Milton Friedman – FDA Vs The Free Market



I would go much further than Milton Friedman had in condemnation of the FDA – and its counterparts in other countries.

‘Nobody’ trusts the pharmaceutical companies to be in this for any altruistic purpose:  they are in it for self interest.  Therefore, if the company claims something is safe, the consumer will still be compelled to do some amount of due dilligence and checking before taking a pharmaceutical drug – or feeding it to their children.

However, if s third party – ostensibly impartial and backed by the government, which is, of course accountable to us, the elctorate (well, that is the theory), in confers an air of safety to such an endorsement.

To take the example of Thalidamide, as was used in the above video:  Here, in Canada – as well as in Europe – the drug was government approved and as a result of this, women trusted the product and took it.  Yes, I personally know people who were born deformed beacuse of this trust in the government doing the due dilligence, instead of people doing it themselves.

But I would also look at it from a slightly different angle:  by having their product goverment approved, the liability of the pharmaceutical companies is actually greatly diminished:  no longer do they have to live up to a testing standard that, if it is too low, will bankrupt them with lawsuits.  Now, they no longer have to think of all the possible things that could go wrong with their product – all they have to do is satisfy a pre-set number of conditions and convince a few bureaucrats that they have done so.

Even leaving aside the competence and or possible corruption og civil servants, this will necessarily lead to a much lower level of product testing by the manufacturers.

And, it leaves the choice away from the consumer.

Please, permit me to indulge in an example from my life.

Once upon a time, there was a medication called Vioxx.  It has since been taken off the market, but…

When I was first prescribed this medication, I was told it was not supposed to be used in people over the age of 50, because the drug increased the likelihood of heart attacks, and the older one was, the more that chance increased.  I chose to accept that risk, being fully aware of it.

As did a friend of mine, who has an inoperable tumour on her spine which, as it grows, is slowly crippling her.

When we took Vioxx – we were alive!!!

And well!  I could do things with my kids, my friend’s tumour had shrunk so much she could walk again.

Increasing the probability of a heart attack was a price we were happy to pay for the quality of life that Vioxx brought us.  We were in our 30’s, so our risk was relatively low, but even if it were 100x higher, I would still have chosen to use that medicine.

Since it was taken off the market because several people in their 60’s who took it suffered heart attacks, my friend and I cannot get the meds we want, and which we are willing to accept despite side effects.

So, who is it that owns my body – and decides what I do or do not ingest?





In Defense of Absolute Freedom of Speech: The Principle of Self Ownership

Oh, my, where to start!

Something that seems so self evident to me appears to be beyond even consideration by the majority of people in today’s society….to the point that people who hold the same convictions as I are presumed not to exist any longer.

That is sad, very sad…

So, please, do let me present to you my reasoning for why ‘Freedom of Speech’ ought to be unfettered and absolute.

If you indulge me, I would like to present several completely different lines of reasoning – all from ‘first principles’, all logical, and all leading to the inevitable conclusion that speech MUST indeed be absolutely unfettered.

First line of reasoning:  from the principle of self-ownership.

Each and every person owns his or her self.

Body, mind and soul.

This is the core principle on which our civilization is built – to reject this core principle is to reject our society, our form of civilization.  And, since this argument is being made for conduct within this civilization, it is ‘core’ – a fundamental and irrevocable ‘starting point’ for our logical journey.

It is immoral and wrong for one person to own another, which is why we have abolished slavery.

With the principle of self ownership comes the responsibility for absolute accountability for one’s actions.

What this means is that an individual is 100% responsible for one’s own actions.

Regardless of what an individual is exposed to, he or she is absolutely responsible for their conduct as a response to it.

This means that no matter how much somebody else may incite you or lies to you, you and you alone are responsible for acting – or not – on that incitement or on those lies.

Yet, our current laws are written so as to put partial blame for ‘incitement’ or ‘lie’ on the speaker, rather than on the ‘actor’.  This is extremely dangerous because it fails to build into our citizens an appropriate sense of self-responsibility, it infantilizes our citizenry – and we must fight against this most vigorously.

For an infantilized citizen is no longer capable of being self-responsible and rejects the self accountability and independence of self-ownership…

In other words, failing to be accountable for one’s actions without blaming others for ‘incitement’ or ‘lies’ (or, indeed, ‘hate speech’) surrenders one’s mind and soul to another:  in violation of the principle of self-ownership.

Which will necessarily mean the end of our civilization, since our civilization, as stated at the beginning of this argument, is founded on self-ownership.

