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« Don’t Cry for TAA — There’s Plenty More Where That Came From | Main | Pepsi Super Bowl Ad Provokes "Selective Outrage" Among Black Leaders »
Tuesday
Feb152011

Appetite For Regulating

The regulators just can’t help themselves.  They find a problem, pass regulations and only later do they bother to do the science to see if the regulation will be effective.

The latest example comes today, with the report of yet another study showing that calorie counts on menus don’t affect food choices.  This time, the study showed there was no impact on the target audience — kids.

I made this point last year on CNBC, when we debated the calorie count provision of the new healthcare bill.

So long as regulators can persuade us that there is a problem (in this case, there is one), the solution doesn’t have to actually work.  It just has to be intrusive.

So with growing evidence that the regulation doesn’t work, will it be withdrawn?  Don’t get your hopes up.  The author of the latest study put it best, speaking to Reuters on behalf of regulation-hungry nanny-staters everywhere, “It means we’re going to have to rethink what other sorts of interventions might be more effective.”

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