Ron Paul

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  • #176
I believe he wants to reform sox, not completely remove it.
Pass H.R. 1049 to reform Sarbanes-Oxley and reduce the burden it places on small businesses

The bullet above what you quoted, in large bolded text, says Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley. So a bit of a mixed message...
 
  • #177
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Yes, but there has been criticism of it and its regulations. I know what the intent was. But there are many times when good intentioned things end up giving bad results.
What *doesn't* get criticism? Nothing is going to make everyone happy. You need to look at the reasons this law was passed and what the positives are. Does it prevent greedy corporate executives from pocketing millions, sure.
 
  • #178
falc39
What *doesn't* get criticism? Nothing is going to make everyone happy. You need to look at the reasons this law was passed and what the positives are. Does it prevent greedy corporate executives from pocketing millions, sure.

The problem here is that you keep trying to smear Ron Paul by saying he is trying to help 'greedy corporate executives'.

In Ron Paul's own words:
This does not mean Enron is to be excused. There seems to be little question that executives at Enron deceived employees and investors, and any fraudulent conduct should of course be fully prosecuted. However, Mr. Chairman, I hope we will not allow criminal fraud in one company, which constitutionally is a matter for state law, to justify the imposition of burdensome new accounting and stock regulations. Instead, we should focus on repealing those monetary and fiscal policies that distort the market and allow the politically powerful to enrich themselves at the expense of the American taxpayer.

http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2002/cr020402.htm [Broken]

You can tell that he sees the bigger picture. It's not just an 'us vs. greedy corporate executives' issue.
 
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  • #179
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In Ron Paul's own words:

This does not mean Enron is to be excused. There seems to be little question that executives at Enron deceived employees and investors, and any fraudulent conduct should of course be fully prosecuted. However, Mr. Chairman, I hope we will not allow criminal fraud in one company, which constitutionally is a matter for state law, to justify the imposition of burdensome new accounting and stock regulations. Instead, we should focus on repealing those monetary and fiscal policies that distort the market and allow the politically powerful to enrich themselves at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Either he is grossly uninformed or he's dishonest. Unless he hasn't read a newspaper in the last 10 years, he's dishonest.

It wasn't just Enron, Sarbanes was made into law after a number of corporate scandals which cost investors and employees billions of dollars. It was Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia, and Pergrine Systems to name the largest.
 
  • #180
More of Ron Paul's words from that link:

Ron Paul said:
While most of my colleagues are busy devising ways to "save" investors with more government, we should be viewing the Enron mess as an argument for less government. It is precisely because government is so big and so thoroughly involved in every aspect of business that Enron felt the need to seek influence through campaign money.

What the heck is he talking about here? The main problem with Enron was that they were concealing massive debt by moving it onto the books of subsidiaries, concealing it from the public and their own shareholders. Less government is not going to prevent things like that; I have difficulty seeing how less oversight could result in anything other than more problems like that. Really seems as though he's pushing his pet causes with disregard to reality here.

For another one he's talking as if big business would stop influence peddling if government was smaller! Where does he even begin to get that from? It certainly isn't true in this country's past, robber barons were at their height during smaller federal governments.
 
  • #181
mheslep
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Do you know what Sarbanes-Oxley is? Is a a set of accounting rules to show that corporations have adequate controls in place to avoid disasters like Enron and WorldCom where employees and shareholders were defrauded out of millions of dollars. It's to prevent executives of a company from making money off of fraud. Usually it is the little guys that get hurt when there are no controls. Removing or modifying SOx would benefit big business.
)
Yes I know what it is, yes I agree its repeal would benefit big business. I have two objections to SOx. One, I don't know that SOx has been proven effective in doing what it says it does, preventing fraud. Perhaps it does, but it wouldn't be the first time a govt. regulation had little of its intended effect. Second, there is a cost imposed by compliance with SOx and it is not just paid for out of salary cuts to CEOs. A large number of Americans either directly own pieces of 'big' business or through their pension funds (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CALPERS" [Broken], now $180B fund) and so are hit by those costs. Many Americans work for those big businesses and they can go elsewhere to escape SOx, or more likely it raises the costs for foreign business considering expanding to the US and hiring here. Now that said, until I see more I favor keeping SOx in place as I agree w/ your point about the Enron and Worldcom scandals, since SOx at least gives the impression that the company reports are accurate, which has its own value. I favor this not because I think Rep. Paul is a tool of big business. Thats a hoot.
 
