Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fed Seizes Half Of Raisin Producers’ Crop


While skimming the news, I sometimes forget what time period I’m living in. The fact that I’m reading the news on either an iPhone or iPad reminds me this is the 21st Century, but news stories about politicians discussing medieval concepts such as “legitimate rape” makes me question whether or not this is really the 12th Century, and articles such as this where farmers are forced to fork over half of their crops to the powers that be makes me wonder if we’re still living under feudalism:

Tis the season to give thanks. And for the last 80 years, the federal government has required raisin producers to “give thanks” for the privilege of selling their raisins nationally by requiring them to fork over up to half of their raisins – for free. A lawsuit raising a constitutional challenge to the program has now made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Horne v. Department of Agriculture.

The program, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has a rather Orwellian-sounding name – the “Raisin Marketing Order.” In a nutshell, under this program, every year, as a condition for “letting” farmers sell their raisin crops in interstate commerce, the federal government has taken up to 47% of the farmers’ raisins – often for no payment at all, or below the cost of producing the raisins. The program has its origins in Great Depression efforts to fix the prices of agricultural crops. Don’t care much for raisins? Similar programs cover a variety of other agricultural products, such as walnuts, almonds, prunes, tart cherries – and cranberries! That’s something to chew on as you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.
I can understand being required to pay taxes to fund the government services and infrastructure that businesses utilize every day, but being required to hand over a portion of your wares directly to the government? I thought appeasing government officials with the fruits of your labor was something serfs did on behest of their feudal lords. Again, is this the 21st century or the 12th?

The rest of the story details one brave couple’s struggle to challenge this program under the Constitution's “Takings Clause," a seven-year struggle that has made it all the way to the Supreme Court. I’d like to think that the Court will rule in favor of private property and due process, but considering cases such as Kelo v. New London, such a ruling seems highly unlikely.

And I don't know what's worse: the fact this draconian program exists, or the possibility that libtarded moonbats support it. “Well of course farmers need to give half of their crops to the government. They didn’t grow those crops. The government helped them grow it. Because social contract. Economic justice. Fairness. Equality. Selfishness. Elizabeth Warren.”

And to think they accuse anyone who doesn’t think like them of supporting feudalism. The irony is just too painful!