Fear Not, Americans: The Raisin Administrative Committee is on the Job!

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.

 

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34 thoughts on “Fear Not, Americans: The Raisin Administrative Committee is on the Job!

  1. Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:30 am

    Hmmm….confiscation of private property for redistribution by the State.

    Now what does that sound like?

  2. Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:32 am

    RAISIN ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE ???

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    How many people are on this committee, what are they paid, is there an official office and staff, and seriously, folks, do raisins need an administrative committee?

    • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 8:58 am

      marxist communism 101

      its b fo da chillen

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:12 am

        Owning a business my self I see the effects of government intervention daily, it is almost impossible to work and not violate some rule or law.
        The permitting process is painful but the inspection process is agonizing. We permit only a very small portion of our work because of the BS and insanity involved plus the costs. Yet unlicensed hacks get nothing when caught, they are given a cease and desist “order” BFD
        we are subject to some piss ant bureaucrat’s administrative ruling and up to a 5K fine. They drive around just trying to find LICENSED
        contractors who are in any slight violation. I have had morons follow a crane to a jobsite then silently climb up our ladder and try to sneak up on us to what we were doing.
        One young snot nose was yapping from the start, after I schooled him about the code he insisted we had no permit, I asked him if he had checked the front door of the business where it was supposed to be posted by law?? his answer was gee no….REALLY?? Fn REALLY?
        I informed him he was trespassing on private property and his illegal use of our tools and equipment (ladder) and if he did not leave immediately I would call the police on him. He looked at me like I was from mars and his (older) partner said the man is right lets go……we all just smiled and waved bub bye

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 10:25 am

        I got crossways with an inspector in Denver once because he took a dislike to the guy working on the house, and went to Kangaroo Court with the carpenter a couple of times and then on my own a couple of times. What a farce. I finally realized the contractor I fired had been filing false complaints against me, but the system supported this kind of harassment.

        I got called in because the children in the neighborhood were endangered by the exposed window wells on the house under construction. (There are no children in the neighborhood and the yard was fenced.) I took in photos of the 6′ chain link fence around the window wells, and showed that although a foot on one end of one of them had dropped a few inches when a heavy rain eroded the edge of the window well, it had been fixed, only to have the Assistant D.A. bring up something else entirely.

        I watched a young licensed roofer being raked over the coals because he had done a roof at cost for a senior citizen and then the inspector had cited him because the roof-mounted A.C. was not mounted high enough off the roof. It didn’t matter that the guy had not installed the A.C., which had been there for probably a decade, but just flashed around the legs. It didn’t matter that he was not legally allowed to do a thing to it or with it because he was not licensed for that. It didn’t matter that it was not on his property and he had no authority to do anything without the homeowner’s approval—they still hammered the guy, threatened to pull his license, and fined him, and the “offense” went on his record.

        The inspector I had to deal with jerked us around for months. We had about seven framing inspections, for a framer who had never had a callback, he tried to bully the drywall guys in a very insulting and racist manner till he realized my husband and I heard the whole thing, and then he kept failing the drywall inspections. I finally took my big camera with me (by this time I was being there for the inspections because of the way he treated the workers) and when he said there were two screws missing in a closet I handed him a red marker and asked him to circle what he meant, then stepped in and took a picture of the area. By the third or fourth time we went through this he was getting kind of nervous, and he finally asked me if I was going to do that for everything he found, and I smiled and looked him right in the eye and lied. I said “Oh, yeah, I’ve been documenting every single thing you’ve ever marked as a failure. I’ve got quite a little collection of photos of the things you’ve said would not pass”.

        He left very quickly after that, and I said “I’ve got my screwdriver and screws here and I’ll have those in by the time you get to the end of the block so I’ll just call in a new inspect right now and see you again in the morning” and he said “No, don’t worry. I trust you and I signed off on the drywall.”

