April 2011

The food industry needs to go to Confession

by Pitt Griffin on April 29, 2011 · 0 comments

in Economics

The Federal Trade Commission is pushing for new regulation on food advertising to children. No doubt there will be ‘push-back’ from Libertarian groups (or industry lobbies posing as grass-roots Libertarian groups) protesting against the ‘excessive-regulation’, ‘job-killing’, ‘tax-raising, ‘nanny-statism’ of the ‘Socialist’ administration.

Protests will take one of two forms. First, that the industry can regulate itself, because it is not in the industry’s best interest to poison its customers. Second, it is not the role of Government to get between parents and their children. Parents can teach their children to make good choices.

But, as always, these reasonable sounding claims are without substance.

‘Industrial Food’ has tried before to show that it can self-regulate’ with a ‘self-congratulatory’ policy called – ‘Smart Choices’. Using a green check mark on the front of food packages, it indicated to the consumer the products the industry considered to be ‘healthy’.

But after emblazoning foods such as Froot Loops and mayonnaise as ‘healthy’, the industry took a well deserved beating from critics for their chutzpah. The program suffered defections from food manufacturers, not from shame and embarrassment, but because they realized that looking like cheats wasn’t good for business.

(If you wonder – quite reasonably – why they just don’t make better food, it is because it doesn’t fit their business plan).

The claim that the Government shouldn’t get between parents and their children does have merit. Or it would have if it was consistently made, not only made when business stands to lose. Consider the decades old battle over sex and violence on TV.

There is an outcry that children are so desensitized that levels of promiscuity and violence will escalate. Cries are made that the Government should ‘do something about it’. But how does this square with keeping Government out of family life?

When McDonalds was sued by two obese teenagers for making them fat –the reaction was disbelief. How could they not know that McDonalds’ food was without nutritional merit and would make you fat? Did they real think that McDonalds was anything other than a highly processed, heavily flavored, ‘sort of food’ that should be eaten only occasionally?

In other words when children are pushed into a swamp of sex and violence, the Government should throw out a life line. But when children are thrown into a swamp of nutritional misdirection they should know how to swim.

The food industry is based on misrepresentation. In New York there was a proposal to tax sugary drinks. The reaction was lead by a group called ‘New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes’. I think we can all agree that we are against unfair taxes, but what of the claim on their website:

“New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes is a coalition of concerned New Yorkers – hard working individuals, struggling families, and already burdened small businesses – that oppose any new taxes on juice drinks and soda.”

It would seem that it is a case of Government vs. the ‘Little Guy’. But look at their own list of coalition members. It includes Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, National Association of Chain Restaurants (fast food), National Restaurant Association, National Supermarket Association, National Theater Owners Association.”

It is quite obvious that this group is an industry lobby – not even New York based – hiding behind the rhetoric of “hard- working, struggling, burdened”.

To paraphrase the old adage – ‘There are lies, damned lies and food labels”.


British Monarchy Quiz

April 28, 2011

In the Royalist spirit that I am sure is washing over all of us, I have posed 10 questions about the British Monarchy. If you get all 10 right you should have been invited to the wedding. If you get them all wrong, just remember who won the Revolutionary War. QUESTIONS (Answers below) 1. Who […]

Read the full article →

Is religion God’s handiwork or man’s invention?

April 27, 2011

Religion produces passion. Sometimes it impels believers to do great good; often it motivates them to commit cruel, barbarous and inhumane acts. Why? The answer lies in the human need to belong and the need to be respected. The need to belong is seen in the enthusiasm people feel for their country, political party and […]

Read the full article →

Donald Trump’s false choice.

April 26, 2011

Donald Trump has decided to double down on his ‘birther’ blather with claims that President Obama was, at best, a marginal student at school. “I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?” With all the speculation on the ‘birther’ websites and now from […]

Read the full article →

The means justify the ends

April 25, 2011

I started writing this blog, not because I have an ideological ax to grind, but because much of the information that surrounds us relies for its authenticity on dubious logic and unverified facts. It wasn’t an argument’s conclusion but its quality that interested me. I have ignored the alarmist or conspiracy driven websites (chemtrails, Obama […]

Read the full article →

Socialism is monopoly for the proletariat, monopoly is socialism for the plutocrat

April 24, 2011

It is presumed that Capitalism is an economic philosophy lodged on the right end of the political spectrum as the antithesis of Communism. I suggest, that as Capitalism is a system that relies on the free flow of capital to pursue the greatest return in an unfettered market, it is an economic philosophy that is […]

Read the full article →

Jesus Talks

April 23, 2011

(Note: This post is not to promote one life style over another, but rather to illustrate where the authority for one particular lifestyle should be found.) This is the holiest week in the Christian calendar and is therefore a good time to understand the fundamentals of Christianity. Scholars and ‘holy men’ will outline what Christianity […]

Read the full article →

The role of Government is to regulate my enemies.

April 22, 2011

There is an ongoing debate about the appropriate role for Government. The extremes are Libertarianism or Anarchy at one end to Communism or Religious Fundamentalism on the other. Most of us are somewhere between the two and that is where our thinking becomes convoluted. We should have an advantage because our Government’s founding charter is […]

Read the full article →

Really? 4/21/11

April 21, 2011

Dear Cato Institute, please don’t lie to me. The Cato Institute reprinted an article by Michael Tanner originally published in the National Review (online) called “Obama has no budget plan”. In it he calls the President’s budget speech “a model of disingenuousness”. He should wish that his article reached that high standard. Consider one claim […]

Read the full article →