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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Disclosure time 
22nd-Jun-2009 10:35 am
Inspiration
I see that the FTC has decided that you, my reader, are an uninformed moron who can't possibly decide between things without even more information.

So here's the more information: when I link to Amazon products, I'm typically linking to my affiliate page, and getting a cut if you think it's worth buying. If you don't think it's worth buying, or think my recommendations are trash, I don't get a cut. If you'd like to find out what I'm talking about without paying the cut to me, thereby increasing Amazon's profit, go directly to their website without using my link, and find it yourself. Same information either way. It's up to you.

For those of us who are aware that massive disclosures do not produce better decisions (and who are pleased about the (PDF)Nobel Prize awarded to the one who proved it true), this is an example of a waste of time on many, many levels: but your government, the one that needs to spend hundreds of billions next year because employment is cratering now, wanted you to know.

Follow Up: Ann Althouse points out the key problem that makes this an invalid regulation:

The most absurd part of it is the way the FTC is trying to make it okay by assuring us that they will be selective in deciding which writers on the internet to pursue. That is, they've deliberately made a grotesquely overbroad rule, enough to sweep so many of us into technical violations, but we're supposed to feel soothed by the knowledge that government agents will decide who among us gets fined. No, no, no. Overbreath itself is a problem. And so is selective enforcement.

I await with interest its being overturned by the first court to hear it. Along which lines, Overlawyered.com has a further commentary on this useless excresence on the body politic.

UPDATE: The FTC says, "Honest, guys, we're not the bad guys here." (my paraphrase) But, as with all regulations that proscribe without regard to intent to commit a crime, you may not be the bad guys, but it doesn't matter. You pioneered the regulatory state where having bad intent didn't matter, and you can't complain when someone points out that you're acting like Big Brother when you patrol individuals talking about what they like and don't just by saying "we didn't mean to."
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