Big government crushes small business, protects big business, promotes uniformity, kills diversity, eviscerates localism, and punishes entrepreneurship.
Food and agriculture is one area where this is very clear. Today, I came across three stories painting this picture:
- Illegally selling rabbits: “selling a few hundred rabbits over two years has provoked the heavy hand of the federal government to the tune of a $90,643 fine. The fine was levied more than a year after authorities contacted family members, prompting them to immediately halt their part-time business and liquidate their equipment.” [from the Daily Caller]
- Illegally selling chickens: “Josh processes his chickens on his farm under a legal exemption allowing him to avoid industrial (and expensive) processing plants. Each chicken he produces is clearly labeled as to origin, method of production, added ingredients (none); the label also cites the statute that allows him operate unmolested.
“Recently he was informed by the Food Safety Inspection Service, the regulatory arm of the USDA, that he faced a “situation.” They had discovered a chink in the otherwise protective “non-molestation” statute. Because he is marketing chickens to an intermediary (me), his product is therefore rendered illegal and he must desist.” [From The Freeman, via Reason, via Overlawyered.]
- Illegally selling yogurt: “Alas, after three months of operating (for about $300 in revenues a week, and no profit at all), she encountered that other American tradition, red tape (after the red bands that used to hold bundles of bureaucratic papers together in the old days). For although she had spent a year getting the required permits from Orange County, she had, it turned out, yet to make the acquaintance of the “milk and dairy food safety branch” of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). On a Saturday morning in March, Ms Dashtaki got a call and was told to shut down or risk prosecution.” [via The Economist]
The Big Myth is that Big Government protects the little guy from Big Business. The truth is quite different.