        In the meantime, the guy I fired because he had lied about having a current license got no penalty at all, because although there is a law saying you have to be licensed, there is no penalty for not being licensed. To me a law without a penalty is pretty much the same as no law at all, but that’s bureaucracy for you.

  3. Retired Spook January 31, 2013 / 9:01 am

    The Cato article says the SC will hear the case on March 20th. It would be interesting to do a follow-up post after the SC decision. The reference to the fact that “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.” would seem to be to be an invitation to Congress to investigate “relics” in general, and sunset as many as possible.

    • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:15 am

      A reset is much needed and I believe is coming, either through total collapse, revolution, or both……

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:17 am

        The collapse is planned, (cloward piven) the revolution anticipated (gun confiscation) it will be a rough ride.

      • Retired Spook January 31, 2013 / 9:33 am

        The collapse is planned, (cloward piven) the revolution anticipated (gun confiscation) it will be a rough ride.

        Neo, I believe, more and more, that you’re correct. Who would have dreamed just a few years ago the kinds of discussions we’re having today? The forces that wish to turn the United States into European style social democracy (or worse) have either forgotten or simply don’t understand the inherent desire for liberty that is an ingrained part of the American psyche. And there’s one aspect of the equation that I doubt few people on the Left have considered or understand, and that’s simply who will stand with them and fight to transform America into something it was never intended to be? Our educational system may have indoctrinated a couple generations of young people into believing that the goals of the Progressive movement are noble, but they’ve also been indoctrinated to believe that guns are evil. They’re going to be lost when the shooting starts, especially when the military and most first responders fail to join them.

      • Retired Spook January 31, 2013 / 10:44 am

        Our educational system may have indoctrinated a couple generations of young people into believing that the goals of the Progressive movement are noble, but they’ve also been indoctrinated to believe that guns are evil. They’re going to be lost when the shooting starts, especially when the military and most first responders fail to join them.

        Or, maybe not.

        A vast majority of young adults under the age of 34 believe that Americans have a right to own an “assault weapon,” according to a new Reason-Rupe poll released Thursday.

        Seventy percent of 18-24 year-olds and 58 percent of 24-34 year-olds indicated the government “should allow the private ownership of assault weapons.”

        But a majority of older Americans disagree, with 57 percent of 55-64 year-olds and 61 percent of people over the age of 65 asserting that “assault weapons should be prohibited.”

        I guess Progressives better hope that young people side with them if push comes to shove.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 10:49 am

        What is so funny is that I could trick out my .17 cal varmint rifle with a scope and barrel shroud and folding stock and the hysterics would squeal that it is an “assault weapon” while being pretty calm about a high-powered, unadorned, hunting rifle.

        On the other hand, you could strip a so-called “assault rifle” of its accoutrements, its barrel shroud and flash suppressor and folding stock, and it would pass muster with these people because those scary cosmetics were removed.

        It’s all about perception, on the Left.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 1:55 pm

        so now my 52 yo, ,22 semi auto with a 15 shot (tube) magazine is an ILLEGAL “ASSAULT” rifle?? who knew?
        Molon Labe!!

    • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 10:51 am

      I wonder if the Raisin Administrative Committee is on Paul Ryan’s hit list. And I wonder how many other cockamamie committees and agencies and departments like this are tucked away in the vast bureaucracies of the federal behemoth.

  4. Retired Spook January 31, 2013 / 10:56 am

    It’s all about perception, on the Left.

    I realize we don’t get too many Lefties who comment here anymore (not a complaint, BTW), but I can’t recall any that have ever denied that the Left is all about perception and emotion. In fact, most of their posts epitomize those traits.

    • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 11:07 am

      I’m waiting for some “safety” committee to come out against ground effects skirting for cars, and deck-mounted spoilers, and air scoops in the hood, because these make them “race cars” that should not be in the hands of commuters.

  5. Cluster January 31, 2013 / 11:46 am

    Good news everyone – the unemployment crisis is over.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.

