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Regulation Kills

July 23, 2007

Tags Big Government

Zheng Xiaoyu, China's former FDA chief, was executed recently for taking bribes and allowing lethally tainted pharmaceuticals to be sold to his countrymen. Thus far, ten fatalities have been identified in the imbroglio. Zheng makes it eleven.

Ironically, and most instructively, Zheng was, 15 to 20 years ago, the zealous reformer who successfully argued for the creation of the agency whose favors he ultimately sold, as this article in the NY Times explains.

Was Zheng originally a sincere reformer with his countrymen's interests at heart, or was the whole thing a vicious scheme for self-enrichment from the get-go? Well, guess what?

It doesn't make any difference. The only difference regulation made was: (a) Zheng got rich; and (b) Zheng got executed. The spending and deception continue, at the expense of shareholders, taxpayers, and consumers. Only the government does it, instead of leaving the producers to do it (and pay for it) themselves.

I expect Zheng must be proud, wherever he is now.

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