Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Government at Work

Mandatory "Country of Origin" labeling laws will go into effect on September 30th. The Department of Agriculture released estimates that American business will have to spend $2.5 BILLION over the next year to be in compliance for the new law. Retailers and manufacturers will be required to list the country of origin of all produce on the package label or in the bins of fresh produce. As with any new law that adds costs to a business, most, if not all of those costs will be passed on to the consumers.

I remember hearing about this law when I was still in the buying department of my local Safeway division. There was talk at that time that food packers would have to list the country of origin for every ingredient in the package. I am not sure how extensive this law goes. Originally, it was to go into effect in 2002, but it was delayed due to pressure from industry lobbyists. The law was passed this year in the 2008 Farm Bill that was originally vetoed by President Bush. However, the Democrats in Congress overrode that veto.

The thing I found most interesting is the statement from the Department of Agriculture that states that "the expected benefits are...difficult to quantify" but probably will be "small." So our illustrious leaders have implemented a program that the government agency responsible for implementing said program states has little benefit.

As we head into the electi0n season, we will hear all the rhetoric about from the Democrats about how bad big business is and how business does not care about the average American. However, it is the Democrats that will continue to enact programs like this one, and will continue to raise the taxes on corporations, which are already the highest in the industrial world. Those added costs to business always end up being passed on to the consumer, no matter how much the Democrats say they are doing it to help us.

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