STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Elite Retreat? McCain Drops Diet Bill
By Staff News & Analysis - March 12, 2010

McCain Abandons Dietary Supplement Regulation Bill … Arizona Sen. John McCain (left) has abandoned his own bill that would have increased federal regulations on dietary supplements. Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, who has long been a champion of supplements, urged his fellow senator to withdraw his support from bill S. 3002 that would have required all manufacturers of dietary supplements to register with the Food and Drug Administration and provide a list of their products and ingredients. In addition, the bill would have made it much easier for the FDA to recall dietary supplements. Experts believed it would also drastically limit their availability to consumers. – Newsmax

Dominant Social Theme: A concerned senator rethinks.

Free-Market Analysis: Is there any elite dominant social theme that John McCain doesn't want to support? During the waning regime of George W. Bush, he came out in favor of flooding the United States with workers from Mexico – and its corollary which was building a transnational highway to connect Mexico and Canada, thus cutting the US in half. He always supports the US military-industrial complex promotion of endless war for endless peace around the world. He is for endlessly higher taxes to support an endlessly higher deficit. He backs the current central banking regime, is yet a proponent of global warming, and most recently he came out in favor of further regulating America's dietary supplement industry.

But now, without fanfare, McCain appears to have backed off from his support of the elite promotion du jour – banning supplements to benefit Big Pharma. The thrust of the article, excerpted above, is that he was talked out of promoting his bill by Senator Orin Hatch – a slightly odd turn of events since Hatch is no radical opponent of elite methodologies himself. In fact, according to the Newsmax article, "Hatch, who helped create the current rules on supplements, believes new rules aren't necessary. He is working on a bill that would help the FDA enforce the 1994 supplement law that already exists."

But apparently nutritional supplements are a big business in Utah, so Hatch may be sincere in his efforts to help the industry avoid further damaging regulatory attacks. In any event, McCain's pullback is worthy of mention because it marks yet another high-profile climb-down from an elite promotion. One of the dominant social themes of the elite is certainly the efficacy of Western (barber-shop evolved) surgical medicine. Other forms of health care including acupuncture, homeopathy and especially nutrition and vitamin therapy are to be marginalized if not demonized on an ongoing basis and hopefully regulated out of existence. (Those who suggest that the ever-growing application of vaccines at an early age are possibly detrimental are to be marginalized as well, if not vilified.)

Why did we want to point this out? Because there are plenty of Internet sites – and a veritable flood of information – about the inevitably of elite authoritarian success. Here at the Bell we will continue to argue the other side of the matter; that there is no inevitability of elite triumph in the era of the Internet, a modern Gutenberg press. Let us merely restrict our observations to what we can see presently, and summarize …

The global warming promotion is seemingly in tatters; cap-and-trade is going nowhere in the US Congress, or not currently; the greater European Union is facing sovereign defaults and the outright bankruptcies of some of its members; China is struggling with inflation, Europe and America with deflation; jobless rates are high, stock markets remain relatively low; gold and silver are fairly priced perhaps, but moving higher; violent conflicts are ongoing around the world, but America is trying to leave Iraq and the British can't wait to leave Afghanistan; even 9/11 continues to be issue, and rightly so given the lack of clarity and closure, 10 years after the fact.

And more … The free-market conversation – especially in America – is a dominant one and free-market concepts thanks to such groups as the von Mises Institute have achieved a far higher profile. There has been an efflorescence of free-market thinking worldwide, and we see no evidence that it will subside anytime soon. Certainly there are efforts being made to "regulate" and control the Internet – which is responsible for much of the foundering of elite themes and schemes – but the 'Net is such a large part of the fabric of Western life and work that it will be hard to bring it under elite control in the near or intermediate future.

After Thoughts

Always, we are accused of being too optimistic about freedom and not pessimistic enough about the larger state of the world as regards elite dominance. We are not naïve. The struggle between the elite and everyone else is an eternal one, as old as Cain and Abel. But, at the very least, we see signs of continual and growing elite "push-back" in the 21st century. A case can be made even now that the further, endless ascendancy of the elite is not inevitable.

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