Here’s a copy of a letter George Mason University Economics Department Chairman Donald Boudreaux sent CBS Radio regarding a story about a Department of Agriculture proposal to have meat processors put country-of-origin labels on their products.
Boudreaux, of Cafe Hayek, points out in the CBS report that “Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said that the program is voluntary, but could become mandatory if meat processors don’t comply.”
To which Boudreaux adds: “It’s clear that if Mr. Vilsack were an armed robber he’d assure persons looking down the barrel of his gun that he seeks only voluntary compliance with his requests that they had over their money and jewels – but also that he’ll shoot those persons who reject his requests.”
Indeed, isn’t this the type of volunteerism that made Soviet Russia such a hotbed of happiness and freedom for seven decades?
One of the unfortunate things about the way history is taught in public schools today is that while Abraham Lincoln is deified, George Washington seems all but forgotten.
Many Southerners, and some historians, still hold a grudge against Lincoln, but that’s a matter for another day. What’s particularly troubling is the degree to which George Washington has been pushed aside.
Just the idea that we as a nation would go from celebrating Washington’s Birthday (and Lincoln’s) separately to lumping all the presidents into a single day is troubling enough. Does a man of Washington’s stature really deserve to included with the likes of Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding, afterall?
But if you ask many Americans today about Washington’s contributions to this country, their responses rarely go beyond the fact that he was the first president and a general during the Revolutionary War? And, of course, plenty of schoolkids will also include tidbits like he chopped down a cherry tree and owned slaves.
The fact is, Washington is the greatest American ever, bar none. Consider:
- During the Revolutionary War, he held together a rag-tag army and a fragile nation for seven years amid threats of disintegration and collapse, all while battling the most powerful country in the world.
- After the war, he retired to private life at Mount Vernon, instead of assuming control of the new-found nation. That move caused King George III to utter: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”
- He presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution in 1787.
- He was the nation’s first president, but avoided joining a political party.
- When his second term ended, he retired to Mount Vernon and the life of a gentleman farmer.
Washington, of course, lived more than 200 years ago and many today have a difficult time understanding the challenges he faced in getting our fledgling nation on the right track.
But instead of the news media holding Lincoln and FDR out as role models for President Obama, it would be nice if some publication somewhere looked back at the man who did more than anyone else to put this country on the path to success.
US producers plan to plant 8.11 million acres of cotton this spring, a 14 decrease from last year and a continuation of a trend that began in 2007, according to Southeast Farm Press.
The figures comes from a National Cotton Council survey mailed to producers in mid-December. The Council held its 71st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, earlier this week.
Based on survey results, all four US regions show intended upland cotton planting area decreases compared with last season, according to the National Cotton Council.
The West and Mid-South show the largest percentage drops of 31 and 23 percent, respectively. Smaller reduction of 18 and 9 percent are expected in the Southeast and Southwest, respectively.
Most Southeastern states, the National Cotton Council reported, expect to see significant declines in cotton acreage in 2009:
- South Carolina plans a cutback of 18 percent as growers shift primarily to soybeans.
- Alabama reports a projected reduction of 33 percent;
- Virginia anticipates a 23 percent decline;
- Georgia expects cotton production to be off 17 percent;
- North Carolina plan a cutback of 12 percent;
- Florida was the only Southeastern state to indicate an upland expansion, with an increase of 3 percent expected for 2009.
Globally, world cotton production is projected to fall 4.3 million bales to 105.5 million bales – the smallest crop since 2003, according to National Cotton Council Economist Dr. Gary Adams.