Saturday, November 19, 2011

EU idiocracy

Pasted from The Telegraph | EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration:

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.
EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.
Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.
Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.
“The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.
“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”

See also Slashdot | In the EU, Water Doesn't (Officially) Prevent Dehydration.

See also my comments to Peter Wicks article on IEET | The Future of Europe, for example:

Europe is that place where there are long and byzantine regulations about the curvature of bananas (not a joke, but a fact). And of course the buddies of the politicians and civil servants responsible for this idiocy have companies that receive fat EU grants to measure the curvature of bananas, write long unread reports on the catastrophic sociological effects of non compliant bananas etc. All with my money and yours, and while there are some real problems to address.

I am the first to ridicule nanny-state idiocracy, of which Brussels gives us the funniest (and saddest) examples every day, but I don't think the scamocracy of big banks and corporations is any better. I find surreal the discussions between naive libertarians who love corporations and hate governments, and naive socialists who love governments and hate corporations. Today big governments, big banks and big corporations are one and the same entrenched power elite.

From a discussion on the zerostate blog:

Capitalism can be good:

Smart and hard working baker Joe knows how to make good bread. He finds a capitalist partner and opens a bakery. At the beginning he works in the bakery himself with his family, then he hires some workers. Then he opens a few other bakeries, treats and pays his workers well, and continues to make good bread and sell it at reasonable prices. Everyone wins, Joe and his family, the workers, the investors, and the rest of us who can eat good bread.

And capitalism can be bad:

Finance shark Jim bribes his buddies in government to pass regulations that put Joe (and all other small bakers) out of business. Then he opens a chain of bakeries that produce tasteless and toxic bread and sell it at outrageous prices. Of course, he continues to bribe his buddies in government to protect his monopoly. After a few years he is a billionaire who scams financial markets to bring entire currencies and economies down. He owns banks protected by the government and bailed out with citizen’s money when he needs. Every few years he (and his buddies in government) engineer a financial crisis to force people out of their homes and buy them back cheap. Everybody loses but Jim and his buddies.

I suggest that we forget the terms “capitalism” or “anti-capitalism”, and just build a system where Joe’s methods work and Jim’s methods don’t.

We need a real third-way (not one of the jokes proposed by traditional politicians, but a real third way). I want the fair EU society and its welfare safety nets without an idiotic and corrupted nanny-state bureaucracy, and I want the dynamic US society without savage social darwinism and religious fundamentalism. Is this too much to ask?

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