"We have deregulated every single aspect of corporate behavior, so that killing people is perfectly legal"


Here's a quote from Michelle Simon, the head of a group called Eat Drink Politics, the author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, and the person who takes credit for the ban on Four Loko, Joose, and similar beverages:

"Thanks to the right wing, we have deregulated every single aspect of corporate behavior, so that killing people is perfectly legal," says Simon. "This idea of the corporate nanny state is complete bullshit and a very privileged way of thinking about philosophical ideas. People are suffering from the overreach of corporations and living in situations where they can't make the same choices as everyone else. To me, it's complete bullshit distraction to say, 'Oh my God, the government is going too far.' Let's worry about that when we get the government to do anything to protect the people."

That quote is in a Washington CityPaper story about Reason columnist Baylen Linnekin, who is the founder of the nonprofit Keep Food Legal (I'm on the board, fyi). So what's up with that?

"If you want to buy a Happy Meal with a horsemeat burger, a can of Four Loko, trans fat fried foie gras, and a side of shark fin soup, I applaud your right to make those choices," says Baylen Linnekin as we sit on his porch in North Bethesda.

The 39-year-old executive director of the nonprofit Keep Food Legal has a decidedly libertarian perspective on food politics. "We want you to have the right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, cook, eat, and drink the food of your own choosing," he says. "We're opposed to subsidies that skew those choices and bans that clear those choices off the board. People are not stupid. They can make their own choices and live with the consequences."

Read the whole story about Linnekin, whose quest for "culinary freedom" is an essential (and tasty) part of an appetite for freedom.

Question: Based on the quotes above, who would you rather have a conversation with? Or a covered-dish potluck?

Contra Simon: As readers of, cough, cough, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, know, deregulation of business is and was hardly a right-wing phenomena. Such Rothbardians, Randians, and Raimondoiacs as Ralph Nader, Ted Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter were the pushers of such dangerous developments such as freeing airlines to compete for business. And the Lactose Tolerance crowd working toward the ability to buy and sell raw milk without raiding Amish farmers aren't exactly Birchers.

But never mind, I don't think Simon is particularly interested in details and nuance. This is no time for semi-informed discussion. After all, teh corporations have finally realized their ultimate legislative business plan: "killing people is perfectly legal."

I think we've all watched enough Quinn-Martin productions to know that the ultimate dream of all businessmen is to kill their customers and competitors. It's the only way that you can make a buck, after all. God, I wish my parents, living in Brooklyn in the 1940s, had bought stock in Murder, Inc. It must be worth hundreds of dollars by now.

Here's Linnekin talking with Kennedy about Four Loko tacos:

NEXT: 1964 Revisited: Antiwar Voters Were Right to Back LBJ After All!

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  1. Note to Left: Seriously, guys, this corporate boogeyman crap makes you look like retards. Find something else to mindlessly fear like, say, killer asteroids.

    1. They can’t fear killer asteroids because corporations are our best hope of stopping them.

      1. Which is why they should turn to asteroids, to help them overcome their corporiphobia.

        1. The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

          1. See, by fearing asteroids, they’ll learn to embrace their corporate allies, as the government will do nothing until after an asteroid smacks us down hard.

            1. Duh, the corporations are behind the killer asteroids.

              1. I’m sure they think that.

            2. That would never happen…haven’t you seen Armageddon? Bruce Willis will save the day.

              1. Bruce Willis will save the day.

                …using a government (NASA) spacecraft, government furnished equipment, trained for the task by government employees. You get the idea.

    2. I think it’s just a game they play to one up each other to see who can say the most outlandishly retarded thing ever. I know right now we’re all thinking she won, theres no way anyone can say anything dumber than that. But just wait, they never fail to take stupid to new, never before seen levels.

      1. Dare I say unprecedented levels?

      2. It’s just flat-out stupid to fear businesses more than the government. Anyone who has ever worked for a business knows how insanely sensitive they are to market forces and public pressure. Much more so than the virtually unaccountable governmental bodies in this country.

        1. I recently started working in the marketing department of a small company. The lengths they will go to in trying to determine what customers want and how to keep them happy are impressive.

          1. Of course. Look at one of the left’s biggest bugaboos, the oil companies. They spend huge amounts of money on environmental causes, alternative energy, etc. in large part because of public relations. They do that out of market necessity, more than anything else.

            The government, of course, does what the fuck it wants to do, with little real accountability. Even when voters rebel, they only do it on a bilateral basis, and fall back into the old patterns very quickly.

            1. I remember my daughter coming home from first or second grade with the poster she made depicting oil coming out of a tanker with the cation, stop polluting our oceans. I had to explain to her how much money an oil spill cost the companies and that they do everything they can to prevent that from happening. Damn schools.

