Friday, July 8, 2011

Bacon Is Freedom

Libertarians love bacon. (Remember this?)

I'm not sure why, but maybe because bacon is not really good for you. They like stuff that's not really good for anyone, right? Hey, don't get me wrong. I like bacon, too. But I'm not going to eat a pound of it just to prove some ridiculous point about how free I am.

Which is exactly the type of thing that happens at PorcFest (short for Porcupine Freedom Festival), a gathering of like-minded individuals who don't think the government should do anything. Like inspecting meat.

In this Utopian dream of free-markets, a person can sell someone uninspected bacon, fried up by the pound, and if it turns out the meat is a little wonky, the community will "regulate him."

"If he poisons me, I won't buy his food. And he'll be done."

Which I guess, is all well and good. You know, if you don't mind taking a risk being poisoned by your breakfast meats. Though, in the real world, if someone like J.R. Simplot poisons someone, even a thousand someones, no amount of community outcry is really going to affect them.

Which is, of course, why we need regulation, why we need the goverment (yes, I am assuming here, for the sake of argument, that they would and could actually regulate, inspect, enforce; I understand the realties) to inspect meat, to enforce environmetal standards, protect its citizens from the free-market that places profit above safety.

But in the world of the Libertarian, it's up to everyone to protect themselves. And maybe that works in a secluded campground where a couple hundred people swap silver for bacon one weekend a year, but in the real world, the place I live, not so much.