Times Schools Chi-Coms on Government Regulation
Now it's true that a variety of defective Chinese products have made their way into international commerce, from, as the Times enumerates, toothpaste sweetened with an industrial solvent [NB: file photo, not of defective brands] to tainted antibiotics. But for entertaining irony, it's hard to beat the spectacle of the New York Times criticizing a communist government for insufficient regulation of its society.
Killing the Regulator earnestly begins by criticizing Beijing's recent execution of its chief food and drug regulator for taking bribes and allowing the sale of tainted drugs. This, says, the Times, "is a perfect example of all that is wrong with China’s approach to regulation. [The Chi-coms] may think that killing the regulator is enough to reassure consumers at home and abroad that China is now ready to guarantee the safety of its products. But they’re wrong."
Well that's reassuring: the Times is against the summary killing of incompetent or corrupt regulators. But has anyone gotten Henry Waxman on record?
Things are apparently so bad in China that the Times is even willing to acknowledge that the private sector might have a role to play:
American importers need to provide the first line of defense. Companies like Wal-Mart should send inspectors regularly to visit the factories of Chinese suppliers, to ensure that products are up to acceptable standards.But the Times of course is unwilling to rely, in the long run, on the enlightened self-interest of the free market: "ultimately the American government will have to enforce these norms."
As dark as might be the cloud in China, the Times manages to find a silver lining. Problems there are a good excuse for more big government here:
It is hard to imagine anything good coming out of the China export scandals. But perhaps they will persuade Congress’s new Democratic leaders that America also needs a stronger and more transparent regulatory system.Speaking of Waxman, could we perhaps plug our gaping trade deficit with China by exporting him to Beijing? Just a thought.
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