Re: US to Outlaw Vitamins

J. D. (
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 08:42:17 -0500 (EST)

On Thu, 31 Oct 1996, Lyle Burkhead wrote:

> In reply to James Daugherty's post,
> > The pharmaceutical Corporations, were unable to control Congress
> > which recently responded to public pressure and allowed freedom in
> > food supplements. However, they are not so easily defeated
> > in their quest to reap cartel style profits based on "reguations".
> >
> > So, they are going to the World Government institutions to
> > circumvent our rights...
> I wrote:
> :: This seems unlikely to me. Pharmaceutical companies can sell
> :: vitamins at a profit like any other product.
> to which James responds:
> > They get higher profits for a longer period when their products
> > fall under regulations.
> They might get higher profits per unit, but the volume of sales
> would be much less. What if a product (such as anabolic steroids)
> is taken off the market altogether? Would you say this is a plot by the
> pharmaceutical companies to increase their profits?

Yeah sure! I would say that whatever happens, it is a conspiracy.
Please, let's not waste time with stupid questions.

Monopolies tend to raise prices and contract production to
increase profits. Obviously, this can go too far and result in decreased
profits if volume contracts too much. There is obviously a profit
optimizing point.

> It's not even clear that the profit per unit would be higher if vitamins
> were prescription drugs. Nobody has a patent on vitamins. Most
> doctors would prescribe the cheapest generic vitamins they could find.
> This is exactly the kind of situation pharmaceutical companies want to
> avoid. They can make a lot more money selling vitamins over the
> counter than they would make selling them by prescription.

Your last sentence does not follow as it is another very
competitive situation pharmaceutical companies would like to avoid.

What you are missing is the problem of uncertainty in a free
market competitive situation. When availabilty of capital is the only
barrier to market entry by newcomers, the existing producers are
vulnerable to business failure, not just low profits. A poorly conceived
new entry might drive the whole industry toward bankruptcy or a new entry
with fantastic new production methods might drive out existing producers.
Also, vicious price wars might develop among existing producers leading to

Established producers see regulatory systems, covertly controlled
more or less by themselves, as insurance against these risks. The
established producers can generally see to it that newcomers are given an
especially "hard way to go" by the regulators when they attempt to enter
the market. There is no reason to think regulations will be enforced
objectively, none whatsoever. Regulators are easily subverted into
picking winners and losers instead of confining themselves to objective
regulation! See saccharine vs aspertame for example.

Anyone think it odd that Value Jet was shut down when it had a
crash while established firms suffer little or no scrutiny when they have
a crash? Just one little example.


> > Clearly, all producers, unless morally restrained, look for a
> > pretext under which to have the govt cartelize their industry, limiting
> > competition, and thereby prolonging profits.
> All producers? I don't think so. Some companies make a profit by
> differentiating their product from others, and creating a perception of
> uniqueness.

Yeah, but they would do even better if they could set up a cartel
to prevent or reduce the number of people doing similar things....other
people differentiating their products could be defined as frauds!

> > What is so incredible about compromising high level pubpols
> > and finpols with child sex, drugs, etc?
> This in itself is not incredible. I don't doubt that such things happen.
> However, I think you overstate your case, and hurt your credibility by
> doing so. I also think you try to explain too much with one principle
> (conspiracy), instead of considering other explanations.
> > Are you familiar at all with the results of the
> > 70's Congressional probes into the CIA? MKULTRA?
> No. And I think this is leading us pretty far afield.

You brought-up CIA mind control to discredit me and now you admit
you know nothing about the basic evidence for it revealed by Congressional
Committees decades ago! Much of what Extropians want to do is being
studied intensively by the CIA and Pentagon black budgets.

> I think we should be looking in another direction for an explanation.
> I think it is a matter of belief systems, not profits. There are still
> quite a few doctors who *believe* (to use Rich's favorite word) that
> it is superstitious, immoral, WRONG to take vitamins. I want to know
> where that belief comes from, and what if anything we can do about it.

Apparently, you don't really want to know that "political
correctness" is engineered by those who benefit. Look at what the
Rockefeller Brothers Fund finances....everything Extropians and
Libertarians oppose! Just a coincidence? The existing ruling class is
primarily devoted to memetic engineering! Developing belief systems
beneficial to themselves! Study what the great Foundations are up to...
What is the mass media up to...

There is a link to Rockefellers Brothers Fund at my url:

> I wrote
> :: We are trying to find a causal explanation of the fact that certain
> :: products are restricted and others are sold on the open market. I think
> :: the UN, Nafta, and GATT are irrelevant to this particular point.
> to which James replied

> > Now this is really total ignorance. The whole purpose of the
> > World Trade Organization is to make product regulations uniform
> > worldwide.
> Excuse me, but this is a non sequitur. The WTO could just as well
> make a uniform world-wide rule that vitamins shall be sold over the
> counter. The fact that they are trying to make uniform rules is irrelevant
> to the question of why they come down on that side of the issue --
> and also irrelevant to the question of why vitamins are an issue at all.

The rules they are already working on will drastically restrict
vitamins....why do you suppose the great corporations are promoting GATT
and NAFTA and WTO? So vitamins can be sold over the counter...? So
consumers will benefit?

> Why do some people take it upon themselves to restrict our access to
> vitamins and other health-promoting substances? It seems absurd, but
> there must be a cause.
> Maybe that's a sacred cow -- I always assume that there is a cause
> for whatever happens. More precisely, I assume that the best way
> to proceed in most situations is to look for causes. This is something
> that I don't think I would be willing to question.

Well, we certainly agree on this point. I suspect you need to
read a bit more business history. Business and industry seeks to build
cartels at every opportunity, as Adam Smith noted. I have no objection to
voluntary ones as they are fleeting in the face of the market, but via
control of government big business systematically forms informal, covert

Fortunately, their control over government, though more effective
than that of anyone else, is imperfect.

> Lyle

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