If you wanted to show how important government is to daily life, it would be hard to do better than this anti-government video from the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute:


If you turn off the comical music, the video becomes a rather convincing demonstration that government is essential to a well-functioning economy. As a commenter over at Slog pointed out:

…this exact same video would be a pretty good advertisement for your federal tax dollars at work for you. Starting with, when you turn on your radio, and hear only one station at each frequency, instead of an unintelligible jumble of stations trying to drown each other out, yep, that’s the FCC, just as the arrowed caption says. And so on through the video.

Follow along if you will. The Food and Drug Administration ensures that your mouthwash and vitamins aren’t harmful, and that the advertising is truthful. The Environmental Protection Agency prevents your refrigerator from using CFCs as a coolant, the better to enforce an international agreement halting depletion of the ozone layer. USDA inspectors keep unhealthy and potentially deadly contaminants out of your breakfast. The Treasury Department makes sure the banking industry functions, at least most of the time, while other agencies prevent counterfeiting. (Without those, your trip to the ATM wouldn’t be worth much.) And the government keeps alcohol and tobacco out of the hands of kids.

There’s plenty I’m not going to cover now. You can easily fill in the blanks yourself.

What’s weird though, is that CEI is objecting to this stuff. But what would they prefer? Spoiled milk on your Cheerios, topped off with a sprinkle of rat-feces laced sugar? An unregulated commercial banking sector? Underage drinking? What?

The real question isn’t what regulatory compliance costs, but what it would cost not to have these commonsense regulations. And I suspect you could find at least a partial answer in any undeveloped corrupt country where the government doesn’t serve the public interest. I mean, if CEI hates American regulation so very much, perhaps they should ship out to Zimbabwe or Uzbekistan or someplace.