Monday, June 15, 2009

Why Special Interest Groups Are Important

Though special interest groups are commonly thought to be corrupt by definition, they serve an important societal role. Take, for instance, the H1NI "swine" flu virus, which has caused large damages to the pork industry (and pork consumers) through the unfortunate labeling of the virus as the "swine" flu.

The pork industry has a lobby, a large one. They have the ability to fund a lobby because they represent an large industry with very, very large sales. This in turn implies that they provide consumers with a very important service. You can't sell billions worth of something without providing billions worth of value.

The swine flu virus did not come directly from swine and does not in any way may pork unsafe or unhealthy to eat. Yet this is what consumers inferred when the media and the government started calling it the swine flu. It did not just hurt the industry, but consumers. When households pass over pork for their next available item based on faulty information, they are harmed.

And who is the most likely person to set the record straight, for themselves and the consumer? The special interest group called the pork lobby!