What “-ism” Are We?

Our founders championed the political structure of “republicanism”, i.e. a system of government based upon democratically elected representatives who would govern in behalf of those who elected them and to whom they would be accountable for the manner of their governance.  Since then we have seen the rise of socialism and its variants of communism and fascism throughout the world and more alarmingly, our transitioning from the republicanism upon which we were founded to fascism.

This week Michelle Obama demonstrated another “-ism” towards which our country has been lurching for decades – “nannyism”.   One of the actions advocated by the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign was an overhaul of the nutrition labels on food packaging.  These updates that she will be announcing were recently finalized by the Food and Drug Administration (another agency without authority granted to the federal government among the enumerated powers in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution).  It is not the government’s role to tell companies what and how they must label their products – that is the role of consumers in the marketplace who can bring pressure on companies to do so or, if necessary, by the states.

Furthermore, as is usual with governmental regulations, it will only place more burdens on businesses, the cost of which will ultimately be borne by us, the consumers as all such costs are.  According to industry estimates, it will cost companies at least $640 million to make the updates, with a net social cost of at least $1.4 billion.

The question to be asked is “Will this be an improvement or just more government heavy-handedness?”  A number of scientists are going on record that these new guidelines are not based upon sound science.  A dozen scientists have signed a joint letter stating that the new requirements are misleading.   Among those signing this letter are Roger Clemens, a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and Eric Decker, head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts.  They further state that these regulations are based upon the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, which were formulated by a committee that did not include even one expert on sugars; yet the first lady boasts that the most important change in these regulations is information about sugar content!

So as with most other similar government regulations, they are outside the scope of the role and authority of government as well as being inaccurate, misleading and costly.   But then again, we are too stupid to know better than to consume an entire bag of Oreos, so we need the government to tell us.

-May 27, 2016