Sunday, January 20, 2013

Orwell watch: The Raisin Administrative Committee

Did you know that if you grow raisins in the United States, you are sharecropping for the government?

In this case, the USDA imposed on the [raisin farming] 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.
Who knew there was a "Raisin Administrative Committee"? No doubt it serves the interests of entrenched businesses in some way we mere voters are too ignorant to understand.

I suspect a deep dive in to the activities of the United States Department of Agriculture would persuade many people that the federal government can, in fact, be reduced substantially. Neither political party will do that, though, because Iowa is too important in presidential politics.

1 comment:

  1. The other famous example of Stuff We Shouldn't Be Taxed to Support is the bunny inspectors. If you sell rabbits as pets, or if you're a stage magician who uses a rabbit, you need a Federal license. There are civil servants who get paid to enforce this. Note that the rule does not apply to rabbits raised for slaughter or as snake food. We're probably paying billions a year to people whose prime qualification is that they know somebody who Knows Somebody.


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