Wednesday, April 02, 2003

A federal judge has just ruled the Washington Apple checkoff unconstitutional. [High Plains Journal]

A checkoff is a mandatory contribution by farmers of a certain product to a quasi-governmental trade organization that does whatever it wants with the money. Like agitating against the "death tax". Or paying its officers lots of [farmers'] money to spend lots more [farmers'] money on ads for the other white meat. Or whatever idiocy they paid still more [farmers'] money to an ad agency to come up with. Mostly they seem to spend farmers money to ensure their own continued existence at the expense of that money. The milk checkoff was recently upheld in PA; the pork and beef checkoffs are currently in appeals court.

Not to belabor the obvious, but these programs are predicated on the idea that beef consumption would plummet without ads telling you what's for dinner.

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