Tag: Agriculture

Interstellar Liberty and the Foibles of Progressivism »

Spoiler Alert: This blog post may contain clues to key plot points in the 2014 film Interstellar. One of the cornerstones of progressive political thought is that experts should be put in charge of public policy, using “scientific” management and “evidence-based” policy analysis to determine and implement social policy. Few areas of policy have...
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Gordon Tullock and the Transitional Gains Trap »

Gordon Tullock, who died on Monday at the age of 92, was along with his longtime colleague James Buchanan, the founder of the modern field of public choice, which during the past fifty years has become a well-established subfield of economics and of political science and has also had an influence on other disciplines....
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“Hunger” Games »

As with their measurement of “poverty,” federal officials not surprisingly similarly play creatively with their definition of “hunger”—that is, “food insecurity.” As James Bovard explains in The Wall Street Journal, in releasing figures showing nearly 15% of the U.S. population as “food insecure,” the USDA has in fact polled Americans on their feeling that...
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Taxpayers Get Forked Again »

From the “you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up” file, California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) is sponsoring a bill to create an Office of Farm to Fork. AB 2413, which was introduced February 21, would create a new office within the California Department of Food and Agriculture to promote “healthy food access,” especially in “underserved” areas, and...
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The Pilgrims’ Real Thanksgiving Lesson »

With Thanksgiving upon us once again, we offer a reminder of the economic lesson that made our first Thanksgiving possible: The Pilgrims’ Real Thanksgiving Lesson by Benjamin Powell Feast and football. That’s what many of us think about at Thanksgiving. Most people identify the origin of the holiday with the Pilgrims’ first bountiful harvest....
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SCOTUS Decision Offers Hope to Farmers Wanting Economic Freedom »

In addition to collecting information on your telephone and Internet activity, the federal government is collecting your raisins. Yes, you read that right. Since 1937, the federal government has forced raisin growers to hand over without compensation a percentage of their annual crop to a government-sponsored raisin marketing board, keeping this portion from consumers...
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TSA, the $1,022.95 Pocketknife, and Why Your Flight is Delayed »

A rancher* friend of ours—fancying himself a free man, self-sufficient, and disinclined to outsiders’ meddling—was stopped in airport security not too long ago, caught carrying a fancy pocketknife: the Mini Leatherman at right, in fact, a handy all-in-one tool just right for a working man. Not taking kindly to the suggestion that he give...
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Sequestration Math »

The media are bombarding us with stories of how sequestration, with its “drastic cuts” in government spending, will affect our lives. Marketplace ran one yesterday about the USDA and the potential loss of federal meat inspectors. Don’t worry, we were told, the authorities won’t allow tainted meat on the shelves! But they might inspect...
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Legal Challenge to Federal Agriculture Policy »

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the 75-year-old Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act, one of the few pieces of New Deal legislation to survive to the present day. The AMAA authorizes the US Department of Agriculture to establish and enforce “marketing orders” for particular agricultural commodities, detailed federal regulations that...
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The Wretched Nationalization of School Lunch »

Don’t you love how all political debates seem to center around two false alternatives? The Obama administration’s school lunch guidelines, codified in a 2010 law and spearheaded by the First Lady, have prompted many students, teachers, parents, and conservative opponents of the regime to protest the smaller portions. Kids complain that they are hungry...
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