HTML Mencken

Chris Dodd Says Stop Selling Us Poison from China

This post, written by HTML Mencken, originally appeared on Sadly No!

Senator Dodd "calls for immediately suspending all imports of toys and food from China."

Good.

Now step back, watch who gives him shit for this perfectly reasonable demand, and know your political enemy. Dodd will be called a turtle, a Sinophobe, a racial demagogue, an invoker of the Yellow Peril, a protectionist, etc., and the loudest voices saying such things won't come from the wingnuts (though they'll certainly have their share in the cacophony). No, it'll be the Sensible Liberals -- *cough*BradDeLongNickPistofTomFriedman....

SebastianMallabyetal*cough* -- who claim to share your values.The problem here is the 21st Century version of The Jungle, with the Chinese government in the place of the meat packers, the Chinese people being the Lithuanian immigrant workers, and the American public... is still the American public, being poisoned by Corporatist pigs defended, now as then, by a complacent and complicit intellectual class (back then, stodgy laissez-faire men; and now, neoliberal economists and globalization cheerleaders) whose anger is only aroused by the muckrakers and dissenters whose position Dodd, to his immense credit, echoes.

But a-hah, says the Sensible Liberal, the problem back then was solved by the PF&DA; and the problem now would be solved if Bush weren't in charge of the FDA! So neener neener, HTML, I am too a Liberal and on the side of decency!

Well, no. While the current FDA is amazingly incompetent and corrupt even by normal Bushite standards of incompetence and corruption (which is saying a lot), even the "best" Clintonoid FDA couldn't possibly inspect all the food imports. The problem can only be solved by insisting through trade pacts that imported food is produced according to American environmental, labor, and safety standards.
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