Sunday, June 15, 2008

Imaginary crises

Tomatoes are rotten and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman sees a crisis in the food industry and he blames "hard-core" "conservatives":
Lately, however, there always seems to be at least one food-safety crisis in the headlines — tainted spinach, poisonous peanut butter and, currently, the attack of the killer tomatoes. The declining credibility of U.S. food regulation has even led to a foreign-policy crisis: there have been mass demonstrations in South Korea protesting the pro-American prime minister’s decision to allow imports of U.S. beef, banned after mad cow disease was detected in 2003.

How did America find itself back in The Jungle?

It started with ideology. Hard-core American conservatives have long idealized the Gilded Age, ....

Such hard-core opponents of regulation were once part of the political fringe, but with the rise of modern movement conservatism they moved into the corridors of power.
Alex Tabarrok of MarginalRevolution has looked at the numbers and found, to the contrary, that foodborne-disease outbreaks peaked in 2000 under the Clinton administration and have declined since then:

PREVIOUSLY, the liberals' beliefs in looming disasters have been discussed here, here, here, and here. This is likely a consequence of the depressed/unhappy outlook which surveys indicate Democrats suffer. (As a particular example, Sen. Obama's outlook on life is discussed here.

Hat tip: Reason.

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