              1. My daughter just went to a play for kids at one of the local theaters. It was about the Constitution. The focus of the whole thing was on how it was drafted and adopted by rich, white men. My wife, who isn’t a hardcore libertarian, was completely appalled. At least at the end they acknowledged that it was a good thing, despite all of the icky rich white men.

            2. Oils are in a more tense situation, though. Without the public relations enviro crap, the market would still buy fuel. But without the public relations enviro crap, they would also get fucked with a lot more. By the government. Basically. You could say one company that does public relations enviro crap might have an advantage over one that doesn’t, but the main thing is regulation.

              1. That’s true, of course, but the oil company that pisses people off the least will likely get more market share. That’s the main reason they spend so much on PR.

            3. Hell, just compare the environmental records of state owned and operated oil companies in places like the former Soviet Union, Venezuela, etc. to the records of private oil companies. Government owned oil companies are far worse polluters than private companies. Because fuck you, that’s why (IOW the standard government response).

          2. The details marketing people discuss, for example when creating a print advertisement, is fucking stupid anal.

        2. But but, businesses are just in it for themselves. The government cares about you and me.

      3. On a 5 year mission to take stupid where no moran has gone before.

      4. If they came here and read a few of Orrin’s posts, they’d just fucking give up.

    3. They don’t have to think about looking like retards as long as they stay safely inside the echo chamber.

      1. And that is how it evolvs.

  2. Someone needs to collect copies of all of the regulations we have in this country and drop them on her head.

    1. Milton Friedman Shows Us How Regulations Have Grown

      And that video is from what… 1979 or so? I can only imagine what it must be like now.

      1. Today’s copy of the Federal Register is 263 pages. For one day.

      2. Or just watch Stossel.

        Several times he’s shown how much regulations have grown with boxes of new regs.

    2. On top of the stupidity of the corporations-are-worse-than-the-Nazis meme, there’s also the equally idiotic idea that the Republicans deregulated anything of significance. As most around here know, the GOP, when it was in control, added new laws and regulations.

      Deregulation is a good thing, as it takes a corrupt, inept, and short-sighted government out of corrupting, screwing up, and politicizing everything in sight.

      1. all her comments do is confirm the reality that liberalism can only survive amid a massively uninformed populace.

  3. People are not stupid.

    Enter Michelle Simon.

    1. Or better yet, don’t.

      1. Is this the commenter formerly known as Jeff P?

        1. Nay. I’ve always been just “Jeff”.

          1. Like sands through an hourglass, so are the Jeffs of our lives.

  4. People actually are stupid. When they make bad personal choices, it is their problem.

    1. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.

  5. Michelle Simon must be our connection to the Bizarro World, because she certainly isn’t describing this one.

    1. Left wingers are able to simultaneously exist in both our dimension and Bizarro World. Sometimes they get confused which one their in, which explains a lot.

  6. People are suffering from the overreach of corporations and living in situations where they can’t make the same choices as everyone else.

    I wonder if the people looking for a mobile food vendor in downtown St. Louis can make the same choices as everyone else.

  7. Rothbardians, Randians, and Raimondoiacs

    Wait, Raimondo has followers? Really? What a sad bunch that must be.

    1. there’s a split between the Justinites and the Dennisoids.

      1. What do they do, make catty comments and flick cigarette butts at each other?

  8. Speaking of a “privileged” way of thinking about the philosophy of ideas, Ms. Simon, what is it with YOUR bullshit philsophy that you and your beloved State should micromanage what I eat? Maybe if you and your fellow leftists stopped considering obesity to be a disability under the ADA and didn’t complain when men said they preferred women who were smaller than a size 14, you wouldn’t have to worry about this. Stop enabling fat people and you’ll get fewer of them.

    Yeah, the reason our obesity rates have gone up is because people don’t have the means to get up off their ass and exercise, and don’t have grocery stores of fresh food available to them. /sarc

    Anytime a leftist uses the word “privilege” in an argument, you know it’s a bullshit argument.

    1. You didn’t like Drive. I refuse to listen to anything you say, no matter how much sense it might make.

      1. If you think that’s going to raise your blood pressure, check this out:

        I hope Michael Bay makes a movie of every 30 minute glorified toy commercial from the 1980s and early 90s, just to watch the chimpouts from a entire generation of overgrown manchildren as they watch their childhood disintegrate before their eyes.

        1. Raise my blood pressure? Why would it? I hope the same thing, as it would keep him from making Transformers 4.

        2. Meh. Michael Bay can’t ruin my childhood. My parents beat him to it.


          Seriously, all he’s doing is the grown-up CGI version of exploding your old toys with firecrackers. If I had umpty-million dollars to do it over, GI Joe’s death scene would have been a lot more epic. You’d have seen that explosion from orbit.

