When, as is the case now, government uses its coercive powers of taxation and financial regulation to control capital, there is far less available to markets for sustainable economic growth. As a result, the economy suffers.
Exhibit A: the FDA and its regulation of American drugs.
The problem is this: Regulators impose costs that are extremely difficult to measure. We hear about birth defects caused by thalidomide when pregnant women ignored warning labels and used the anti-nausea drug to self-treat morning sickness. We don’t hear about the people who died of malnutrition because thalidomide, the only drug that let them eat normally, was yanked off the market. We hear about side effects caused by approved drugs. We almost never hear about the suffering and death caused by not approving drugs. The pro-government mainstream media, of course, inevitably fail to present regulatory issues fairly.[Read more...]