I recently had the pleasure of watching Dallas Buyers Club. It really is a terrific movie. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto give truly outstanding performances. The story is extremely touching. It has all the characteristics of an award winning movie. But the thing that struck me the most was what a wonderful libertarian message it conveys.

The movie is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS sufferer who defies conventional medicine and the federal government by bringing non FDA approved products to hundreds of AIDS victims. Realizing that the FDA approved drugs at best were not working and at worst were making patients sicker, he literally searched the world for alternatives. The medications he “prescribed” were legal in other countries but banned in the U.S. The result was Woodroof and countless other AIDS sufferers experiencing both an extension and an improvement of their quality of life.

The libertarian lesson here is that the government does nothing well and in fact usually makes things worse. The market will 100 times out of 100 provide the better solution. The FDA has repeatedly shown its ineptitude in allowing efficacious drugs to be brought quickly to market. They prevent sick and dying people from accessing drugs that could potentially help extend or save their lives. In typical government fashion they create massive barriers to entry and stifle innovation. In some cases, certain drugs take 20 years to gain FDA approval. The idea that absent the FDA we would be eating maggot ridden food and taking drugs that made us sprout a third eye is insane. The market will always work more efficiently, innovate, and provide the very best options. We functioned just fine before the FDA and would be just fine if it were dismantled tomorrow.

In a free society dying citizens would be able to take whatever the hell drugs they wanted. It is truly tragic when experimental drugs exist that could potentially save someone’s life, and all that person wants in the world is to access that drug, and our government blocks this transaction. This is not freedom. It is a restriction of options. It is literally the opposite of freedom. As I’ve said to you many times freedom is always the right answer, morally and emperically. In this case lack of freedom actually kills people… not cool unless you’re like Pol Pot. If you’re Pol Pot killing people is actually pretty effing cool… and you probably love agencies like the FDA. So, on second thought maybe I should modify my previous statement. Freedom is always the right answer unless you’re in favor of killing people or you’re Pol Pot, in which case freedom is the wrong answer. My bad.

The story of Ron Woodroof is just another example of how the market innovates and creates solutions. The state only disrupts that innovation. The idea that bureaucrats should manage the food we eat and the medicine we ingest is ludicrous. It’s one thing when they bungle the post office or Amtrak and we have to put up with the inconveniences that creates. It’s quite another when they bungle the things we consume and depend on for sustenance and health. Bungle, hehe.


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