Democracy, Government, Food and a Wine Theory …

Food Waste Chipotle restaurants sickened a number of people, giving them e.coli infections or more colloquially, food poisoning. The delighted media provided exemplary reports, assuring that the literate world knew of this. Never mind that this occurs regularly everywhere that there are restaurants. Chipotle is a newish, large, visible chain: that is news.

We stopped to think about this a bit. Restaurants are heavily regulated and regularly inspected by governments. Why? That costs taxpayers a bundle. The theory is, that the regulation will prevent what just occurred at Chipotle. To protect restaurant customers. What other reason could there be?

Say for a moment that there was no government regulation of restaurants; would the numbers of food poisoning cases skyrocket? Given today’s news and communications, we doubt that. We rather expect that restaurants that poisoned many customers would swiftly vanish. And any leftovers would pay through the nose in court.

If that is correct, the huge tax burden now paid to regulate restaurants is mostly wasted. Of course, we may be missing something that will occur to you; you are welcome to point such things out in helpful comments. We are opinionated, not authoritative. But we hasten to note that restaurant inspection is subject to corruption.  That should be added to any governmental inefficiency.

There is more waste in the food service industry than regulation costs, however. Restaurant food waste is astronomical. Again, much of it is a result of government regulations and it is necessarily included in menu prices.

Gong beyond restaurants, U.S. Food Waste generally is massive; never mind all the hungry folk we hear about from politicians in search of more of our declining funds. Once more, much of this is a result of government regulation; “Sell by” Dates being an indicator.

Our democratic system seems to have a built-in problem: Elected politicians have to promise things that benefit donors and voters to be elected. Their opponents tend to outpromis each other. Come next election, they must promise still more. It is endless.

After election, they must “do something” to show the voters at the next election. And that too, is endless. As endless as the lineup of prospective donors requesting favors. So government does something more every cycle, leading ultimately toward total government overreach, which too often represents excess costs and galloping inefficiency as bureaucracy becomes stifling. Does this seem recognizable?

Until the whole thing becomes so top heavy that it falls over and the cycle starts again or a plainly totalitarian state assume control, not having to worry about keeping promises.

Well, that’s how it seems to us; perhaps we should have had another glass of wine with our dinner?

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
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