Readers' views for Sept. 21, 2012
Government relies on extortion
Extortion is defined as "the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats."
In the case of the recent actions by the U.S. Department of Labor against Oregon berry farmers, that is exactly what is happening. What farmer can afford to hold his produce until it is rotten and thus be unable to sell it? They are forced to pay up or go out of business.
It would be interesting to follow what happened to the back wages demanded from these farmers. Did the agency make any attempt to find these transient workers and give them their back wages? Or did the cash go into their general fund to be spent on office parties and new computers?
We should never forget that government produces nothing, it only consumes. It must prey on us through the collection of taxes, fees, judgments, and penalties for its very existence. This Leviathan will continue to grow and feed on the productive as long as we allow it to do so.
Do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating anarchy. I am advocating the proper role of government; a role greatly diminished from the government we currently experience. A government chained down by the duties given to it by the Constitution.
These most recent examples of predatory behavior by the USDL should have every farmer in the Northwest concerned. Our elected representatives should be written and called until they are forced to beat down the door of the Labor Department for answers and remedies.
If we don't, it won't be long before they show up on your farm demanding wages and penalties for these same phantom workers, or for some other supposed violation of their administrative rules.