Anarchocapitalist Robert Taylor insists that capitalists can be trusted to keep our food, and I guess everything else, safe for the health and safety of consumers:
So an entrepreneur has it in his best interest to serve safe food as opposed to unsafe food, because if people find out his food is toxic, he will lose profit.
They’ve certainly been doing a crap job of it, haven’t they?
Micro to macro once again. The rational actor, me, the economic man, cannot be extrapolated to the masses or to large organizations.
Anyway, it is in the interest of large corporations to do a poor job of regulating the safety of their food. This is why the record of food safety is so horrible in the 3rd World. This is why the record here in the US was so terrible a century ago before we established the FDA. Business simply will not regulate itself well in the interests of this or that, in this case, serving safe food to their customers. They’d rather take chances, slack off, do crappy inspections, cross their fingers and hope everything turns out OK, and save money.
Guess what? If business did such an incredible job of consumer protection, there would be no need for government regulation in the first place, now would there? But the capitalists have always fucked up and always will. I can’t foresee any possible society where the capitalists regulate themselves with consumer interest in mind. It’s simply not possible.
Hence, in many places on Earth, the state has stepped in to do the job that the capitalists will never do, regulate business for the health and safety of the consumer. In many other places, notably the 3rd World (actually existing Libertarianism) there is no state regulation, and consumers are horribly abused health and safety wise by capitalists with little or no recourse. Nowhere on Earth do capitalists successfully regulate themselves in the interest of the health and safety of consumers, nor will they ever. It goes against the laws of economics, shall we say. It’s simply not profitable to do so.
This Austrian shit sounds great in theory. Oh yeah! Nice corporations will get lots of business! Asshole corporations will get punished by consumers and go out of business! But it never works that way, and it never will either.