    And is there any better liberal on this blog other than truthie to demonstrate the blind ignorance of the left? Of course Casper did admit the other day that fear of enhanced interrogation techniques against known terrorists made him abandon the Constitution.

    • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 January 31, 2013 / 11:59 am

      This person has sent over 70 repeated posts in the last 12 hours, more than 50 in one hour last night. They are cut and pasted repeatedly, are always attacks and often very vulgar. When people think we are paranoid about suspecting paid blog saboteurs they need to know that this blog and many others are victims of this kind of organized harassment. //Moderator

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 12:06 pm

        Is he a paid saboteur or just freakin’ nuts? The internet provides an alternative for the crazies who used to stand on street corners haranguing people who walked by, and when I get a glimpse of bubble boy’s posts there is a very strong miasma of insanity surrounding them.

        Not to say he and others like him are not convenient to the Left………..

      • Cluster January 31, 2013 / 12:11 pm

        Casper, Watson, & Bozo are good examples of liberals that actually engage in discourse.

        Truthie, I think is just a lunatic.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 12:41 pm

        I don’t find casper’s posts to be contributions to discourse, and watson spends far too much time whining about imagined sins of “conservatives” and coded insults instead of trying to exchange ideas. bozo is all over the place, sometimes appearing to try to participate in a discussion and sometimes just hurling snot-nuggets.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 1:56 pm

        BuB ByaH troofee troll

      • Cluster January 31, 2013 / 3:01 pm

        I don’t find casper’s posts to be contributions to discourse, and watson spends far too much time whining about imagined sins of “conservatives” and coded insults instead of trying to exchange ideas. bozo is all over the place, sometimes appearing to try to participate in a discussion and sometimes just hurling snot-nuggets. – Amazona

        And that is the definition of “liberal discourse”

  6. Amazona January 31, 2013 / 2:14 pm

    From Newsmax: (emphasis mine)

    “Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what’s being called a glitch in President Barack Obama’s overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president’s plan had hoped.

    As a result, some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.

    The Obama administration says its hands were tied by the way Congress wrote the law. Officials said the administration tried to mitigate the impact. Families that can’t get coverage because of the glitch will not face a tax penalty for remaining uninsured, the IRS rules said.”

    Really? So now the claim is that CONGRESS WROTE THE LAW???

    Which members of Congress “wrote the law”? Hell, we couldn’t even find a member of Congress who voted for the law who had even READ the law.

    No, Obama administration, don’t try to pull that on us. The SEIU wrote the law and delivered it to Congress with marching orders to pass it, and the Dems in Congress bowed to their masters and did as they were told.

    One of the historical truths of the Left is their dependence on rewriting history to make it fit their agendas, and this is a blatant effort to do just that.

    • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 2:20 pm

      “Families that can’t get coverage because of the glitch will not face a tax penalty for remaining uninsured, the IRS rules said.

      Oh, goody, another waiver. And we are supposed to believe that this is all just an effort to correct a “mistake” made by “Congress” and not part of a master plan to allow some people to circumvent the law.

      Yeah, right. It’s just an inadvertent “glitch”, a simple “oops”. It’s not part of a design to hammer the middle and upper income classes while pandering to the less affluent. Nah, nothing like that.

      So tell us, “Obama administration”, just how and why an agency of the government suddenly has the power to override a law put into place by Congress, and simply decide who does and who does not have to follow it.

      Or did the Supreme Court ruling which identified this penalty as a “tax” place it in the purview of the IRS? Surely Justice Roberts and the Court were not outmaneuvered—-again. Say it ain’t so…………….

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 4:03 pm

        count Me in……

        POLL: 67% of Texas Republicans Want Obama Impeached…

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 4:18 pm

        Ariz. Senate Panel Passes Bill Barring Enforcement Of Federal Gun Measures

        Molin Labe!!

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 8:30 pm

        Aaaaaaaaaaaaamen!!!!!!!!!!

