Beyond the Beltway

 

Eating veggie burgers was always the equivalent of biting into a soggy styrofoam sammich. However, we are now seeing meat alternatives that are actually pretty darn good. Carl’s Jr. has the new Beyond Famous Star (it is delicious), Del Taco is now serving Beyond Tacos (again, very good!) and Burger King is locally testing the Impossible Whopper (which we haven’t tried).

Whether or not you are grimacing reading this, and everyone can choose their own diet based on health and environmental reasons, it’s these new technological breakthroughs of plant-based alternatives that serve as a good reminder of the difference between free-market and big government solutions and how they should be implemented.

Our national divide, no matter the issue, can often be reduced down to a philosophical debate regarding the scope, size, and power of government. Most Conservatives agree there is a need to reduce incredibly expensive programs created by centralized politicians and bureaucrats. Instead, any policy should first be implemented locally, which these restaurants did with the curious new meat alternatives. That way it can best serve those it was designed to impact, as opposed to a one size fits all national cudgel.

Private markets who answer to stakeholders are showing us how it’s done.

John Tamny (author of The End of Work and Editor at Real Clear Markets) writes how the limited test of Burger King’s new plant-based Impossible Whopper provides progressives a good example of how to implement policy nationwide. John writes:

Let local governments try policy ideas for the same reason that Burger King is rolling out the Impossible Whopper in one city: the future is uncertain, as are the results of experiments. If testing is local, we won’t nationalize the failures.

For politicians to take John’s advice, they must first admit modern history is littered with programs grown from the seed of “good intentions” which can and often does boomerang.

  • Imagine if Obamacare was limited to a two-year test in certain cities, instead of crashing the entire system overnight, causing millions to lose their doctors and seeing their premiums and deductibles skyrocket.
  • Imagine a “Great Society” program being tested locally where, before the massive entitlement was implemented, fatherless homes within black communities averaged in the low 20 percent range. Five decades later we see the number in the mid-70 percent range.
  • Imagine if Common Core was tried in several school districts to determine its impact before millions of students were placed into what most agree is now a dismal failure.

This doesn’t suggest states don’t also overreach. Bad state policies can cause as much economic damage as federal, as demonstrated in far-Left states like New York, California, and Illinois where middle-class citizens are choosing between moving to neighboring states or lowering their quality of life. Cities or counties can always first determine the viability of new zoning laws, business regulations, and taxes impacting those who can least afford increased costs of energy and food. Yet, the government’s reliance on academic studies and white papers theorizing the consequence and cost of intended new laws are often wrong.

If our cities and states are to be laboratory experiments which could either benefit or hurt those who live under new policies and laws, shouldn’t federal and state government follow the example of Burger King and think locally before nationally?

After all, the government also has shareholders to whom it must answer.

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  1. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Dave Sussman:

    If our cities and states are to be laboratory experiments which could either benefit or hurt those who live under new policies and laws, shouldn’t federal and state government follow the example of Burger King and think locally before nationally?

    After all, the government also has shareholders to whom it must answer.

    Very good point Dave. Sounds like the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

    I DuckDuckGo’d “Burger Kings new plant-based Impossible Whopper” and went to this Vox article. The first sentence from the article:

    Plant-based meat just went mainstream.

    I live in Texas and my cows eat a 100% plant based diet so I guess the beef from them is plant-based  meat. I’ll pass on the soy burger – but good luck to them.

    • #1
  2. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman:

    If our cities and states are to be laboratory experiments which could either benefit or hurt those who live under new policies and laws, shouldn’t federal and state government follow the example of Burger King and think locally before nationally?

    After all, the government also has shareholders to whom it must answer.

    Very good point Dave. Sounds like the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

    I DuckDuckGo’d “Burger Kings new plant-based Impossible Whopper” and went to this Vox article. The first sentence from the article:

    Plant-based meat just went mainstream.

    I live in Texas and my cows eat a 100% plant based diet so I guess the beef from them is plant-based meat. I’ll pass on the soy burger – but good luck to them.

    LOL!