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  • #182
falc39
Either he is grossly uninformed or he's dishonest. Unless he hasn't read a newspaper in the last 10 years, he's dishonest.

It wasn't just Enron, Sarbanes was made into law after a number of corporate scandals which cost investors and employees billions of dollars. It was Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia, and Pergrine Systems to name the largest.

Enron was the main one that the legislation was using to push the act. I don't think he is implying that there weren't any scandals before.

What the heck is he talking about here? The main problem with Enron was that they were concealing massive debt by moving it onto the books of subsidiaries, concealing it from the public and their own shareholders. Less government is not going to prevent things like that; I have difficulty seeing how less oversight could result in anything other than more problems like that. Really seems as though he's pushing his pet causes with disregard to reality here.

For another one he's talking as if big business would stop influence peddling if government was smaller! Where does he even begin to get that from? It certainly isn't true in this country's past, robber barons were at their height during smaller federal governments.

I believe he was referring to Enron and Cheney connection.

Cheney claims this access gave Enron no advantage. "The fact is Enron didn't get any special deals," he declared when questioned in January. Yet an Enron memo discovered after that interview suggests the corporation shaped substantial portions of the task force's recommendations. When Cheney and Lay met in April 2001, Lay handed Cheney a three-page "wish list" of corporate recommendations. Representative Henry Waxman, the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Government Reform, ordered an analysis of the memo against the final report of the task force; it shows that the group adopted all or significant portions of the recommendations in seven of eight policy areas. Seventeen policies sought by Enron or that clearly benefit the company--including proposals to extend federal control of transmission lines, use federal eminent-domain authority to override state decisions on transmission-line siting, expedite permitting for new energy facilities and limit the use of price controls--were included. Noting that "there is no company in the country that stood to gain as much from the White House plan as Enron," Waxman wrote Cheney, "the recent revelations regarding the extent of Enron's contacts with the White House energy task force have only underscored the need for full public disclosure."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020415/nichols [Broken]

Anyway, I don't want to stray off topic.

What's important here is the economic blowback that has occured through SOX.

The cost to 404 of SOX is substantially disproportionate for smaller companies.

According to the report from the SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies, in 2004 U.S. companies with revenues exceeding $5 billion spent .06% of revenue on SOX compliance, while companies with less than $100 million in revenue spent 2.55%.

So given the statistics, which ones are hurting the most from this?

Ron Paul seems to be the only candidate that recognizes stuff like this.
 
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  • #183
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Enron was the main one that the legislation was using to push the act. I don't think he is implying that there weren't any scandals before.
No, the WorldCom scandal was the straw that broke the camel's back. Worldcom came a year after Enron. :uhh: Show me where Ron Paul is aware of this.

Ron Paul seems to be the only candidate that recognizes stuff like this.
You're kidding, right?

The WorldCom scandal was over 3.06 billion dollars, Enron was less than 1 billion.

http://money.cnn.com/2002/06/26/news/companies/accounting_scandals/

WorldCom scandal one of many

It may be involved in the biggest accounting debacle ever
 
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  • #184
falc39
No, the WorldCom scandal was the straw that broke the camel's back. Worldcom came a year after Enron. :uhh: Show me where Ron Paul is aware of this.

You're kidding, right?

okay, but it's pointless to argue things like this.

the fact is Ron Paul does have a case when it comes to reforming SOX. If you don't agree with that, that's fine. But I have a ton of links with evidence of it hurting our country more than it helps. There are two sides to this.

And yes, Ron Paul is the only one I've heard that actually talked about this, he even mentioned it in today's debate. Granted, you'll have to forgive me, because I can't keep a close eye on every candidate.
 
  • #185
mheslep
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...For another one he's talking as if big business would stop influence peddling if government was smaller! Where does he even begin to get that from? It certainly isn't true in this country's past, robber barons were at their height during smaller federal governments.
He's completely right on influence peddling (lobbying). Until the early part of the 20th century, govt. spending never exceeded 10% of the economy, and the biggest govt. agency was the US post office. People start businesses to make money and back then you didn't go about by first setting up your lobbying office Washington, DC. to get big contracts or dodge regulations, because neither was there in large form. Now look at it. Name me a Fortune 100 company that doesn't have a 'Government Affairs' (lobbying) office. Certainly there has always been malfeasance in govt. brought on by paid influence, but it was little worth your time back then. Whatever robber barons did, they did not spend nearly as much time and money trying to influence the US Govt. as is done now.
BTW, Enron did spend several http://www.opensecrets.org/alerts/v6/alertv6_46.asp" [Broken].
 