          1. But you would actually use real explosives. Which would be so much cooler.

            1. I like Robot Chicken’s take on the death of G.I. Joe.

            2. give him the stick DON’T GIVE HIM THE STICK!


        3. I saw a commercial a while back and this little buy is playing with a barbie doll, I look to my wife who was already looking at me for my reaction, and I’m like why the f*ck is that little boy playing with a barbie doll. I was sad.

          1. Is that the car commercial where he’s playing with a bunch of different stuff like the Toy Story kid had?

            1. I think thats the same one. With DVR, I’m mercifully spared seeing that many commercials.

              1. Meh, I just watch TCM.

  9. The anti-science in these (leftish?) food critics make religious conservatives who don’t believe in evolution look sane.

    1. Progs actually want the food made illegal, as in “go to jail” illegal.
      Fundies who reject evolution aren’t forcing anything on you or anyone else.

      1. Except when they force it into public schools.

  10. Michelle Simon looks like she secretly has diabetes. What a bitch.

    1. Type 2, of course.

      1. Michelle Simon looks like she secretly puts nine sticks of butter on her waffles, and blames the “corporate pushers” for her self inflicted addiction. What a sleazy person.

        1. Pedant McLowCarb sez: The waffles are the thing that causes the diabetes.

          1. Becoming a fat lard in general is a contributing factor to diabetes. Butter is loved by fat lards. Waffles are a thing that butter can be put on.

          2. I learned this from Science Court.

            1. Wrong. Butter causes huge biceps and beard growth. You are stupid.

              1. False. My Irish face will never be able to grow a beard, no matter how Paula Deene-esque my fanaticism for butter becomes.

                1. You’re probably eating margarine, aren’t you, you stupid Mick? Jesus Christ, try to sober up enough to buy the right things at the grocery store.

                2. Needs moar bacon.

          3. Actually, it isnt. Its the syrup.

            A waffle (as I make them) has about 19g carbs per waffle. According to the side of the bottle, the syrup I have in my house is 53g per serving.

            1. yeah, you can atleast mitigate the carb impact by using whole grains / higher fiber. That sugar though….straight into your blood.

      2. That would explain a lot. Diabetics can become incoherent when the blood sugar plummets.

        1. garble blaggert horkn!

          1. Tase him!

        2. when it plummets, or soars.

          my diabetes developed quite unexpectedly, ended up in diabetic ketoacidosis after a few weeks of feeling like shit.

          The day I ended up getting rushed to the hospital, my brain was noticeably shutting down. blood glucose was over 600.

          1. I never got that bad. Both my parents are ‘betic, I picked up the signs pretty early.

            600? Shit, dude.

            1. Yeah, I was trying to do some work that day, and the simplest tasks, like say, composing and sending an email, were nearly monumental feats of focus and determination.

              It’s an interesting sensation, knowing your brain isn’t working right. I finished that work stuff, then laid down to slip into a coma.

  11. killing people is perfectly legal

    this is legal advice from a licensed, regulated attorney.

    1. The Keebler elves were outside my house with shotguns and toll house cookies last night. I made it out the back window with my survival bag just in time.

      1. You could have just turned the thermostat up in your house. You do know that elves are made of chocolate, right?

      2. That’s nothing compared to what they did to the cookie monster.

  12. we have deregulated every single aspect of corporate behavior, so that killing people is perfectly legal

    Killing is our business?

    1. …and business is good.

  13. If corporations killing people was perfectly legal, wouldn’t groups like hers and Nader’s simply be targeted by corporate ninjas for extermination?

    Also, if corporate ninja is a real job, I’ll take my NDAs much more seriously than I do now.

    1. You’ll never know, until it’s too late…

  14. Seriously, seeing that crap makes me want to print out Simon’s argument, go back in a time machine to the year 1917, and ask men “Is this REALLY the type of person you think should vote?”

    1. It makes me want to go back to 1787 and ask Madison, Jay, Hamilton, et al., “Do you REALLY want teh stoopidz to vote?”

      1. They left it up to the states to determine who could vote and who couldnt.

      2. To be fair, they didn’t let women vote and they pretty much are the source of all prohibitionists, be it drugs, alcohol, or in this case, food.

        The spirit of Carrie Nation lives on.

  15. “Thanks to the right wing, we have deregulated every single aspect of corporate behavior, so that killing people is perfectly legal,” says Simon.

    Dishonest or stupid?

    1. Can I pick ‘Stupidly Dishonest’ for $500, Alex?

      1. The FBI could actually do some good for the nation if they would “encourage” people like Simon to participate in conspiracies to bomb fortune five hundred companies using inert materials.

