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Saturday, September 5, 2009

On Big Business vs Big Government

Last year, amidst much public furore over the use of lead-based paints in toys meant for children and the ensuing public outcry over product safety, toy manufacturing giant Mattel (six of whose products were recalled) lobbied hard to get a law passed that requires all toy manufacturers to submit samples to third-party labs for independent testing. Other manufacturers like Hasbro were also behind the push.

And now, Mattel has been exempted from this requirement because it was able to convince government authorities that its in-house testing facilities are good enough.

No need for a big rant here. Big company pushes a tough legislation; said legislation heightens the entry barrier for new companies; smaller companies go bust meeting the requirements of the law; big company quietly lobbies to get itself out of the purview of the law. Not the first time, nor the last either.

Unfortunately, it will still serve as fodder for some people to call for more regulation; whereas it is evident that tougher interpretation and enforcement of less regulation is the way to go. Point of thought: are the politicians who cry for public interest and push for legislation really dumb, or are we the public dumb for falling for such rhetoric?


Shankar said...

another take....

Taking a leaf out of Prof Boudreaux on politicians , they are not stupid, they are the venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition :)

Puranjoy said...

Ah, Prof Boudreaux, the guy alliterates as well!