Thursday, March 02, 2006

Miss Information Part II

To continue the topic of the last post ...

Even assuming the proposed Bill before the House does what the Times claims it will (which it won't), their reporting still reeks of inaccuracy and bias. First, the Times editorial mentions arsenic in bottled water: "If consumers believe that, then we have some bottled water to sell them that no longer warns of arsenic levels ..."

Of course, most states have their own bottled water requirements- And it is very unlikely that any state would allow bottled water to be sold when the water contains unsafe levels of arsenic. The issue is of course, the warning label itself. And one can see the problems that could arise should every state decide to enact its own warning label laws for products sold within the state.

But beyond matters of practicality, one wonders why the Times titled its editorial, "The Abusive New Federalism." Federalism implies the division of power between the states and the federal government. Generally, the Times has editorialized against federalism and in favor of a stronger national government. But maybe those views only apply to their own political agenda.

Obviously, the concept of federalism is implicated anytime there is a dispute between the states and the national government. But to the call this Bill "abusive" defies logic. One can't argue on one hand for national standards while on the other hand argue that the states should be able to impose standards of their own. You can't have it both ways. Either national standards are needed, or they aren't needed. And Constitutionally, if Congress has the power to legislate national standards, they surely have the power to legislate uniform national standards.


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