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  • #186
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And yes, Ron Paul is the only one I've heard that actually talked about this, he even mentioned it in today's debate. Granted, you'll have to forgive me, because I can't keep a close eye on every candidate.
Did you ever stop to think that he's the only candidate opposing SOx because no one else in their right mind is opposed to it? He doesn't, according to your links, even know why it became law.
 
  • #187
falc39
http://money.cnn.com/2002/06/26/news/companies/accounting_scandals/

WorldCom scandal one of many

It may be involved in the biggest accounting debacle ever

LOL! look at the date of the speech: feb 2002

Look at the date of WorldCom scandal: june-july 2002

How microscopic will you go to criticize Paul?

I guess since he wasn't a time traveler he isn't good enough to be the president huh? :rolleyes:
 
  • #188
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LOL! look at the date of the speech: feb 2002

Look at the date of WorldCom scandal: june-july 2002

How microscopic will you go to criticize Paul?

I guess since he wasn't a time traveler he isn't good enough to be the president huh? :rolleyes:
He's bringing it up now as a campaign issue. Has he mentioned Worldcom? Enron was not the only accounting fraud at that time, he (per your link) said it was.
 
  • #189
Certainly there has always been malfeasance in govt. brought on by paid influence, but it was little worth your time back then. Whatever robber barons did, they did not spend nearly as much time and money trying to influence the US Govt. as is done now.

They have to spend more money now because it's harder to influence the various levels of government, because laws and systems have been put in place that prevent making an easy, quick, one-time bribe to a single official. And those measures make one-time bribes to a single official, or even having one official solidly in your pocket, less effective.

If Paul's remarks were about Cheney that makes even less sense, since of course there's constitutionally going to be a Vice President to bribe/influence on policy no matter how small government gets.

Corporate corruption and malfeasance is NOT a reason for less government. Whatever virtues smaller government may have that is a completely spurious argument.
 
  • #190
falc39
He's bringing it up now as a campaign issue. Has he mentioned Worldcom? Enron was not the only accounting fraud at that time, he (per your link) said it was.

He probably has, although I don't feel like looking for links anymore today. At that moment of time, Enron was probably the big talk on capitol hill. Really, the only thing that you've said which I really didn't agree with is that paul is just trying to help big business only. Everything else I can agree to disagree. Maybe I can find more links tomorrow about this topic.

CaptainQuasar said:
If Paul's remarks were about Cheney that makes even less sense, since of course there's constitutionally going to be a Vice President to bribe/influence on policy no matter how small government gets.

I am not a 100% sure what his remarks were aimed at, but I do know that being in congress, his perspective can be a bit different than what we have since he probably sees that kind of stuff all the time. All I know is that Enron did have a lot of shady government stuff going on. If I find more links I will post them.
 
  • #191
mheslep
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They have to spend more money now because it's harder to influence the various levels of government,
That is not the reason, you miss the point. There was little government money to be had in the last century compared to now. Its of relatively little consequence how difficult it was to buy a politician, if you wanted make money one didn't waste much time w/ Washington trying to do so. Now the Army has a single program that costs $200B and dozens of companies run their entire business model around it.

because laws and systems have been put in place that prevent making an easy, quick, one-time bribe to a single official. And those measures make one-time bribes to a single official, or even having one official solidly in your pocket, less effective.
What laws are those? Certainly didn't stop Rep. Jefferson's 'cold' cash collections or Duke Cunningham.

If Paul's remarks were about Cheney that makes even less sense, since of course there's constitutionally going to be a Vice President to bribe/influence on policy no matter how small government gets.
Again you miss the point. A VP or senator today can make a call to any one of 5 or 6 very powerful federal agencies with huge budgets and enforcement power that can dramatically effect some business interest. IRS, EPA, FTC (the key for Enron). None of this existed 100 yrs ago. Now, politicians can (and they do) make that call and threaten/imply a cut in the agencies budget which gets action quickly without ever writing a word of legislation. Consequently politicians 100yrs ago had much less power.

I don't say this justifies some Paul-ish scheme of eliminating all these agencies, but the size of government does have corruption consequences, because "that's where the money is" - Willie Sutton, bank robber.
 