    BTW, it’s not soy which for many reasons is unhealthy, mostly that within a week you grow red flannel pajamas and want to talk about socialized medicine.

    • #2
  3. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    BTW, it’s not soy which for many reasons is unhealthy, mostly that within a week you grow red flannel pajamas and want to talk about socialized medicine.

    LOL back at you.

    I mentioned soy because the Vox article said it is made with heme, a protein cultivated from soybean roots. Interesting. They may be tasty, but until AOC and her crowd ban cows, I’ll stick with the original.

    And speaking of AOC, if she were to be presented with your argument, how do you think she would respond?

    • #3
  4. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Experiments are good.  Oregon taught us that medicaid doesn’t help health outcomes, but ObamaCare dumped a bunch money into it.  I don’t think the Leftists care about outcomes, they care about control.

    FYI, I had an Impossible burger last week.  It is better than your average veggie patty, but not as yummy as the worst hamburger.  It was also *expensive*.

    • #4
  5. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    DonG (View Comment):
    It was also *expensive*.

    Can you put a price on saving the planet?

    • #5
  6. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    And speaking of AOC, if she were to be presented with your argument, how do you think she would respond?

    She doesn’t believe in local business either. ie: Amazon. 

    • #6
  7. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    DonG (View Comment):
    FYI, I had an Impossible burger last week. It is better than your average veggie patty, but not as yummy as the worst hamburger. It was also *expensive*.

    Haven’t tried the Impossible Burger yet, because… well it’s Burger King. But Carls Jr. is just under $7. $10 for a combo. Not cheap.

    The next challenge for Beyond and Impossible is to ramp up production so they can lower costs. Right now only well-to-do folks will splurge on healthier options. They both know this.

    • #7
  8. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    And speaking of AOC, if she were to be presented with your argument, how do you think she would respond?

    By looking up at me with those big brown eyes, and then unexpectedly letting out a big, loud, cow-cloud. Methane and CO2.

    • #8
  9. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Dave Sussman:

    • Imagine if Obamacare was limited to a 2-year test in certain cities, instead of crashing the entire system overnight, causing millions to lose their Doctor’s and seeing their premiums and deductibles skyrocket.
    • Imagine a ‘Great Society’ program being tested locally where before the massive entitlement was implemented, fatherless homes within black communities averaged in the low 20 percent range. Five decades later we see the number in the mid 70 percent range.
    • Imagine if Common Core was tried in several school districts to determine its impact before millions of students were placed into what most agree is now a dismal failure.

    Local is better than federal, but the government doesn’t need to be involved with any of these things at either level.

    • #9
  10. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Now that these products are available, I expect area governments to start requiring them and outlawing beef products.  Once about 10% of the coast areas force the issue the feds will mandate it for environmental reasons.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Now that these products are available, I expect area governments to start requiring them and outlawing beef products. Once about 10% of the coast areas force the issue the feds will mandate it for environmental reasons.

    I don’t know if they could withstand the wrath of the beef lobby. It might not be the cattle raisers so much as the corn growers they’d have to withstand. Not that it would be as bad as having to contend with the milk producers lobby, but I doubt the dairy groups would get quite so involved in this issue. You never know, though.  

    • #11
  12. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Now that these products are available, I expect area governments to start requiring them and outlawing beef products. Once about 10% of the coast areas force the issue the feds will mandate it for environmental reasons.

    I don’t know if they could withstand the wrath of the beef lobby. It might not be the cattle raisers so much as the corn growers they’d have to withstand. Not that it would be as bad as having to contend with the milk producers lobby, but I doubt the dairy groups would get quite so involved in this issue. You never know, though.

    I am from Kentucky and watched them destroy the tobacco industry and the coal mine industry.  The Left gets what it wants no matter who is destroyed or dies.

    • #12
  13. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Now that these products are available, I expect area governments to start requiring them and outlawing beef products. Once about 10% of the coast areas force the issue the feds will mandate it for environmental reasons.

    I don’t know if they could withstand the wrath of the beef lobby. It might not be the cattle raisers so much as the corn growers they’d have to withstand. Not that it would be as bad as having to contend with the milk producers lobby, but I doubt the dairy groups would get quite so involved in this issue. You never know, though.

