The Supreme court and the Feds shakedown of a raisin farmer

Here is a story to think about when considering governmental intrusion. This case reached the Supreme Court last month and the farmer received a partial victory. It sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration. Lucky raisin farmer.

Free markets? What free markets.

A California raisin farmer is facing bankruptcy for defying a law requiring him to give the government a portion of his raisin crop without compensation.

According to a Washington Post report, Marvin Horne, 68, stopped giving the government his raisins in 2002 and now “owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines,” in addition to “1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.”

Last month, the high court issued its ruling and gave Horne a partial victory. A lower court had rejected Horne’s challenge of the law. Now, the justices told that court to reconsider it.

Horne violated Marketing Order 989, passed during the Truman administration, “a federal regulation meant to solve a problem from the era after World War II, which created the national raisin reserve. The program gives the U.S. government a heavy-handed power to interfere with the supply and demand for dried grapes” and takes “away a percentage of every farmer’s raisins” without paying for them. The law has been described as one that gives the government the power to operate a cartel.

That, in theory, means greater scarcity and higher prices. The same approach works for oil and diamonds.

“It’s a cartel. Let’s use the power of the government to operate a cartel,” said Daniel Sumner, director of the University of California’s Agricultural Issues Center. Congress had given the USDA the authority to operate reserves during the New Deal: Other reserves existed for almonds, walnuts, tart cherries and other products.

Full story over at Breitbart

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: