By Harold Brown
Government regulations have unintended consequences. Winners are protected, losers are punished, perhaps. Effects are often unpredictable and change with time and conditions. Nothing illustrates the vagaries of government management better than the protection of butter.
Most Americans believe the oleomargarine-butter controversy to be a mild competition between two ordinary foods that began in mid-20th century, but it’s much older and more significant.
Mark Twain (“Life on the Mississippi,” 1874) overheard a conversation between two salesmen on a Mississippi steamboat that included, “… look at it – smell of it – taste it. Put any test on it you want to. Take your own time – no hurry – make it thorough. There now – what do you…