  • #192
That is not the reason, you miss the point. There was little government money to be had in the last century compared to now. Its of relatively little consequence how difficult it was to buy a politician, if you wanted make money one didn't waste much time w/ Washington trying to do so. Now the Army has a single program that costs $200B and dozens of companies run their entire business model around it.

I'm sure you've heard the phrase "defense industry". Well, it's not new and it's not talking about personal defense, it's an entire industry that is devoted to the spending of the U.S. Government and it has existed for the entire history of the country.

This happens with any large-scale consumer. You'll find the same micro-ecology of companies around IBM, Exxon-Mobil, Viacom, Altria Group / Philip Morris, etc.

What laws are those? Certainly didn't stop Rep. Jefferson's 'cold' cash collections or Duke Cunningham.

I'm talking about the kind of laws that prevent me from buying a $3.99 Subway grinder for lunch for a client because he's a federal government employee. Or that outlaw lobbyists sending senators on vacation, or buying them second and third homes. Avoiding those things used to be on an honor system. Or not even considered inappropriate.

Again you miss the point. A VP or senator today can make a call to any one of 5 or 6 very powerful federal agencies with huge budgets and enforcement power that can dramatically effect some business interest. IRS, EPA, FTC (the key for Enron). None of this existed 100 yrs ago. Now, politicians can (and they do) make that call and threaten/imply a cut in the agencies budget which gets action quickly without ever writing a word of legislation. Consequently politicians 100yrs ago had much less power.

I don't say this justifies some Paul-ish scheme of eliminating all these agencies, but the size of government does have corruption consequences, because "that's where the money is" - Willie Sutton, bank robber.

This has always been true. All sorts of sweetheart deals between the government and manufacturers happened during the Civil War, much less a hundred years ago. The problem isn't any more severe today.

Unless you're simply saying that with a ten times larger government there's going to be ten times as many incidents of corruption. Because of course there's going to be ten times the volume of non-corrupt dealings going on as well.
 
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  • #193
DrClapeyron
You have to admit that this guy cares a lot more about economics and monetary policy than the people who are running against him (even if you disagree with his school of thought).

Because he adds more confussion to his logic his arguements encompass a greater sense of moral and emotional duty? I don't see this happening, his fallacy has been his resentment of the human action of change and becoming hung upon the constitution. I have often been told Ron Paul is the 'champion' of the constitution. I have heard he is a staunch 'defender' of the constitution. Be this as it may in his own opinion, there is more to law and more to government than the articles which delegate and separate the powers of government, such as each branch of the government itself.

Paul has become the idler passifist in a contemporary debate about the state of the economy. George Orwell once stated that the active voice should be used in place of the passive wherever possible, but Ron Paul has taken a liking to register himself in the mud: he stands firm but when the tires roll, he sinks further. Further behind in every primary after relative gains by drop outs from Giulliani, Thompson and others. He is making no grounds but slowly sinking into a grave dug specially for him.
 
  • #194
falc39
Today Peter Schiff was named economic advisor to his campaign. From the official campaign site:

January 25, 2008 4:44 pm EST
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – Newly appointed Ron Paul economic advisor, Peter Schiff, issued the following statement about Dr. Paul’s proposed comprehensive economic revitalization plan:

“We need a plan that stimulates savings and production not more of the reckless borrowing and consumption that got us into this mess in the first place. Ron Paul’s plan is the only one that amounts to a step in the right direction. If you want meaningful change - for the better that is - Ron Paul is the only candidate capable of delivering it. The others merely promise to continue the failed policies that are at the root of our current economic problems.”

Peter Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital Inc, and a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg Television. He is often quoted in major financial publications and is the author of the book Crash Proof.

In the past Peter Schiff said the following of Dr. Paul: “Ron Paul is the real deal, a true statesmen and citizen politician in the traditions envisioned by the framers of our Republic.”

Mr. Schiff is available for interviews regarding Congressman Paul’s economic policies.

