Did you know the enlightened wizards of the New Deal worked out a plan that raisin producers had to turn over a percentage of their crop to the government and not get paid for the raisins?
Yes, that was actually a plan developed back in the ‘30s.
Did you know that plan is still in place? Eighty years later?
I discussed that a year ago – Economic destruction from the New Deal just keeps rolling on.
The lawsuit I mentioned back then involved farmers who were told to give 47% of their ’02 crop and 30% of their ’03 crop to the government without compensation. The case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled the farmers did actually have standing to sue the government. The case went to the 9th Circuit Court for consideration of their claims.
The 9th Circuit ruled it is perfectly okay to take half a raisin farmer’s crop without compensation. Part of the reason is that the purpose of the program is to drive up costs to consumers.
The goal is to drive up costs? Yes.
The court cited wide fluctuations in raisin prices between 1914 and 1920 as partial justification. Yes, market fluctuations a hundred years ago make it okay to forcibly remove half a farmer’s raisin crop today.
The court approved
stealing (it isn’t stealing if the courts say its okay) confiscating (raisins are a legal crop so they aren’t being confiscated) taking (it isn’t a taking under the constitution which would require compensation because the 9th Circuit doesn’t feel like it is a taking) removing half a farmer’s crop.
Lest you think I’m making this up, you can get more detail from James Bovard, writing at the Wall Street Journal, Why the California Raising Have Stopped Singing.
While the raisin non-taking taking may be legal, could someone explain to me how this can possibly be considered moral?
Please outline an ethical framework under which this would be just and moral.
We lost a hero yesterday
The article I wrote a year ago also told of the Feds cremating alive 75% of the wealth of the Navajo nation during the Depression. This was also out of the beneficence of the New Deal wizards for some vague reason or another. Three quarters of the sheep on the reservation were burned alive in front of the owning families. Some of the families, not all, but some were paid one-fourth of what the sheep were worth.
Chester Nez told that story in his biography Code Talker,
Mr. Nez passed away on June 4, 2014 at the age of 93. We owe him and the other code talkers a tremendous debt. I am so thankful for their service.
The CNN obituary is here: Chester Nez, last of original Navajo code talkers of World War II, dies. The obit has a 2 minute clip of an interview by Larry King of Mr. Nez.
Update: The Economist obituary has the best explanation I’ve seen of why the Navajo language is so complex:
Nothing could take away his Navajo–part (though he did not know it) of a language family so complicated that linguistics needs special terms to describe it. Verbs do most of the work, agglutinated with suffixes and prefixes, in seven modes (including the usitative, iterative and optative), 12 aspects, such as the semelfactive (a half-completed action), and ten sub-aspects, including the completive and the semeliterative (a single repetition). It has four combinations of tones, plus glottal and aspirated stops. A shift in any of them can change a word’s meaning completely.