Trust the government to overreach . . .
As it turns out, the US government can take - without compensation - a portion of every raisin growers' crop and hold it "in reserve." This was due to a federal regulation (which is not even a piece of legislation) that was passed after World War II to prevent raisin growers from going out of business since there was a huge demand by raisin hungry GIs and now Johnny had come marching home.
And it is still on the books. And in recent years the government has made a cool $65 million from the labor of California raisin growers by a sheer taking. And Marvin Horne is fighting to change that.
But in the article describing Horne's battle, I read this:
It’s not quite what it sounds like. There is no Fort Knox of raisins, no vault buried under Fresno. Instead, the government simply waits for farmers to grow their crops — nine months of growing grapes, then two to three weeks of drying them in the sun.
Then it takes away a part of that crop and stores it in warehouses around California. The government might save some of these “reserve” raisins for later years. It might sell them to foreigners. It might feed them to schoolchildren. Or cows. The point is to get them off the open market in the United States and lower the supply available to commercial buyers.
That, in theory, means greater scarcity and higher prices. The same approach works for oil and diamonds.
Except raisins are not durable like oil and diamonds. And selling them to foreigners or giving them to school children does not get them off the open market.
Can we get a do-over? I mean, on that whole federal system thang?