Last weekend I was in the midst of throwing something of a temper tantrum after a particularly annoying day. A friend of mine texted me, asking me to join the usual crowd for dinner, but I wanted nothing to do with it. They would be talking about the very subjects that were getting on my nerves, and I needed to spend some time away from all that. “I am in a secure, undisclosed location,” I wrote, not sure if the Dick Cheney joke was lost or not on my interlocutor. I was with another friend, at an alternate establishment at which there was almost no chance at all of our being found.
The other friend wrote back that I was depressed and needed to take vitamin D3. Being a jackass, I brushed this off forthwith, but after a week of continued restlessness, sleeplessness, anxiety, etc., I dove head-first into the pharmacy, after doing enough research to ascertain that vitamin D3 is, in fact, believed to put a sizable dent into depression, particularly the seasonal kind, to which I’m prone.
One of the benefits of a free economy is the amount of choice that one has in his purchases, and this holds true for vitamins, too. There was one bottle of vitamin D3 which looked more like caviar, so I left it alone. Then I found one that looked more to my liking in the texture department. Label reading is important, though, so I perused the fine print on this bottle before making my final purchase. The producers of this vitamin supplement make all manner of claims for their work: improved health of this organ and that. And then there is the final, hilarious disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.”
That was when I knew that I had struck gold, and that this product was exactly what I needed. For once, we have something that can help with depression that doesn’t give you headaches, or erectile dysfunction, or make you feel like you’re living outside yourself in a drug-induced state of indifference. That’s what all the FDA-approved drugs seem to do. If that isn’t bad enough, many say that these chemicals get pissed right back into our water supply, and that we’re all essentially on this crap. Who knows if it’s true. I’m a bit young to be beyond surprise, but I am, nonetheless.
More to the point, who needs the evaluation of the FDA to know whether or not a drug is beneficial? We’re talking, first of all, about an organization which shows severe signs of being under the influence (!) of large drug corporations, so how can its judgement be trusted? Most essentially, however, is the fact that some drugs will benefit some people and not benefit others, and where are the scientists in Washington to draw the line? Can we not make our own free choices on the market?
Perhaps the most laughable idea of all is the notion that the government actually gives a hoot about the effectiveness of the drugs we take. For years now, under the guise of protecting idiotic meth addicts from themselves, they have been arresting and imprisoning innocent people who just want their noses to function properly. Meanwhile, new substitute drugs come onto the market—drugs that are made by the very companies that pushed for that legislation that now has the government snooping into the shopping habits of consumers of decongestants—that don’t accomplish a damn thing, and the country is left to sniffle the whole way to May Day.
All of this comes down to control and to the idea that the acting man cannot make his own choices and manage his own risks on the market. “It’s human nature!” the Statists cry. “We must take account of human stupidity.” What they forget is that the State bureaucracies are run by mere humans and are just as prone to error as you or I. The difference is that when they make a mistake, or limit our options, we’re all made to suffer. The damage is not limited to one or even a few persons. I am perfectly willing to take my chances with vitamin D3. If it makes my nose turn orange—and I doubt it will—it will be my responsibility. And if it is artificially laced with soma and turns me into a Statist—well, I have friends that look out for me who will remove the bottle from my domicile. But I don’t think that’s going to happen, either. The pills are neither red nor blue.
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