    I doubt the dairy industry could survive the loss of the beef industry.  What are you going to do with the boys?

    • #13
  14. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I don’t know if they could withstand the wrath of the beef lobby. It might not be the cattle raisers so much as the corn growers they’d have to withstand. Not that it would be as bad as having to contend with the milk producers lobby, but I doubt the dairy groups would get quite so involved in this issue. You never know, though.

    I doubt the dairy industry could survive the loss of the beef industry. What are you going to do with the boys?

    AOC gets rid of dairy too. 

    • #14
  15. Ric Fischer Inactive
    Ric Fischer
    @DesertDwarf

    Because of a recent health issue, my 78-year-old father asked me to research these vegetarian options. As per usual, American consumerism is praising the appearance without being concerned with the substance. Nutritionists and dieticians are not happy with these plant-based alternates as they are high in salt and fat. So, they taste good because they made them almost as unhealthy as a real burger. Dad and I got a chuckle out of that.

    But, AOC might convince the voting masses that cauliflower comes from cow’s milk (they’re both white, don’t-you-know).

    Tomorrow, I’m going to have a Bacon Western Cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr. for lunch.

    • #15
  16. SWBart Member
    SWBart
    @SWBart

    I heard an interview of the founder  of impossible burger, his goal is to use the market to get rid of the beef industry.  He wants his product to be better than animal burger.  His analogy was the whale oil industry.  We didn’t give up whale oil because we felt bad about the whales, we found the stuff you pump out of the ground worked better, and we figured out how to get it more efficiently.  If he can win in the open market more power to him.  I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m intrigued.

    • #16
  17. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Ric Fischer (View Comment):

    Because of a recent health issue, my 78-year-old father asked me to research these vegetarian options. As per usual, American consumerism is praising the appearance without being concerned with the substance. Nutritionists and dieticians are not happy with these plant-based alternates as they are high in salt and fat. So, they taste good because they made them almost as unhealthy as a real burger. Dad and I got a chuckle out of that.

    But, AOC might convince the voting masses that cauliflower comes from cow’s milk (they’re both white, don’t-you-know).

    Tomorrow, I’m going to have a Bacon Western Cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr. for lunch.

    I don’t believe in Third Parties.

    But if I did, I’d vote for you as Chairman. 

    (I have nothing against you personally.  It’s just that I don’t want to have to deal with the paperwork.)

    • #17
  18. JamesSalerno Inactive
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    I sometimes struggle explaining to big government types the advantages of doing things at the local level vs. the federal. This article explains it better than I ever could and I’m going to be using these talking points going forward.  Great article! 

    • #18
  19. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman:

    • Imagine if Obamacare was limited to a 2-year test in certain cities, instead of crashing the entire system overnight, causing millions to lose their Doctor’s and seeing their premiums and deductibles skyrocket.
    • Imagine a ‘Great Society’ program being tested locally where before the massive entitlement was implemented, fatherless homes within black communities averaged in the low 20 percent range. Five decades later we see the number in the mid 70 percent range.
    • Imagine if Common Core was tried in several school districts to determine its impact before millions of students were placed into what most agree is now a dismal failure.

    Local is better than federal, but the government doesn’t need to be involved with any of these things at either level.

    Agreed 100%.

    • #19
  20. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):
    FYI, I had an Impossible burger last week. It is better than your average veggie patty, but not as yummy as the worst hamburger. It was also *expensive*.

    Haven’t tried the Impossible Burger yet, because… well it’s Burger King. But Carls Jr. is just under $7. $10 for a combo. Not cheap.

    The next challenge for Beyond and Impossible is to ramp up production so they can lower costs. Right now only well-to-do folks will splurge on healthier options. They both know this.

    The wealthy have almost always been the willing (and often enthusiastic) adopters of new technologies and test beds on which we find out whether or not the technology will work on mass scale. One of many reasons we shouldn’t be so quick to get rid of the wealthy. 

    • #20
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