Thank goodness for Big Government!
Long-time California raisin farmers Marvin and Laura Horne have been forced to experience firsthand the costs that America’s regulatory state imposes on entrepreneurs, especially innovative members of the agriculture industry.
No longer do farmers enjoy the ancient right to sell their produce and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Indeed, Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture exemplifies the extent to which all property and business owners are made to suffer a needless, Rube Goldberg-style litigation process to vindicate their constitutional rights.
In this case, the USDA imposed on the Hornes a “marketing order” demanding that they turn over 47% of their crop without compensation. The order—a much-criticized New Deal relic—forces raisin “handlers” to reserve a certain percentage of their crop “for the account” of the government-backed Raisin Administrative Committee, enabling the government to control the supply and price of raisins on the market. The RAC then either sells the raisins or simply gives them away to noncompetitive markets—such as federal agencies, charities, and foreign governments—with the proceeds going toward the RAC’s administration costs…
I mean, my goodness, that was a close shave! Imagine if we lived in a world where raisin growers could grow as many raisins as they wish and sell it for whatever price they want! Utter chaos would certainly ensue. There would be an unregulated market out there – and such things have been known to put an eye out when in the hands of irresponsible people – you know, citizens. But we’re safe from all that – there are plenty of wonderful government regulators in the Raisin Administrative Committee on the job to protect us from ourselves. And better than that, some of the Horne’s fellow raisin growers – clearly from altruistic reasons; couldn’t possibly be out of a desire to limit competition – are entirely on the government’s side here…protecting us from having to make our own choices! After all, we know that there are only two valid choices a human being – unsupervised by government – can make: to have an abortion and to have sex.
All kidding aside, this is what Big Government is all about – and the fact that some of the Horne’s (allegedly) private sector competitors are on the government’s side illustrates what I mean about a Big Government/Big Corporation alliance to suppress the people. The United States is simply awash in bodies like the RAC and various administrative authorities – essentially unsupervised by anyone; do you want to bet that Obama and the entirety of Congress are completely ignorant of this case? – ruling over people who are doing nothing other than what people do. In this case, a couple raisin growers are just growing raisins – a wanted and needed crop and if they can grow more and better than other people, then they deserve to prosper…but Uncle Sam (and their competitors) say, “no”…you can’t do better than others. If you do, then you must surrender what your hard work has produced so that we can make things all fair and square with those who aren’t as successful as you.
This is the battle we need to fight – the fight for a free market, opportunity society. This is how we can build a 60% majority – by fighting for the real rights of the American people.
UPDATE: Details on the RAC:
The Raisin Administrative Committee is comprised of 35 members representing producers; 10 members representing handlers of varying sizes; 1 member representing the Raisin Bargaining Association (RBA); and 1 public member. Members serve 2-year terms of office that begin on May 1. Producer and handler members are nominated at meetings and by mail ballots.
Meetings and mail ballots? Oh, that sounds like it can’t possibly become an old-boys network which works to protect those most juiced in with government.
There is a list of government agencies, but it doesn’t even begin to cover it all; the RAC is not listed…it is part of the FDA and Lord only knows how many similar bodies are covered by the FDA and all other Departments of government. Someone needs to get us a genuine list of all agencies – and a one paragraph description of what they do.