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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Utter Uselessness of Libertarian Philosophy

The FDA is about to ban trans fats, and of course the Libertarians are going nuts about it.  They say, "If people want to eat trans fats, well, by golly, then they should be able to eat trans fats."

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
And, in the end, if people make what some expert thinks is the “wrong” choice, then that choice ought to be accepted. Because that’s what you do when you let adults in a free society decide things for themselves.
The problem with this is that very few people choose to consume trans fats.  They chose to consume french fries or coffee creamer or frozen pies or microwave popcorn, and they get trans fats with it, not by default, not because trans fats are a necessary ingredients in any of these foods, but as a bonus of a food manufacturer's choice to use trans fats in place of more natural (and healthy) fats.

Ironically enough, many of these manufacturers have chosen to give up on trans fat on their own, without the FDA's intervention.  (Even McDonald's!)  Being actual rational actors in the business world, as opposed to ideological computers, they recognized that A) there is no real market for foods loaded with trans fats and B) health concerns justify switching to the alternative.

Libertarians,  on the other hand, are so stuck in ideological mode that they're creating out of the ether a choice that does not exist (choosing to eat trans fats), obscuring the choice that's actually been made (that is, by the food manufacturers), and moaning on and on about the Nanny State, asking themselves (as Doug Mataconis did):
If the FDA can ban trans fats, what’s next? Sugar and salt content? Caffeine content?
I don't know, but if you pull your head out of your ass, you might come up with a better question, like "Why should I be mad about this?" But instead, they're saying, "You can take my partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil from my cold, dead hands."

Okay.  If you insist....

1 comment:

UNCLE JIM said...

I would gladly give up sleep for a week if I could have at least one more Thanksgiving meal with my mother.

Don't waste the opportunity. There will come a day you will wish you could.