When Government Gets Out Of The Way Of Business

You know what happens when government gets out of the way of business? People die:

Massachusetts regulators in 2004 proposed a formal reprimand for a company now linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak, but they never delivered it after the company protested the reprimand could be “fatal to the business.”

The sanction by the Board of Registration in Pharmacy was included in a proposed consent agreement that was meant to resolve complaints against the New England Compounding Center in Framingham. The complaints included a failure to meet accepted standards for making the same steroid that’s been connected to the outbreak.

The agreement was among documents released this week by the state Department of Health that provide more details about past incidents at NECC, which was shut down in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak that has reached 17 states, sickening 312 people, 24 of whom have died. Compounding pharmacies like NECC custom mix solutions in doses or forms generally not commercially available.


The case ended without disciplinary action as part of a different consent agreement reached with the board in 2006.

The 2006 consent agreement was signed under Gov. Romney. Of course it was! But to learn a lesson from this case one needn’t finger-point, play the “blame game,” “politicize a tragedy” and do all of that other stuff Republicans say is wrong when it makes their side look bad but which they’re only too happy to indulge in when it serves them. Nope, we don’t even have to go that far, not here. Because the whole “get government out of the way of business” thing is the Republican Party mantra, it’s the central plank of their platform, it’s the very heart of Republicanism. It is an article of faith among Republicans that government is the problem, not the solution, it’s in the way of job creation, economic growth, prosperity, you name it.

Indeed, it is the key message of this campaign ad by Dr. Steve Dickerson, the Republican who will probably end up being my state senator, much to my chagrin. In his ad he tells us he’s not just a doctor but also a “small businessman,” and by virtue of this experience he knows that the government needs to get out of the way of small business. He says that, right in his ad. And there are 24 people who are dead now and hundreds more who are sick, all across the country, because some people in government decided to get out of the way of a business which by all rights should have been put to death eight years ago.

What’s that old joke? I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one? Yeah, that’s funny, sad and true, all at the same time.

Here’s the problem with that “get the government out of the way of business” stuff. Events always unfold proving that wrong. Always. There will always be a business whining about government regulations and government oversight, how it’s hurting them and how if it hurts them it hurts us because jobs and free markets and argle bargle blah blah. But what hurts us worse is when they unleash their contaminated medicine on the public, or their contaminated peanut butter, or when they ignore workplace safety laws. People die when that happens. Or, when they treat the economy like their personal casino. Or when a “small business” treats the public waterways like their personal sewer.

When family members die because a business did wrong the first thing people say is, “why didn’t the government prevent this from happening?” And when digging for the answer to that question, nine times out of ten you’ll find somewhere along the chain of events a Republican who felt that government was just too much in the way.


Filed under corporations

16 responses to “When Government Gets Out Of The Way Of Business

  1. democommie

    “The 2006 consent agreement was signed under Gov. Romney. Of course it was! But to learn a lesson from this case one needn’t finger-point, play the “blame game,” “politicize a tragedy” and do all of that other stuff Republicans say is wrong when it makes their side look bad but which they’re only too happy to indulge in when it serves them. Nope, we don’t even have to go that far, not here.”

    Well, you’re right, of course. But, if we wanted to go that far:

    Gregory Conigliaro, 46, is described by former employees and two former neighbors as a charismatic entrepreneur. They said that he like s to give parties, and in September he raised $37,000 for Sen. Scott P. Brown (Lying, hypocritic, reptilican fuckbag*) in a fundraiser at his Southboro home, according to The Boston Globe. Brown has since said he would donate the Conigliaros’ contribution to charity.” (http://www.telegram.com/article/20121025/NEWS/121029699/1052)

    then, well, you can see where I might be going with this.

    There’s also this:

    ‘Oliver’s investigation of NECC, the supplier of the contaminated drugs in question, led her to carefully examine the history of NECC’s disciplinary actions and enforcement under then Governor Romney’s Health and Human Services Department. Oliver found that NECC had a history of violating accepted pharmaceutical industry standards and that, during Governor Mitt Romney’s tenure, the Massachusetts state government consistently conceded to requests by NECC’s counsel for more lenient treatment rather than the initial requested penalties according to correspondence between NECC and the State of Massachusetts.” (http://freedemocracy.blogspot.com/)

    and this:


    Ya gotta love this quote from the FreeDemocracy webpage:

    “If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams, (1722-1803)

    * Additional material provided at no charge by Teamdemocommie.

    • You know, it’s truly amazing that none of this is being discussed by the MSM. Whereas, all sorts of stuff related to Obama — Solyndra, Beghazi, etc. — has been dribbling out, Chinese water torture style.

  2. We’re having an interesting example of this here in Los Angeles County, where there’s a ballot initiative to require adult film actors to wear condoms during on-screen sex acts. The law was proposed after several STD outbreaks, despite the industry’s alternative of regular testing. The industry is naturally opposed because they think their movies won’t sell if the actors are required to use protection, and they’re using the usual nonsense about how their workers should be allowed to opt out if they choose. It sounds plausible until you see it in a frame of workplace health and safety standards, at which point you can see that it’s all the same standard BS.

  3. democommie

    Well, when you consider that folks like porn stars like Mary Carey and Jenna Jameson, has beens like Meatloaf and Ted Nugent and whackjobs are all stumping for Romney it’s not a surprise that the sexfilm producers and distributors would be republicans as well. Then of course there is the whore to end all whoring, “The Dongald” Trump.

    • When you realize that sexually repressed people are the core of the porn market, it’s easy to understand why the producers might favor Republicans. If people can get their kink on in person, they won’t need to pay a bunch of money to watch somebody else do it.

  4. Interrobang

    Up here in Soviet Canuckistan (a nickname getting more ironic by the minute), our crew of neocons decided that meatpacking plants could regulate themselves, with the inevitable outcome that soon we were the world’s largest exporter of e. coli. After what happened in Walkerton, Ontario, you’d think someone would know better, but facts must never trump antigovernment ideology…

  5. Amanda Reed

    When I think about how awful the government is about sticking it’s nose where it doesn’t belong I think of OSHA keeping people from losing fingers, limbs and life; of processed food companies required to list the ingredients like peanut oil hopefully allowing peanut allergic people from dying; of those chaste institutions handling money being allowed to package mortgages and sell them like stock as in deregulation; of all the houses and businesses built in this country that have to follow codes (not that this always happens)…yep those awful regulations.

  6. democommie

    Geez, whither Mr. Rogers defense of the free market?

  7. democommie

    He doesn’t work on weekends? What the…are you sayin’ that you don’t think his fauxmoderacy is gen-u-whine?

    • I’m sure his opinions are genuine. I just can’t believe anyone who spends as much time as he does commenting on liberal blogs, Facebook and news sites has time to do anything else. But I’m sure he will be here shortly to answer for himself.

  8. Min

    Republicans want smaller government for the same reason crooks want fewer cops.

  9. Hank

    In a similar vein, I’ve noticed that when people start bleating about their property rights getting trampled, it’s their right to crap on the people around them that is being limited.