The Raisin Administrative Committee?

No, I’m not making this up. Here is the story of California raisin farmers Marvin and Laura Horne’s battle with the USDA. What is the dispute about?

In this case, the USDA imposed on the Hornes a “marketing order” demanding that they turn over 47% of their crop without compensation. The order—a much-criticized New Deal relic—forces raisin “handlers” to reserve a certain percentage of their crop “for the account” of the government-backed Raisin Administrative Committee, enabling the government to control the supply and price of raisins on the market.

So government is in the business of enforcing agricultural oligopolies. Maybe someone can help me find where that falls in the enumerated powers of the U.S. Constitution?

Update We wrote about a different USDA administrative committee, the one for spearmint oil, here. Which raises the question, just how many administrative committees does USDA have? And how does somebody land a position on one of these committees? We might be prepared to serve if they have one for Cabernet Sauvignon.

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