7/9/15 Raisin Quotas


Last month, the Supreme Court handed down an 8 to 1 decision in favor of raisin growers [Horne v. Department of Agriculture].  And consumers.  Although the opinion only partially addressed an 80-year relic from the FDR Administration.  

[The Raisin Administrative Committee grew from The Agricultural Marketing Agreement of 1937.]

The Raisin Administrative Committee sets limits on raisin production.  Any amount a farmer produces over his allotment would be confiscated.  These bureaucrats could literally do anything they wanted with the confiscated raisins: keep them, sell them, even give them away in order to keep prices artificially high.  It would violate anti-trust laws if raisin farmers did this on their own without government blessing.

In its decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the government agency violated Constitutional protections by not compensating farmers for the confiscated raisins. 

However, the larger problem still exists.  The Raisin Committee is one of nearly 30 Roosevelt-era programs in which green eye-shade wearing bureaucrats dictate limits on agriculture production.

Consider this.  The Raisin Committee sets limits on production.  At the same time, Washington doles out 30 billion dollars each year in various agriculture subsidies –€“ sometimes encouraging the overproduction of other crops.

Setting limits while simultaneously encouraging overproduction underscores Washington’€™s twisted and dysfunctional farm policy.

One way to reduce family grocery bills is to eliminate these social-engineering programs and stop Washington bureaucrats from meddling in agriculture.

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