Reply To: Quality Control on the Free Market: Horse meat and Compounding Pharmacies


I’m no expert on this, but here’s my best guess.

I would assume that the big-wigs who call the shots at the hospitals are huge fans of big-govt’ and have absolute trust in the regulators’ ability to stop poor quality. Also, the very existence of the regulator gives them plausible deniability.

Take the purchase of faulty consumer goods, for instance. In decades past, if you bought a product that didn’t work, you returned it to your point of sale and demanded a refund from the merchant. It was his responsibility to ensure the products he sold were of high quality and functioned as promised. If he fails to live up to this, his reputation is tarnished. Today for many goods, this no longer applies. You are directed NOT to return defective electronics to the place of purchase, but rather to file a claim through the manufacturer. The retailer himself passes the buck.

On a similar level, when the government advertises “we are here to make sure your food is safe,” unsafe food automatically becomes, at least in part, a failure of government. One they will undoubtedly demand more of your money to fix. So long as retailers can say “hey, I only sold food that was government approved” they can shift the blame to the government. This gives them less incentive to spend valuable resources double-checking product quality themselves.