        The Path to Saving the Republic: Just Say ‘No’
        By Michael Finch

        Our nation is in crisis. The Obama administration is centralizing power at a level unmatched in American history with grave consequences for our future liberty and freedom. Of that there is not much debate among conservatives. Conservatives, however, are always waiting for the next Ronald Reagan, wondering if Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan or someone will win in 2016 and save the country from Obama. This is a fool’s errand. Rubio and Ryan are fine men, good leaders and very important for our cause. But they can’t save our Republic. There is no “one” and we need to stop looking to the next federal election to solve our problems.

        So, is there a way to restore the Republic? There is good news; the first salvos have already been fired in the battle to save America. And no, they weren’t fired from anywhere in Washington D.C., from members of Congress or from Republican Party headquarters.

        The shots being fired, the first movements in a war to save our republican form of government are coming from the most unheralded of places. What is happening in Topeka, Austin, Ogden, Billings, Richmond and many other locales is just the beginning of a movement that will sweep this nation in the next four years. The people, in the form of their respective States and their State legislatures, are learning and relearning the lessons that Jefferson and Madison taught us over 200 years ago.

        The lesson resides in one word: Just say “No.”

        When the Democratic Governor of Montana claims that any Federal government ban on the right to bear arms will not take hold in his State or when the Republican Governor of Texas says that there are sections of the Obamacare law that will not hit the ground in his State, they are not espousing a new, radical and revolutionary theory of American self-governance. They are speaking from an over 200 year history that traces its roots back to the Founding of our great nation and codified by the pens of none other than Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They are the kernels of the coming restoration of America.

        Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/the_path_to_saving_the_republic_just_say_no.html#ixzz2JbR2jsB8
        Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

  7. bardolf2 February 1, 2013 / 1:28 pm

    “Many growers, moreover, support the marketing order as good for the raisin industry, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted last year “has long been an important one in California.”

    Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/11/19/4426520/grapes-and-raisins-of-wrath-supreme.html#storylink=cpy

    I am all for getting rid of these archaic mechanisms instead of letting the free market decide. This however is not some commie notion. What’s interesting about B4V is it forces you to either assume the democratically elected government is a bunch of commies or they are intervening in affairs without regard to second order affects.

    The government ostensibly interferes with the agriculture market to 1)stabilize prices for consumers 2)stabilize prices that FARMERS receive 3)increase exports and many more

    If a few very large corporations like ConAgra could completely control e.g. prices paid to dairy farmers it would put many of them out of business. This would lead to instability in the amounts produced and cause large fluctuations in the prices consumers pay. The government thus forces ‘handlers’ to pay a minimum amount to dairy farmers.

    The government also controls the prices guaranteed to farmers by making sure that there isn’t an overproduction by a few large farmers. The 47% confiscation of property has this outcome in mind.

    I agree with the Cato Institute. Make farming a business just like any other. Tear down the regulations, stop trying to control prices, stop subsidizing crop insurance and end ethanol handouts, let water rights be decided in court … Make it a fair competition also with producers from the rest of the world and see who comes out the winner.

    • M. Noonan February 2, 2013 / 1:00 pm

      Bardolf,

      The fallacy behind such things as the RAC and other such government bodies is that there is such a thing as “over-production”…its lie is take the old saw, “half a loaf is better than none” and turn it in to “half a loaf is better than a whole loaf”. We can’t “over-produce”…we can, however, produce so much that some producers may be forced to close or even just have their profit margins per unit reduced.