Congressman Paul’s comprehensive economic revitalization plan can be found online at: www.RonPaul2008.com/Prosperity

Yesterday, it was Don Luskin:

January 24, 2008 5:40 pm EST

Don Luskin Named Economic Advisor to the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign

“Ron Paul’s economic plan is the real thing… not just a band-aid”

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – Newly appointed Ron Paul economic advisor, Donald L. Luskin, issued the following statement about Dr. Paul’s proposed comprehensive economic revitalization plan:

“Ron Paul’s economic plan is the real thing – a plan. It’s not just a band-aid designed to ‘stimulate’ the economy in an election year. It’s a fundamental agenda for real and lasting change, making the US economy more vibrant and competitive, and removing barriers to advancement for all Americans.”
Donald L. Luskin is Chief Investment Officer for Trend Macrolytics LLC and contributing editor to the National Review Online and SmartMoney.com. He is also a frequent guest on CNBC, and the author of two books: Index Options and Futures: The Complete Guide and Portfolio Insurance: A Guide to Dynamic Hedging.

Mr. Luskin is available for interviews regarding Congressman Paul’s economic policies.

Congressman Paul’s comprehensive economic revitalization plan can be found online at: www.RonPaul2008.com/Prosperity

Campaign has been picking up quite a few endorsements lately :)

I wonder who's next? Jim cramer?!


lol
 
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  • #195
mheslep
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...Unless you're simply saying that with a ten times larger government there's going to be ten times as many incidents of corruption. Because of course there's going to be ten times the volume of non-corrupt dealings going on as well.
Yes thats the idea, except the 'ten times' is wildly off. In 1900 the US GDP was ~http://eh.net/hmit/gdp/gdp_answer.php?CHKnominalGDP=on&CHKrealGDP=on&CHKGDPdeflator=on&year1=1800&year2=2003" [Broken] and total govt spending was 10% of that; today GDP is $13000B and total govt spending is ~40% of that. In other words the govt has grown by 130X in real dollars since 1900. Furthermore, I claim that the ill effects are more than 130X worse. There's a minimum barrier to entry cost for individual lobbying, and so back then most businesses chose to invest zero. In 1900 that 130X smaller pie was just too small for the vast majority of businesses to worry about. (Yes during wars -civil, WWII- spending shot up temporarily and so did profiteering and the like). Now everyone is in on the game. Large businesses all have a suit they can can in DC and small business join associations with offices in DC.

Now I don't claim or believe that everyone starts a business with the principle idea of manipulating or ripping off the government. My experience is that any engineer, doctor, salesman, whatever that starts up a business wants to do what they know; the last thing they want do is blow the overhead budget with lobbying expenses. Unfortunately, they quickly find that you forgo doing that at your peril.

Passing more lobbying laws will only change the situation at the margin. Paul is right on this one. The only way to seriously reduce the effect of $ on govt policy is to reduce the size of the govt.
 
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  • #196
mheslep, of course I wasn't saying that government has only grown by ten times, all I was doing was asking if you're simply describing a linear relationship between the growth in commerce of government and the growth of corrupt dealings.

You seem to be portraying 1900 with a great degree of idealism. Like, what sectors of industry did not have government officials on the take or didn't spend money to influence policy? The history of that era I've read and the novels I've read like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babbitt_%28novel%29" [Broken] by Sinclair Lewis portray society as rife with corruption at all levels.

If what you're saying is true, third world countries ought to have much less corruption in their governments because their governments are so much smaller than ours. And the complete opposite of that is true.

The only way to seriously reduce the effect of $ on govt policy is to reduce the size of the govt.

You're repeatedly asserting this without explaining how exactly it would work. If there were fewer people carrying out the same responsibilities and oversight then any one person in government would on average have more individual authority and fewer people looking over his or her shoulder. That would accomplish the opposite, that would increase the effectiveness of graft money because you would need to bribe fewer people to accomplish the same thing.

Are you maybe talking about reducing the authority of government, regardless of its size? Because for example if you removed the jurisdiction of the FDA to regulate food labeling, there would be no need for anyone in the food industry to spend money bribing FDA officials or inspectors or getting Congress to pass laws muzzling the FDA (as far as food labeling). And that would be true regardless of the size of the FDA.

But leaving the authority the same - reducing the size of the FDA while it's still responsible for food safety, making it so that it doesn't have enough inspectors and can only ever be effective in carrying out policies that require minimal inspection, would in no way make it harder for big business to bribe or influence the government. Hence http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle" [Broken] in 1906 - the meat industry didn't need to bribe anyone to put sawdust in hot dogs because the government wasn't monitoring things like that back then.
 
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  • #197
Aren't there rumors about Ron Paul being a white supremacist?
 
  • #198
mheslep
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mheslep, of course I wasn't saying that government has only grown by ten times, all I was doing was asking if you're simply describing a linear relationship between the growth in commerce of government and the growth of corrupt dealings.

