Rabbit Inspectors: Your Government At Work
Quoting Jerry Pournelle:
A man in Missouri sold about 600 rabbits for ten to twelve bucks each in 2008 and 2009. He made about 200 bucks profit. The United States Department of Agriculture discovered that he did this without a Federal License. Apparently you can’t sell bunny rabbits in rural Missouri without the permission and license of the government in Washington. The United States Department of Agriculture is on this case: they have assessed a fine of Ninety Thousand Dollars ($90,000.00). If he doesn’t agree to pay this fair and reasonable assessment, he will be subject to a fine of $10,000 for each rabbit sold, although they might be willing to round this down to half a million dollars. [...]
I don’t know what else this branch of the United States Department of Agriculture does, but given this example of their work I am pretty sure we could do without it. I suspect the entire Department could be eliminated, but perhaps that’s a bit drastic: but surely the Republic need not borrow money to pay people whose work is to assess a $90,000 fine for selling six hundred bunny rabbits. [...]
This branch of the USDA may be doing something worthwhile in preparing this pamphlet and finding unlicensed rabbit sellers, closing them down, and assessing fines; it may be a Good Thing for the Federal government to prevent cruelty to bunny rabbits and Easter chicks and ducks; but do we need to go into debt to do this? [...]In times of economic crisis do we need rabbit inspectors?