    2. Yes

    3. So Obama is right wing? I’m confused.


  16. Anyone had shark fin soup? Any good?

    1. I haven’t, but I’m guessing it taste like chicken.

      1. From what I have heard, the actual fin tastes like nothing, since it is pretty much just cartilage.

        1. Gristle and cartilage do have taste. It is not good taste.

          1. i like grizzle. it’s like bubble gum, but actually palatable.

      2. I imagine it would have a liquidated salmon steak with boiled spiderwebs taste and consistency.

    2. According to wiki, apparently the cartilage in the fin doesn’t provide much taste, just texture. It is the other ingredients that provide the flavor.

      In shark fin soup, the fins themselves are virtually tasteless. The taste comes from the soup, while the fins are valued for their texture. Keith Bradsher of The New York Times describes it as a “chewy, sinewy, stringy” texture.[1] Krista Mahr of TIME called it “somewhere between chewy and crunchy.”[12] Dave Lieberman of OC Weekly wrote that it is a “snappy, gelatinous texture.” Most westerners’ reaction to eating shark fin soup for the first time is that it has almost no taste. However, texture is prized as much as taste in Asian cuisine.[13]

      1. Same with Bird’s Nest Soup. Bird’s nest has very little favor and is mostly just there to give the soup a snot-like consistency.

        1. A foolish snot-like consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, I hear.

          1. Hobogoblins taste like pork, but are mostly prized as a spice for pumpkin bomb soup.

            1. hobogoblin: goblin that can’t even afford a proper cave.

      2. That sounds a lot like the jellyfish tentacles I’ve eaten in Chinatown. Snappy texture in the form of long strands of undercooked fettuccine with a moderate seaweed flavor.

        The taste wasn’t all that good, but I can still appreciate the texture.

  17. teh corporations



  18. living in situations where they can’t make the same choices as everyone else.

    Oh man, I can’t make the same choices as my neighbor!? THE HORROR!

    That part of the statement alone seriously debunks any credibility Michelle had at all, ever, and forever. There -can’t- be anyone genuinely more stupid than this.

  19. All this talk of deregulation has me all excited. I will have to go an “polish my monocle,” if you know what I mean.

  20. Michelle looks fat. Not her fault, of course. The corporations are forcing big macs down her throat.

    1. That’s just your privilege talking.

    2. Toxic food environment.

  21. Yep, dead customers are great for repeat business.

    Sounds like the very thing greedy, money grubbing, profit-means-everything-to-us corporation would do.

    Bill Hicks covered this about 25 or so years ago in regards to performers wanting their audience dead:

  22. People are suffering from the overreach of corporations and living in situations where they can’t make the same choices as everyone else.

    Solution: Government regulates everything, then everyone can make the same (government approved) choice as everyone else.

    1. People (like me) are suffering from the overreach of corporations (are incapable of critical thought) and living in situations where they can’t make the same choices as everyone else (are too stupid to take care of themselves).

      1. Q.E.D.

  23. “Thanks to the right wing we have deregulated every single aspect of corporate behavior so that killing people is perfectly legal says Simon.”

    If that were true, this dipshit would have assumed room temperature a long time ago.

  24. “deregulated every single aspect of corporate behavior”

    This must be why my billable hours are up.

    1. No, no – that’s just your firm’s corporate greed playing out.

      1. Well, we have been especially cruel to the staff this year.

  25. “Thanks to the right wing, we have deregulated every single aspect of corporate behavior, so that killing people is perfectly legal,”

    Good. Fucking. God. So much hyperbole, so much straw in the strawman I literally wouldn’t know what if someone said this to me outloud.

    I think my response might very well be “Really? It’s legal to kill people now? Great, there’s a lot of people I could do without. Starting with you.”

    1. Be sure to incorporate first, Loki. Because apparently that is an all-purpose exemption from the law.

      1. I’m assuming that we’ve de-regulated to the point that I can just claim to be “Loki, Inc.” anytime it’s convenient for me to do so.

        1. Change your name to “Four Loki”, and Michelle Simon can work to ban YOU.

    2. There really isn’t any point talking to them. They’re either morons or willfully lying.

  26. Holy mother of dogs! Based on the placement of the pictures next to the wrong quotes, I just about made a crack about how that guy is just pissed off at food because he’s bald!

    1. He’s just pissed off at regulation because he’s bald. And privileged. And othering me with his Male Gaze.

  27. that killing people is perfectly legal,

    There’s a winning business model: Kill your customers so that they will be unable to give you any more money. Once you’ve killed all of your customers, you will sit in your black tower as the brooding overlord of the charred, broken wasteland of your own creation.

    1. Business Management 101.

    2. Basically, you’ve just described the Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil movies.

      Which, frankly, never made much sense. Somehow wiping out the world with a zombie apocalypse don’t sound like a very good business plan…

  28. I was wrong about Krugman having the most-punchable face in another thread… this woman damn near makes me want to forget my vow to never strike a female.

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