Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Power of our Government

The Federal Government of the United States is an odd beast. On one hand it actively protects consumers via programs such as the FDA which enforces standards on food and drugs, and then there are things such as the recent rulings against COMCAST for their deceptive practices in regards to internet traffic by the FCC.

Being the strict Constitutionalist that I am, I understand the Federal Government's mandate to regulate interstate commerce. Though I do believe that on occasion that particular mandate is stretched to nearly the breaking point in an effort to further socialist programs.

Then, there's the FTC. This particular alphabet department has the unenviable position of dealing with trade issues. Well, one would think that it's unenviable, except as in most government dealings, the FTC has found a way to extort moneys from the very constituents it is designed to protect (other examples of this are taxes and the spectacular failure called the "War on Drugs").

Anyways, S. M. Oliva has posted an article on the Mises Institute website detailing the latest in a long line of abuses by this particular alphabet. This article begins with this paragraph:
On April Fool's Day of this year, New Mexico resident Mark Hershiser received a letter from Erika Wodinsky, a San Francisco attorney, demanding Hershiser turn over all revenue from Native Essence Herb Company, a small business co-owned by Hershiser and his wife Marianne. The letter was not a joke or a mistake. It was a premeditated act of extortion by Ms. Wodinsky. She had never met or spoken with Hershiser; her staff discovered Native Essence through its modest website.
Which is as good a description of what the FTC does to small-businesses as anything else I've read.

I grew up in a small business, my parents owned one, and it would have devasted our entire existence. I can only imagine what it would do to the Hershiser's. Of course, they are doing something which most small business don't do when they receive these demands by the FTC to nationalize their business: they are fighting in the courts.

I am ecstatic to see a business standing up for itself like this. Despite my tendency to not do the whole herbal thing, I am tempted to purchase something from them just because the FTC thinks I shouldn't.

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