snobbery, whatever), and the white bread that was
available at an affordable price for the masses was deliberately adulterated
with these items by the manufacturers, in order to sell it at a more
attractive price, and thereby increase sales. Despite publicity by
investigative journalists and reformers, this practice continued until the
establishment of federal food purity laws, and consequent enforcement.

The moral of this story is, you cannot count on individuals acting in their
own self-interest, to act in the best interests of society. This seems like
an obvious statement, but it is remarkable how much current political
thought is predicated on the false contrary assumption.

To expand the analogy, I am not advocating that the government "mandate"
whole-wheat bread; I am merely suggesting that it is their right and proper
role to ban unhealthy and contaminated bread.

In the case of SUVs, my contention is that the government is in the position
of enforcing purity laws on, say, sliced bread (passenger cars), but not
enforcing the same rules for cakes and donuts (SUVs), thus making donuts, in
comparison, more financially attractive to consumers, and more profitable to
the bakers -- both to the detriment of society at large.

I fail to see this as an issue of "personal freedom", although I am aware
that the apologists for "free market capitalism" (I use quotes, since what
they are really defending is a sort of corporate socialism) frequently try
to frame it as such.

on 12/6/02 3:00 PM, Jay Call at wrote:

> Pardon me Max, but isn't it true that among the virtues of a free society
> that people get to decide for themselves what it is they "need"?  It seems
> to me far better to let people decide for themselves what they "need,"
> because, after all, am I not in the best position to know what I "need"?
> What do I (or you, or anyone else) require a government regulator to tell me
> what is in my best interest?
> Thanks,
> Jay Call
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On
> Behalf Of Max Heim
> Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 12:52 PM
> To: MG List
> Subject: Re: Manufacturer's Profits at Buyer's Expense


Max Heim
'66 MGB GHN3L76149
If you're near Mountain View, CA,
it's the primer red one with chrome wires

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