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February 5, 2019


Professor Kennedy in her blog today lamented the records of an agency charged with regulation of drugs resulting in enrichment of Big Pharma and an opie epidemic and a failure of another agency to effectively regulate coal ash; both of which are resulting in thousands of deaths. She mentions, among other things, how the regulators in this Trump administration are run by former lobbyists for the industries to be regulated and over-friendly with those they are charged with regulating, and asked for comment. The following, lightly edited, was my response.

When regulators invite the regulated to come into the conference room to help fashion the rules and regs that flesh out the application of environmental and other statutes you have the equivalent of inviting foxes into the hen house to vote on safety rules for the chickens, and when you have the appointing authority (Trump) naming lobbyists for the particular industry or other activity (banking etc.) to head up the regulating agency, you have the equivalent of naming Hitler as mayor of Tel Aviv, and somewhere, somewhere in this stew of greed and competing interests there is what we used to call “the public interest,” a missing ingredient these days.

What to do, with Citizens United and gerrymandering putting an effective lid on our ability to respond to such rot and corruption throughout Trump’s system? > Swarm the polls, take over the system and reform it with stern oversight of regulatory agencies to be assured that the public interest is the first consideration in adoption and implementation of rules and regs based on stated and specific congressional intent as addenda to each such law, taking no prisoners, and criminalizing the chummy relationships we are presently enduring between regulators and the regulated since foxes have no legitimate business in our hen house. As for appointments of the foxes who regulate, that will take care of itself if and when we storm the political bastille and elect those who understand that they are to henceforth act in the public interest – or themselves suffer political and other consequences within their own party.

Won’t work? Pollyannish? Tell me how the present corrupt system is working in the public interest. Reform has to start from somewhere, and soon, lest the whole shebang collapses in a sea of corruption, greed and mismanagement, so let’s get on with it.      GERALD          E


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