      For the first 125 years of American history we had a free market and we continued to produce more and more and more and prices dropped steadily while American wealth increased at a phenomenal rate…then we decided (mostly because some businesses didn’t like competition and some government leaders simply liked having more power) to regulate the market…now we produce less and less and less and prices continue to rise and American wealth is eroding…

  8. Doug Quinby February 3, 2013 / 12:35 pm

    Mark, I don’t think you have a full understanding of agricultural marketing committees such as the Raisin one or the the one that I have to succumb to on occasion. I could write a book about how wrong you are on this. So instead I’ll just scrape the surface on a number of points:

    1) AG marketing committees are/were created only when the producers insisted that congress create a law for them. They are made up of producers and handlers for whichever product they represent. Firstly, they were made of the farmers and over time, by voting, those farmers gave some of the control up to the handlers believing they had more resources to promote the well-being of their product. The farmers have a vote and can change the make up of those boards and can change the laws that govern those boards as Congress always votes to amend those laws based on the votes of the members.

    2) Like the person who buys the house next to a railroad line, the farmer who buys into a crop after the marketing law was already there doesn’t have the right to complain, that was a cost that had to expected when they bought into the farm. Now, if the government creates a regulation after the fact – that is different. However, in the case of marketing committees, that farmer bought into a crop that was governed by a pre-existing law and the only way he can change that is to vote sympathetic farmers onto the board.

    3) Marketing committees are there to provide long-term stability. In the case of the raisin farmers, there is a temporary surge in competition that is killing the demand for their product. The solution to the temporary out of balance supply/demand curve is not to force 40% of the farmers out of business. Only the giant corporations whom the government loves would survive (again another book on why that is not good and why there should be numerous suppliers), the small farmers would fold. The start up cost and lack of mobility of agriculture (contrary to suburban republican beliefs, farms can’t just get up and move to an office off main street in another state) means that when that temporary out of balance is over, there is no longer the ability to supply the demand.

    Any smart business person should see this as a long term inventory management practice, only that suburban ‘smart business’ republicans have a hatred toward agriculture that is always surprising.

    4) Some states have incentives for farmers to increase production, while other states continually create new regulations that put their farmers at extreme disadvantages. These are false barriers for the farmers in those states that keep them from competing. Only a suburban Republican would see this as a situation where those farmers should go out of business…….NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO! If a government interferes after a farmer has a farm, that farmer should not just be allowed to go bankrupt because they no longer can compete. That farmer should be reimbursed from the people because they used an f’ing gun to try to destroy him. It just so happens that marketing committees have the ability to consider state regulations and even the playing field as a result – the only groups who ever tried.

    Anyhow, temporary OVERSUPPLY does occur and you need to see it as that. Farmers don’t run on the same timetable as your gas station where prices adjust everyday to put supply and demand back in line. Farmers work with years, crops can get huge or they can get tiny, the trick is to manage the potential production over time so that it can meet the demand.

    As for the price of food, have you noticed? My crop is getting the same price it did back in 1912! So much for inflation. Food is cheap, there is no question about that, and in my view the reason it stays as cheap as it is, is because the anti-trust laws of the early 1900s apply to the farmers and their co-ops, but doesn’t apply to the Wal-Marts and Costco’s of the world. They constantly use practices to destroy the price we get, the same practices that we aren’t allowed to use because of the anti-trust laws.

    When they made those laws it was all ma and pop stores, if there were the Wal-Marts and Costco’s they would have made sure they couldn’t use those 7 or 8 banned practices as well

    • M. Noonan February 3, 2013 / 6:57 pm

      Doug,

      I know why things like the RAC were created – in order to protect those already in the business and to ensure that no one got so efficient they could harm those already “in”. Its a gigantic effort to restrain trade and the ultimate cost is paid by the consumers…you, as a farmer, should be able to grow whatever you want and sell it for whatever price you can obtain. Given that there are more than 6 billion people on Earth, there is a gigantic market for food…the demand is there, the farmers job is to fill it as best he can. When you speak of your crop getting the same price as in 1912, in what is that measured? In the inflation-adjusted dollars per unit? You shouldn’t be getting that…you should be getting less per unit, but you should be able to sell more units. That is what the American economy did…less profit per unit, more profit overall as supplies increased due to greater efficiencies. Yes, it does mean that particular enterprises will fail…from farms to factories, not all will survive forever. But if you are trying to prevent failure then the one certainty is that you will fail.

