Vidalia Onion Restrictions Have Libertarians In Tears

Threatening farmers with fines and punishment for shipping their crops a few days early is just another example of how Georgia’s nanny state government harms businesses says Doug Craig chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia.

LP Georgia is responding to recent news of one farmer who determine when to ship his crop of Vidalia onions in violation of state rules while government agents watched. The state of Georgia is appealing a court ruling from last month that struck down the state’s rule that mandated when the onion crop could be shipped.

“Farmers should be allowed to harvest and ship their crops when farmers believe it’s the best time to do so,” said Doug Craig. “We stand with the farmer on this issue. We believe farmers have the expertise to determine what is best for their business and industry.”

Libertarians question why so called “conservatives” who claim to support less government are so supportive of regulations that dictate how business owners run their businesses and question why they support rules that threaten to destroy their investments.

A better solution, according to Mr. Craig would be to allow farmers to form associations that approve and certify the quality of the produce being offered on the market.

Mr. Craig points out that while the state agencies are monitoring onion growers, people have died from poisoned peanut butter from Georgia factories because the state claims they do not have enough staff to inspect processing facilities.

“Georgia should use its resources to protect the public from tainted foods not harassing farmers who are producing quality crops”, said Mr. Craig.

The Libertarian Party of Georgia was formed in 1972 and a state affiliate of the National Libertarian Party formed in 1971. The Libertarian Party is committed to America’s heritage of freedom: individual liberty, personal responsibility, and community.

Incentives and Taxes

This was originally published at Porcupine Musings.

Bill O’Reilly is disingenuous when he says high taxes might compel him to quit his lucrative job. Although there is a level where taxes can have that effect (why engage in challenging work if taxes limit your income to that of someone flipping burgers), we are nowhere near it. However, taxes and regulation do result in a net decline in businesses and jobs albeit by a different mechanism than “quitting”. The mechanism is attrition. Businesses fail due to normal changing market demands, bad luck, poor leadership or other reasons. New businesses take their place, however as taxes and regulations increase, the rate of business replacement declines. Why? Some business ideas are high risk and some are low risk and both types may have a high or low reward. A graphical metaphor works best here.

Figure1Imagine a square, the left side indicates increasing reward (bottom to top) and the bottom indicates increasing risk (left to right). As taxes and regulations increase it makes those endeavors in the lower right corner (high risk-low reward) less appealing because of reward diminishment (taxes and regulation costs consume the reward). As taxes and regulation climb we continue to move across the square from lower right to upper left along a diagonal front: everything to the right of the diagonal will not be attempted, everything to the left will be attempted. As taxes and regulations continue their march upward that diagonal shifts further and further to the left until the only thing remaining is extremely low risk-high reward ideas. [Read more...]

Supreme Court Rebukes EPA In Landmark Property Rights Case

Property rights in America are sinking to the bottom of a regulatory swamp. The biggest threat to property rights is unchallenged bureaucratic decisions that command property owners to do the bidding of the EPA while not allowing those citizens the opportunity to be heard.

One couple caught in this legal quagmire is Mike and Chantell Sackett, of Priest Lake, Idaho, where they bought property in 2008 to build the home of their dreams. They secured all of the necessary permits and began work to fill the land and to prepare the site for the construction of their lake home. But three days after they began work a group of EPA wetland cops made a visit and in no uncertain terms ordered the Sacketts to cease and desist their activities.

Obviously, the Sacketts were taken aback by the EPA command. To complicate matters EPA’s own National Wetlands Inventory did not include the Sackett property as a wetland. To that, the EPA officials only shrugged and said that makes no difference: your property is still a wetland.

[Read more...]