The Big Think

April 18, 2015

Eating Out or Substance

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 7:00 am

Shriveled grapes, shriveled liberty:

“Takings-clause jurisprudence is quite recondite. The government, however, says two contradictory things. It says the Hornes ‘acquired’ raisins and hence must either surrender a large portion of them — in some years, 47 percent — or pay huge fines. But it also says the Hornes do not have sufficient ownership of the raisins to raise constitutional objections.

The government says the Hornes voluntarily entered their raisins into the stream of commerce, so they must comply with the RAC’s raisin reserve requirement. But the Supreme Court has hitherto rejected the idea that a person must give a portion of his property to the government in order to purchase the government’s permission to engage in a lawful business transaction, such as selling a commodity. The government says its required contributions to the raisin reserve merely regulates raisin sales. The Hornes say it is not a mere regulation but an expropriation.

The government says it owes the Hornes nothing in exchange for the raisins they supposedly owe it, because they somehow benefit from the government’s manipulation of the raisin market. The Hornes say it would be unconstitutional for the government to come on their land to confiscate their raisins or the proceeds from their raisin sales, so it is unconstitutional to fine them for not complying with an unconstitutional requirement.”

Outdated laws should be deleted. Those who slavishly adhere to them in the interest of maintaining their bureaucratic organizations should be forced to look for another line of work. Eating out our substance indeed.

“District 12 shall continue to produce their quota of raisins”

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