Feds destroy up to 47% of raisin crop

Feds destroy up to 47% of raisin crop

April 18, 2013

By John Seiler

One of the better commercials over the years was the dancing California Raisins:

But did you know that the federal government seizes from farmers — without pay — up to 47 percent of America’s yearly raisin crop, then gives much of it away around the world? The Economist reported:

“A group of farmers has brought a complaint about the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, under which the government confiscates part of the annual national raisin crop. The Court is considering whether the arrangement is constitutional….

“Since the 1940s a government agency called the Raisin Administrative Committee has confiscated a portion of the annual raisin crop: 47% in 2003 and 30% in 2004, for example. Farmers who fail to surrender their raisins are fined. The committee, which is made up of 47 farmers and packers, plus one member of the public, does not pay farmers for the raisins it expropriates—indeed, it gives many away and sells others for export at low prices. After covering its costs it gives farmers the remaining profits, if there are any.

“The stated aim of this bizarre system is to preserve an ‘orderly’ market, by determining how many raisins the domestic market can bear and then getting rid of the rest.”

This is the kind of nutty socialist central planning that has brought starvation to the Stalinist Soviet Union, Maoist China and North Korea under the Kims.

Imagine if this were applied to the auto industry. GM, Ford and Chrysler would have 47 percent of their auto production stolen by the government, with the cars dumped overseas.

The U.S. Supreme Court now is taking up the socialist scheme. Let’s hope it throws out the raisin seizures on the grounds that doing so violates the Fifth Amendment protection, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Seventy years of FDR’s socialism is enough.

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