Totalitarian Recall

The bigger the corporation the easier it is to hide in a cubicle doing absolutely nothing. There are working people, whose entire job requires little more than taking a slip of paper out of one slot and sticking it into the next. That’s why short quick recessions are good for the economy; when profit margins get narrower than a liberals mind, companies start looking for useless jobs to cut. Several rounds of lay-offs later, the two slots are merged, and the sheet of paper goes directly from one slot into the next. The most successful companies today have eliminated unnecessary corporate luxuries like the slot guy.

This never happens in the Federal Government, because recessions never mean cutbacks in Federal Land. Since the Government trend is constantly on the growth side, people have been shuffling papers through the slots for years. In fact long chains of cubicles have grown all over Washington DC where dozens of people pass a single sheet of paper from cubicle to cubicle, before it moves into the next office where it goes through another cluster of cubicles.

The best example of this government inefficiency was discovered after the recent egg recall. A salmonella outbreak caused at least 1500 Americans to become sick before half a billion eggs were removed from store shelves. Americans screamed for more Federal oversight of the food industry.

In a surprising September 10th Wall Stret journal article, we learned there was already plenty Federal oversight; it’s just that Federal oversight is remarkably incompetent. There were USDA workers watching the egg plant seven days a week.



The USDA employees were probably too busy looking at filth on the internet, to notice the dirt around the egg plant. They didn’t do anything, because it wasn’t in their job description, their job was to measure the eggs and make sure they’re white. What most people don’t understand is that "USDA Grade A" has nothing to do with the fitness of the egg for human consumption. It just mean the shell is unstained, and the egg white is firm.

Why do we even measure eggs? Isn’t a salmonella infection a little more of a concern for the average consumer, than the threat of paying for a dozen Jumbo eggs, and only getting Extra Large? Who doesn’t open every single carton of eggs and inspect them before they put them in the grocery cart anyway? And if you opened that box of Jumbos and saw they were only Extra Large, you could refuse to buy them.

Of course, in the eyes of Federal Bureaucrats, average Americans don’t have the college degree and the training that these USDA inspectors have, as a requirement of their employment. Most civilians are unqualified to distinguish between an Extra Large egg, and a Jumbo. (There is no sneaking of Extra Large tainted eggs into the tainted Jumbo cartons when the USADA men are on the job.)

Those investigators knew about the conditions at the egg plant and even filed the appropriate paperwork recording the conditions. But since the egg company pays for them to be there, they didn’t want to upset the bacon cart. Paying for USDA inspectors gives the manufacturer the right to bear the USDA badge on their packaging, which most consumers confuse with an insurance of quality.

By contrast, The Underwriters Laboratory is a private company whose entire reputation rests on the UL seal meaning safety. Savvy shoppers of electrical equipment know to look for the UL seal as a promise that the appliance won’t burst into flames when they’re out at the bar. Since the reputation of the lab is at stake, you can be assured that every appliance is tested like the scientists jobs are on the line-- because they are. And it works. I don’t remember a UL tested appliance ever injuring 1500 people, or facing a half a billion unit recall.

If they worked for Underwriters Labs, those USDA inspectors would probably be fired. But instead, they’re still at work today, measuring eggs and earning close to 100K a year. And like most government employees will probably retire at 55.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act,a just stalled in the Senate because of budget constraints, and won’t be reopened until after the election Lets hope the winds of November are finally blowing the recession into Washington DC, along with the most overdue downsizing in History.

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