While reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism by Kevin Williamson this morning, I stumbled on one of those things that just stupefy you.
In 1981, a writer for the NYT wrote about mountains of rotting navel oranges in California. The point was to keep the prices of oranges high for the farmers and to prevent consumers from buying oranges at lower prices. This was a federal order.
When an FDA bureaucrat was asked why the government was ordering that good food rot on the ground, his response was, “Oranges are not an essential food. People don’t need oranges. They can take vitamins.”
The fact that you might want to eat them, that you might want to buy them at a lower price makes no difference to the government. All that matters is that they are not “an essential food” and therefore the government can do what it wants to manipulate the market. In theory, no one will die if they don’t get to eat oranges, so the government can control the market and ensure that farmers make more money by screwing the orange eating consumer.
Of course it’s not just oranges that our government is controlling. Corn, wheat and other grown commodities are part of government subsidies.
Our government: so amazing.