      Let the market decide – if any particular farmer can’t make it, them someone else will, because there is a built in demand for food…someone will grow it and make money off the effort. Its as simple as that.

  9. Doug Quinby February 3, 2013 / 9:48 pm

    Mark, dollars per pound, the same now as it was in 1912. Not going to figure out adjusted for inflation, I imagine it’s something horrible like 1/25th now. The cost is not paid by the consumer, the consumer has managed to work together with other consumers in creating purchasing conglomerates that force down the prices of the suppliers in ways that the suppliers aren’t legally allowed to do. Those consumer purchasing conglomerates are now known as Walmart, Costco, Safeway, and by many other names.

    Those companies are legally allowed to force farmer groups to enter into exclusive supply contracts, force them to supply product below cost so they can private label the product and sell below cost —- they can force this because ag suppliers are so disorganized that the purchasers can pick off those near bankruptcy and force them out at a cost that hurts the rest of the farmers. Other practices they do as well, practices that the farmers are prohibited from doing because of those famous antitrust acts.

    What can the farmers do? Yes, the minimum, try to organize into marketing committees that still have very few powers to help fight the monopolistic practices (those 7 or 8 defined practices in the antitrust laws) that the retailers are free to crush the suppliers with.

    The “consumers” are the ones that are using the power of the federal government to crush the farmers through forcing food prices ever downward, not through natural supply/demand means, but through ever more and more power of the retailers, powers specifically denied to the suppliers but granted to the retailers.

    I’ll put it in simple English:

    Farmers A are about to lose their farms; in order to hold on for a couple more years, they succumb to the monopolistic practices and demands of the retailers to sell their crops below production cost.

    Farmers B and C have to reduce the price of their crop to below production cost in order to sell their crop.

    Farmers D and E are huge farms that can continue to lose money for 10-15 years in this manner and slowly purchase Farmers A, B, C.

    Now your ridiculously simple notion of the ‘let the market decide’ has done nothing of the sort. It is not the market that is deciding, it is the regulatory power difference between the retailers and the suppliers that is the main deciding factor – and has been that way since about the mid 1980s when those retailers finally got big enough to use the practices.

    If the Sherman Antitrust act cannot be applied to how the large retailers deal with suppliers, then it shouldn’t be applied to how suppliers deal with the large retailers.

    And no, those marketing committees don’t work to protect current farmers, they anticipate equal growth amongst members and so more accurately, they would work to prevent some farmers from growing at such a rate as to hurt too many farmers too quickly. Again, it’s a way to ensure production capacity in the long run while not having too much inventory. And opening international markets is not an instantaneous thing. When it comes to agriculture it would take decades to prepare international markets to equal domestic ones as far as sales.

    • M. Noonan February 4, 2013 / 12:19 am

      Doug,

      But there can’t be equal growth – things change and no one can tell what is actually needed at any given time, let alone what might be needed weeks or months down the road.

      If your beef is with the retailers, then the answer to that is, simply, more free markets – how do you think the food retailers are able to get away with that sort of thing? Because they work with government to ensure that they can…just as things like the RAC are designed to allow a privileged few to benefit. As I’ve said before – and I’ll keep saying again – the United States continued to produce more and became ever wealthier while the consumers paid less and less for more than a century…until government got involved to help stabilize things and make them fair.

      Adjusted for inflation, a consumer paid about $1.20 for the same bread he pays about $3.00 for today. If that extra money isn’t going to you, then the reason is because various juiced in groups and companies are raking it off and keeping it from you. Get rid of the juiced in groups and companies, and you’ll have a clear market…and even if you are selling your bread for $1.20, if 50% of that price is coming to you (presuming you are the wheat grower and someone else is processing it in to bread) then you’d still be better off than you are today.

      If you are a farmer then all you need from the government is security of your property so that you can be certain of bringing your crop to market – how much you bring and what price you get are no one’s business but yours.

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