David Masten has a brilliant way of explaining the impact of regulation on the pharmaceutical industry. He imagines a world in which computers are regulated like pharmaceuticals.

– the Electronics and Computers Administration would have just approved the Intel i486 for prescription use, and just approved the Apple ][ for over the counter sale.
– Any reasonable computer would require a recommendation from a properly licensed computer professional who has a PhD in Computer Science and several years experience.
– You will want to check with your insurance company to see if they will cover the costs of a Macintosh or they will only cover a white box 8088.

UPDATE: See also Don Boudreaux, who imagines regulating stocks and bonds like pharmaceuticals. This is one of a series of posts by Don arguing to abolish the FDA.

For Discussion. How should pharmaceuticals be regulated differently from computers?