The PJ Tatler

Using the Feudalism Formula to Destroy Private Ranchers

The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) distributed an email regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed animal ID program. This would require identifying and certifying all interstate livestock transportation (registration). All animals would be micro-chipped, with all the attendant expense from investing in technology, bookkeeping, and hiring new bureaucrats to oversee the program.

This is allegedly about preventing disease outbreaks. (Gun control rationale: “If it saves one life, it’s worth it.”)

Here’s another example of banning something–in this case free enterprise–because something bad might happen. The bottom line is that this government regulation would benefit bureaucrats and large agribusinesses, while burying small ranchers under the expense of following the new rules. As FARFA notes:

“These new regulations will harm rural businesses while wasting taxpayer dollars that could be better spent on the real problems we face in controlling animal disease, food security, and food safety.”

Since 1990, Agribusiness has donated over half a billion dollars to federal election campaigns. Even though the sector traditionally gives 68% to Republicans, Obama–whose USDA is promoting this anti-business regulation–was the second-biggest recipient in 2008, and is currently the third-biggest for the 2012 election cycle. Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is the top recipient. She just coincidentally happens to be Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, which of course oversees the USDA.

You can submit comments to the USDA here. Ask them to consider the following points:

  • If there is value in animal ID, then exporters and businesses growing meat for export should pay the costs and offer economic premiums to livestock producers to encourage them to participate in a voluntary system.
  • If there’s some value in this proposal, why aren’t agribusinesses stepping forward to lead on this using free market dynamics?

This proposal would simply cost jobs and damage the economy by stymieing exports, small business, and free enterprise.

Urge the USDA to withdraw their proposed animal ID rule. This is just another attempt by feudalists to use fear to induce us to surrender more Liberty in the name of safety, knowing that while we won’t be any safer, the government will be safer from us.