The Politics of Freedom: Taking on the Left, the Right, and Threats to Our Liberties

By David Boaz | Go to book overview

The High Price of Regulation

The Food and Drug Administration, which banned the artificial sweetener cyclamate 20 years ago, plans to reapprove it, possibly this year. Once accused of causing everything from bladder cancer to birth defects, cyclamate is now widely thought to be harmless.

“I have no reluctance in saying that with cyclamate we made a mistake,” Robert Scheuplein, acting director of the Office of Toxicological Sciences at the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told the Washington Post. The irony of the agency's mistake is that until aspartame was approved a few years ago, Americans who use artificial sweeteners were forced to buy products containing saccharin, which might well be harmful, rather than cyclamate, which is not.

This cyclamate episode is a dramatic but hardly unique example of the failure of government regulation. For about 100 years Americans have tried to solve perceived problems in the marketplace by creating federal regulatory agencies. In the past 20 years scholars have built up an impressive body of literature demonstrating the failure of most of those agencies.

The economic problem in every society is how to use the scattered bits of knowledge that billions of consumers and producers possess to bring about the best possible allocation of resources. The market process, which involves competition, free exchange, and freely determined prices, enables its participants to identify each other's abilities and desires called supply and demand in the economist's parlance. Market competition is what F. A. Hayek called a discovery procedure. The desire for profit motivates entrepreneurs to discover the best possible allocation of resources.

Attempts by government regulation to improve market outcomes are likely to block or distort that subtle and complex discovery process. There is no way to know the “correct” price or quantity of any resource, and

-59-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Politics of Freedom: Taking on the Left, the Right, and Threats to Our Liberties
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 336

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.