Freedom From Choice
Reel Truth (2019)
This documentary starts off well with a brilliant illustration of the revolving door syndrome – whereby federal officials move back and forth between government agencies and the industries they’re meant to regulate. It also offers excellent examples of regulations that actually harm consumers to increase corporate profits. Somehow, however, the filmmakers come to the conclusion that big government is the problem – that the only solution is to drastically downsize government and eliminate all corporate regulation.
I honestly can’t see this as a viable solution. Despite appalling government performance in in regulating environmental toxins, repealing all government regulation would allow corporations to fill our air, waterways and food chain with even more toxic chemicals than they do now. I tend to draw a different conclusion: that monopoly capitalism can’t be reformed via regulation and needs to be dismantled altogether.
Examples of federal regulations that harm consumers to serve corporate interests are
- The FDA ban on raw milk (which contains numerous beneficial gut bacteria that are destroyed by pasteurization).*
- The FDA ban on farmers butchering or curing their own meat.
- The CDC campaign to make vaccinations compulsory.
- The federal ban on cannabis, despite its approval in more than half the states for medical and/or recreational reasons (which significantly benefits the alcohol, cigarette, and pharmaceutical industries).
- The 2008 federal bail out of the big banks that caused the global economic crash, enabling them to foreclose and take possession of millions of American homes.
*According to the filmmakers, the milk industries operates on a very thin profit margin, and the strong public demand for raw milk potentially threatens their bottom line.