You seem to be portraying 1900 with a great degree of idealism. Like, what sectors of industry did not have government officials on the take or didn't spend money to influence policy? The history of that era I've read and the novels I've read like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babbitt_%28novel%29" [Broken] by Sinclair Lewis portray society as rife with corruption at all levels.

If what you're saying is true, third world countries ought to have much less corruption in their governments because their governments are so much smaller than ours. And the complete opposite of that is true.
Its the percentage, again like Willie said its not how much its where. I'm not talking absolute size per se, I'm talking about the relative size of government spending as a percentage of their GDP. Take Zimbabwe. The entire GDP is only $6B, and the govt spends $1.3B (federal only). If you want to make a buck there, what's going to be your 1st stop? And any communist country the government was by definition the entire economy (excepting the black market).
You're repeatedly asserting this without explaining how exactly it would work. If there were fewer people carrying out the same responsibilities and oversight then any one person in government would on average have more individual authority and fewer people looking over his or her shoulder. That would accomplish the opposite, that would increase the effectiveness of graft money because you would need to bribe fewer people to accomplish the same thing.

Are you maybe talking about reducing the authority of government, regardless of its size? Because for example if you removed the jurisdiction of the FDA to regulate food labeling, there would be no need for anyone in the food industry to spend money bribing FDA officials or inspectors or getting Congress to pass laws muzzling the FDA (as far as food labeling). And that would be true regardless of the size of the FDA.

But leaving the authority the same - reducing the size of the FDA while it's still responsible for food safety, making it so that it doesn't have enough inspectors and can only ever be effective in carrying out policies that require minimal inspection, would in no way make it harder for big business to bribe or influence the government. Hence http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle" [Broken] in 1906 - the meat industry didn't need to bribe anyone to put sawdust in hot dogs because the government wasn't monitoring things like that back then.
Couple comments:
-The reforms brought on by TR at the time did not radically expand the government. The government remained no more than ~10% of the economy, and I'm more or less in agreement w/ regulations put in place then. But look at http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed090804b.cfm" [Broken](USDA budget ~$80B[1].
-I'm a proponent of reducing the money spent by the government, not necessarily the people or its authority though of course they are related - lets leave that for another post. It is the govt. spending that diverts otherwise productive enterprise towards acquisition of that money rather than making something productive.
-I would not idealize the 1900's. I don't argue for the elimination of government or its regulatory power. I've only stated the govt as a percentage of the economy was much less, and consequently economic activity in pursuit of govt dollars and influence was far less.
-What's idealized here is the notion that somehow moving authority from the private sector to the public somehow remedies all. I'm baffled by the notion that if one believes that private society is corrupt, that then somehow by employing millions of the same people from that society and granting them power of vast sums of other peoples money that the corruption will be vanquished. Instead we get the same fallible people, but minus the check of the free market that says you lose money or get fired for poor/non-performance. Overspend your government budget? Ok we'll give you more next year.
-You mention the FDA. There are only four vaccine companies left now where there used to be many. Only two make influenza vaccines. Consequently there is a dangerously low supply of vaccine in the US and this is http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?issueID=38&articleID=213" to FDA action [2]
BTW, you asked for alternatives to government regulation; that article discusses in detail the concept of Private Assurance
.
[1]What's The Beef, Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D., Sept. 2004
A beef co. (Creekstone) wants to exceed USDA requirements and do Mad Cow tests to reassure potential foreign buyers of American beef.
Ironically, though, today it’s the U.S. Department of Agriculture that seems to be preventing a private company from improving the quality of our food. ...
Creekstone has a plan to do just that, but it’ll be expensive -- it might cost as much as $20 per steer, or about six cents per pound of meat. However, the company notes that its customers are willing to pay the bill. The problem is that the USDA won’t allow the use of mad cow test kits by a private company like Creekstone. That’s because the department wants to control the testing process.
The Department of Agriculture has its own plan. It intends to test more than 200,000 cows over the next year. That will cost taxpayers $70 million, which means we’ll be paying far more to test far fewer cattle than the private testing would cost...
[2]http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?issueID=38&articleID=213", Arthur Foulkes, 2004 in the Independent Review
...The truth, however, is that vaccine companies left the business because of FDA-mandated plant shutdowns, consent decrees, equipment upgrades, and other costs, often in the face of government-imposed price caps.
 
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