Tuesday, June 23

Raisin-growing couple objects to government demanding they give it 47% of their crop

Back in the 1930s, with the Great Depression and the Dustbowl, the federal government was desperate to find a way to fix things.  In doing so they passed some laws that were just as goofy as Obamacare or Cash for Clunkers.  Some of those laws and the programs they created are still operating today, with some...interesting...results.

For example, raisins.  If you grow raisins a federal program demands that you turn over a percentage of your crop--recently as high as 47 percent--to the government.  The government doesn't pay you for it.

You probably don't believe that, because "private property."  But it's true.

How in the world could such a program pass congress?  As you might have guessed, it purported to solve a crisis--the oversupply of food during the Depression.  The "oversupply" existed because people without jobs couldn't afford to buy a lot of things they formerly did.

One family--one--who grew raisins objected, and refused to comply.  The government fined them $695,000.

They sued, on the grounds that this was an "unConstitutional taking."  And yesterday the Supreme Court released a decision in their favor.

One "justice" dissented: Sotomayor, the self-proclaimed "wise latina."  In her written dissent she reportedly wrote that the raisin-forfeiture program did not deprive the plaintiffs of all property rights, but just limited the amount of potential income they could earn from growing their raisins.

Read that last statement again and marvel at how violently the Democrats have strayed from the principles of the Constitution:  Sotomayor is arguing, in essence, that the government can seize your property, as long as it leaves you *some* property rights.

Wow, what a fucking relief, eh?

If this is what passes for wisdom in the U.S. it's easy to see why things are rapidly going to hell.

Now I'll cheerfully admit that congress started this particular program 70-odd years before the emperor ascended.  It was unConstitutional from the outset and should have been so ruled decades ago.  Unfortunately what this shows is that blatantly unConstitutional  programs can persist for decades before a court finally finds the stones to shut 'em down.

But for the moment, let's celebrate a small ray of sanity.

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