9th Circuit Again Justifies Government’s Theft Of Property

Thursday, May 29, 2014
By Paul Martin

by Bob Livingston
PersonalLiberty.com
May 29, 2014

Last July, I told you about a case involving California raisin growers and their battle with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Depression-era Raisin Administrative Committee. That case is now back in the news — and likely headed back to the Supreme Court — after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled in favor of the raisin cartel by upholding its authority to fix prices and steal half of a farmer’s raisin crop without compensation.

The case has been kicked around various courts for more than a decade. It began when California raisin growers Marvin and Lena Horne, owners of Raisin Valley Farms, decided they were tired of complying with crop set-asides established arbitrarily by a bunch of paper-shuffling government functionaries, especially once the government went back on its agreement and quit compensating them for what it took. In other words, the USDA quit just strong-arming farmers and resorted to strong-armed robbery — transferring their product to crony capitalist corporations like Minute Maid.

The Raisin Administrative Committee’s job is to fix raisin prices. So once farmers have an idea on the size of the year’s harvest, the Raisin Administrative Committee tells the farmers how much of their product they must place in a reserve pool (i.e., handed over to the king as tribute). That reserve pool cannot be sold in the United States and must be surrendered to raisin packers that then package and sell the raisins to the U.S. government for school lunch programs or at reduced prices overseas.

Farmers were to receive some compensation (though not market prices) for the raisins set aside. But thanks to dwindling profit margins, farmers weren’t compensated in 2003, even though 47 percent of their crop had to be handed over to the government.

Horne decided that if he packaged and sold his own raisins, rather than run them through the cartel, he could circumvent the order. Other raisin producers, sensing an opportunity to benefit from all their labor rather than only that portion the eggheaded bureaucrats thought they should, decided to follow suit.

The Rest…HERE

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