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.
Believing that they, as raisin “producers,” were exempt, the Hornes failed to set aside the requisite tribute during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 growing seasons. The USDA disagreed with the Hornes’ interpretation of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and brought an enforcement action, seeking $438,843.53 (the approximate market value of the raisins that the Hornes allegedly owe), $202,600 in civil penalties, and $8,783.39 in unpaid assessments.
The Raisin Administrative Committee? Seriously?
Sebastian at pagunblog asked,
I don’t understand why more people don’t get worked up over this stuff. To me this is an outrage. Everyone ought to think it’s an outrage. Is it that there are just too many outrages these days? Too many people think you can’t fight city hall? Do people on the left really agree with this kind of nonsense?
To which Robb Allen replied,
[I]t’s because [the bad guys] know they can rely on the fact that everyone will always look out for their own interests, and thus we have our own outrages we have to fix. I’m totally outraged over this, but there’s nothing I can do – I’m already expending what limited time I have fighting gun control.
If you devote yourself to being outraged over all the outrageous things done to us by our servants in government, it’s exhausting. I read a story about some farmers getting half their crop ripped off and then being charged for the expense of stealing it, and I know I should be leaving Joel-shaped holes in the ceiling. But what are you going to do?
Here’s a PBS article discussing that Pew poll that suggests a majority of Americans distrust the government and/or consider it an active danger to their rights. The newstalkers’ take on this? “Oh, those wacky republicans.” Meanwhile those same republicans, at least the conservative ones, are up in arms because the republican party members who are actually in government hate them and want them disenfranchised, and are no longer afraid to just come out and say so. Gun owners are in a big struggle with the government, which they mostly blame on democrats. More and more it’s clear the GOP isn’t their friend, either.
Type that phrase into Google and you’ll get almost 900,000 hits – on damn near 900,000 subjects. Seems like these days everybody’s ox is getting gored. It’s not just gun owners.
But, as Robb Allen said, everybody’s got their own concerns and may not even be aware that other people are suffering the same as them, from the same cause. All these groups should ally with one another against their common enemy. That enemy seems confident that they won’t.
Alas, it’s probably right.