I have presented this argument first because it is the most ‘theoretical’ and principle based, in my never-humble-opinion.  I would welcome you, my dear reader, to try to find flaws in the logic of this reasoning and present them to me for discussion because I really cannot see how this particular line of reasoning could be faulted.

Many of you might accept this particular argument ‘in theory’ – something that might be wonderful to implement in a utopian society, but impossible to implement in a  real-life society of blood-sweat-and-tears humanity.  That is indeed a fair objection, to which my only retort would be that this is what we ought to be aiming, that this ideal ought to be what we strive for – and not start out from the very beginning by lowering the standards to such an extreme low that the very existence of those of us who hold this principled point of view is doubted or denied.

This I lament as even many ‘free speechers’ start out the debate by saying ‘nobody thinks freedom of speech ought to be absolute, so let’s start talking about where to draw the lines’…


Freedom of speech MUST be absolute and any and all ‘lines’ limiting it MUST BE ERASED!!!  Anything less is an existential threat to our very civilization and the abdication of the principle of self-ownership!!!

*   *   *

There are less theoretical and more practical reasons – yet all principled – for why freedom of speech ought to be absolute.  I shall attempt to present just a few of them (as an exhaustive listing would take a lifetime to compile!) over the next few weeks and hopefully we can engage in a vigorous discussion.

For now, I’d like to start here, from the core principle of self ownership.

Your thoughts?

Walter E Williams – Social Justice vs Self Ownership

From first principles, there can be no other conclusion that non-voluntary taxation/deprivation of any individual of the fruits of their labour (i.e. violating their property rights) is, in fact, a form of slavery.

Let’s not forget that under the feudal system of serfdom, at the beginning, the workload required of the serf was relatively light:  for example, in Poland, it was 1/2 day per week of labour per adult serf.  But, as time went on, this amount kept creeping up and up, until, between the work required of the serfs for their lord and the Church, all adults and children laboured 6 days a week, from sundown to sunset.

With the growth of our government, forced taxation will inevitably lead to the same level of oppression!

Oh, you say, but we have more personal freedom than serfs ever did.

Perhaps, for now.

After all, the lord could control who may or may not travel (no fly list, anyone? … try to cross a border without a passport), the guilds controlled strictly who may or may not practice which trade (try practicing a trade without a license now – under Ontario’s new regulations, you may not even cut another person’s hair without first being accredited by and paying license fees to the government) and you could only live where your lord permitted you to (try building a house on your own property in Ontario – good luck!)

Worth a thought, isn’t it…

Reason TV: What We Saw at the Lemonade & Raw Milk Freedom Day

Warrants? We don’t need no stinking warrants!!!

This is beyond the pale!

Yes, Mr. Levant is correct to raise the spectre of Pavlik Morozov:  I was certainly taught in school to live up to his example.  But that was on the other side of the iron curtain!  There is no room for twisted crap like that in our schools now!

Let you be the first to read it!

I have a gun.

I even volunteered in a school, teaching children how to use a gun, just like mine.

A glue gun, that is.

I have a whole bunch of glue sticks in an ammo box I bought at an army surplus store – partly because I like puns and partly because it is efficient.

I also own a tape gun – it makes wrapping presents more efficient.

And I have two staple guns.  (OK, one is my hubby’s, but that makes at least half of it mine, no?)

My kids own guns, too!

From the air-zooka (which ‘shoots’ air, if you are not familiar with it) through a marshmallow gun to water guns…

But if I wanted to own a firearm – an actual gun for shooting bullets – I would not feel obligated to tell ‘the state’.  Why?  Because I believe, to the core of my being, that the Magna Carta gives me the right to carry whatever arms I think I need to protect my person, family and property.  Nothing – no law  – can, in my never-humble-opinion – abrogate this natural right to protect myself.

It is precisely because I have the right to carry weapons that police has the power to carry weapons:  they derive that right from me, and you, and all the other citizens. Since the government acts as our proxy, it cannot do what each and every one of us does not have the right to do, irrespective of the government.

This equation goes both ways:  since the state is acting on our behalf, it cannot do anything we are not free to do.  Therefore, if some agents of the state do carry firearms, it therefore follows that each and every citizen has that very same right.  If we did not have that right, then the government agents would have nowhere to get that right from.

I recognize I am not expressing this eloquently – following is a video that does a much better job of it:

When all the rhetoric is washed away, at its core, this is about self-ownership.