The lamestream has been extra silent about the Raisin Takings. You do, of course, know about Horne v. USDA that started wending its way through SCOTUS last week? This is where the government trucks pull onto your farm and demand that you fork over a percentage of your harvested crop for which they pay you zilch. They have been playing these games on and off since the Depression – remember the grainy newsreels showing federal agents pouring milk from those galvanized metal milk cans into the gutters?
Most people have never heard that our government has been doing such things ever since. The explanation given is that keeping your product off the market will raise prices, and that will be for the common good. There is something in the Constitution about that called the ‘takings clause’ which says that if the government has to take any of your property to serve a greater public need, then they have to pay you a fair price - “just compensation” - for it. Zilch is not just compensation.
The Horne family has been making raisins in Fresno for decades, and the hoops the federal legal system has asked them to jump through is summarized in this piece, ‘The Incredible Raisin Heist’. One of my favorites from the report was the feds telling the Hornes that they would be fairly compensated by selling their remaining raisins into a market that would then pay them a higher price when California’s raisin confiscations are figured in. Oh yes, a runner up was ‘if you don’t want to have your raisins taken by the government, then you shouldn’t grow them in the first place’. You gotta love the progressive road to tyranny via a nod to socialism along the way.
I bring this up because Horne will be a seminal property rights case of this century, bigger than Kelo v New London was in the last one. But this one is being fought within a new understanding ever since people like Obama, Clinton, and Warren started telling their gruberized constituencies that all enterprise and success in the private sector was really due to and came from government. Therefore the government could reach into your pockets or property and take what they damn well wanted, because it is really theirs to begin with.
Lately this message has been strongly argued in these pages by readers of various collectivist hues. The scary part is that we as a nation are now so dumb and coddled that at least a third of Americans would be ready to march under the hammer and sickle in a heartbeat, given the promise that inequality would then be stamped out and they would get their ‘fair share’.
Notice what brings this to the fore are the ever more frequent statements in the lamestream by liberal politicians and progressive pundits pointing out the common basis for the state’s claim on your property and perspiration. If what you own or accomplished in any way involved anything that was built, administered, or accessed through the collective, then your rights to those fruits are secondary to that of the collective, i.e. the state. The state determines its cut and takes it off the top; what’s left over is yours, and if that remnant cannot sustain your enterprise, then it’s too bad – the ‘peepuhl’ come first.
The saddest thing is that our system was constituted to let us retain the means to oppose the rapid rise of an obvious and palpable tyranny. It was not designed to handle such bit by piece insults to our liberties through bread and circuses. Instead, it was designed to be managed by leaders of education, honor, and goodwill, who are vetted and elected by a suitably informed electorate – recall Jefferson’s, ‘A nation ignorant and free, that never was and never shall be.’ Today’s evaporation of our freedoms underlines the results of ignoring Jefferson’s wisdom – hence liberty, property, and security are on the wane.