The reason the FDA isn't doing that great of a job is because they have limited power funding. All that crap from China, they can't do anything. There are no regulations when it comes to imported food, even though there should be. There are strict standards in how much arsenic can be in apple juice produced in the US, but China, we have to rely on their laws, and there are none. Like Callie said, when every other first world country bans something, but our government swears it's relatively safe, you really have to wonder.
Okay, so part of your argument is that with a bunch of regulations, small business can't compete. Do you really think they can compete now? Let's use Walmart as an example. They come in to an area and pretty much devastate the local economy. They do this by selling their cheap crap from China cheaper than any small business who sells quality items made in the US ever could. Maybe some people will take quality over saving money, but most will not. If the majority cared more about quality, Walmart's strategy wouldn't work so well. They can even operate at a loss for a while because the corporation is so big the money they'd have to keep pumping in until all the competition is squashed is pocket change. Then, once all major competition is gone, they raise their prices to operate at a profit again, which they don't have to raise very high, because again, cheap crap made in China...
If you wanted to open a store, how would you compete with that? Even if you could manage to figure out how to sell the same stuff cheaper, they now have that price match guarantee thing. They're also open 24/7, which is really handy if, like me, you're a night owl. When I was little there used to be a lot of small, privately owned stores around here. We used to do our grocery shopping at a locally owned store. But then Giant Eagle came in and put them out of business. Oh, and get this... They did have union employees. The small store they bought out had non union employees. Guess which ones they kept? They would only have to pay the non union employees minimum wage. It was a very shitty thing to do, and perfectly legal. It was also not made public knowledge. The only reason I know what they did is because my mom's friend's son worked at the local store at the time.
Business does not regulate itself. They use dirty tricks to get ahead, and if they cross the line of the law a little, they can always pay someone to look the other way. Small locally owned stores can't do that. I see it every day. Downtown is a ghost town, and when I was a kid there used to be tons of small businesses. Walmart forced them all out. I'm just hoping the shop I get my tea from stays afloat.
Another example; I'm being held hostage by the propane company. They used to be locally owned too, but then Suburban Propane came in and bought them out. Their service is horrible, but they have other ways to keep customers from leaving. If I cancel service, they charge a $175 tank collection fee. I could always just not pay it, but it is a valid debt since it's part of their TOS. It'll go to collections and I'll be harassed. By law collection agencies are allowed to call once a day every day, and they will. Some even ignore the law completely. We recently had to change our number because one was calling my boyfriend about eleven times a day every day. They kept it between the hours of 8am-8pm, but it was seriously like every hour on the hour.
Then there is the hit to my credit score. In this modern society, your credit score is everything. We can't get the electric bill under my boyfriend's name because of his bad credit. We can't rent from anyone who does credit checks. We couldn't get contracted cell phones, which is another good example. Verizon really screwed us. When they sent us the bill we had to send payment out right away, only we couldn't because, you know, you have to have money to pay a bill. So he'd wait until he got paid. The payment would often be a little late, and they shut his service off after 3 days. It was really starting to piss us off, but of course, there was the contract, and the early termination fee. When we were finally sick of it and wanted to cancel we found out that we had to do so the very day the contract first thing at 8am. He didn't get through until 8:15 am, so the contract had already renewed, and we got slapped with a $200 early termination fee.
What I would really like to see is a tighter rein being put on all that underhanded shit. I want to see it made easier for small business to succeed. They need to stop spending all that time and money making sure the word 'ass' is bleeped out if kids might be watching, and put more effort into making sure big business can't charge outrageous fees for cancelling their service and trying to get better service. Comcast does that too by the way. I had to pay a fee for downgrading service when I was trying to save money. All they had to do was press a few buttons. Then, suddenly, dial up would've been faster. When I complained their only suggestion was to upgrade, which I had to pay another fee for. I didn't have much choice because pages were taking 5 minutes to load, if they loaded at all. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened there.