[B]usiness uses the Government for its own benefit, and helps explain why, after a short bleat of protest for the record, the auto industry crawled in bed with Ralph Nader when he made his propositions. The propagandists would have you believe the consumer is being protected by the auto safety" program, but what consumer has the time or the know-how to "respond" to "proposed motor vehicle safety standards"? Car-buying, after all, takes up a very small part of his day. RMA [Rubber Manufacturers Association] lobbyists, on the other hand, have absolutely nothing better to do all day than badger and bribe bureaucrats into passing laws that will force more tires on an unwilling public. Once again it is being demonstrated that regulatory agencies work to the benefit of the producer instead of the consumer.
How sweet it is for the country club set in Akron. They can cut loose some of that high-price marketing help that tries to tempt drivers into buying new tires and rely instead on tax-supported state police to do the "selling".
Some day soon you may be flagged down by a cop with a .38 caliber pistol in one and .38 caliber calipers in the other. He's authorized to poke around in your tire tread, then force you into the tire store that happens to be nearby. It promises to be the best fee-splitting scheme since justices of the peace started going out of style.
Traditionally the tire industry has been relatively unregulated and consequently highly competitive. But now it is trying to blow out the little Fisk boy's candle and climb on the wide-tread bandwagon of the Federal Highway Administration.
Peter Blake, "Don't Tread on Me," The Libertarian, June 1, 1969, page 3; full article readable here (courtesy of the Mises Institute website).