Tag Archives: regulations

Smithfield Foods, Citing “Escalating Costs,” To Shutter California Meat-Packing Plant, by Tyler Durden

California looks like it is reaching its long-term objective: make it impossible to do business within the state. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Meat-packing giant Smithfield Foods announced a 1,800-person pork processing plant in California would shutter operations next year, citing the rising cost of doing business in the liberal-run state.

Smithfield, owned by Hong Kong-based pork conglomerate WH Group Ltd., “will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023,” the company said in a Friday press release.

“Smithfield is taking these steps due to the escalating cost of doing business in California,” the company continued.

WSJ explains the company’s reasoning behind winding down operations at the Vernon plant is due to a multitude of factors, including the cost of energy to power plants is 3.5x higher per head to produce pork than any of its 45 other US plants.

“It’s increasingly challenging to operate efficiently there,” company spokesman Jim Monroe told WSJ. “We’re striving to keep costs down and keep food affordable.”

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The utter Orwellian stupidity of masks on airplanes, by Jeffrey I. Barke, M.D.

Masking isn’t supported by real science (as opposed to the garbage the Covid commissars peddle) and the masking rules are downright bizarre. From Jeffrey I. Barke, M.D. at americanthinker.com:

I recently traveled across the country to Hillsdale, Michigan.  My wife and I sat for five hours each way on airplanes with a mesh mask pressed across our faces.  It made the absurdity of the mask mandate we live under both clear and depressing.  The charade in which we are all forced to participate is not only totalitarian in nature, but also a big Orwellian lie.

I am sure most of the passengers on the planes were either COVID-19-vaccinated or COVID-19-recovered.  While few speak about the thousands of people who have had COVID-19 and survived, they are turning out to be an important group in the ongoing battle against the virus.  I myself am COVID-recovered after a bout with the disease a couple of months ago.  I now have natural immunity to the disease.

Forcing someone like me to wear a mask makes no scientific or health sense.  There are no studies to show that mask-wearing on an airplane can stop a respiratory viral illness.  If that were the case, we would expect pilots always to wear masks while in the cockpit.  But they don’t.  Maybe the recirculated air on airplanes keeps them safe from onboard viruses.  Furthermore, if mask-wearing on an airplane were critical to preventing the spread of the disease, why are we allowed to remove our masks for extended periods of time while eating and drinking?  I wish someone would pose that specific question to Dr. Fauci.

The requirement to wear a mask when entering or exiting a restaurant, but leaving it off while eating and drinking, also makes absolutely no sense.  Do the authorities suppose that the COVID-19 virus stops seeking new hosts to infect only when we are unmasked but not eating or drinking?  Do these bureaucratic geniuses really believe that the virus plays fair, observing equivalent rules to those invented by the Marquess of Queensberry for boxing?  I think the COVID-19 virus is more likely to play by Fight Club rules!

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Minimising Government’s Dominance over Your Life, by Jeff Thomas

If you really want to at least partially rid yourself of government, you’re probably going to have to move. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Recently, whilst having lunch with several successful businessmen, the value of formal education was being discussed and one said, “When I got out of school, I thought I was fully educated and ready to take on the business world, but actually, I was clueless.”

The others laughed, recalling their own introductions into business. All agreed that, although they had taken all of the requisite courses, formal schooling prepared them not at all in the understanding of commerce.

That is, all except one. He, as a boy, had been encouraged by his parents to take on a paper route, open lemonade stands, cut lawns for neighbours, etc. Although his parents couldn’t afford university for him, by the time he graduated high school, he thoroughly understood the principles of commerce.

The bicycle that he rode in his early teens was bought out of profits from his early business ventures. Later on, he bought his first car out of his earnings. And so, when he left school, he hit the road running and was ahead of his “luckier” peers who were then at university.

When they graduated, each had an advantage the others didn’t have. Yet, at the lunch meeting mentioned above, each university graduate agreed that understanding commerce, which they had had to learn on their own, after graduation, was the central lesson that enabled their later success.

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Let Us Count the Ways, by James Howard Kunstler

When does Democratic economic and political stupidity proceed to the point where the whole shebang collapses? From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

What America really wants to know is: after those months of “family leave,” did Pete Buttigieg get the hang of lactating? Hey, if sexuality is just a “social construct,” then the functions of sexuality must be teachable. So now Pete can move on to ovulation lessons and become the “birthing person” of his dreams. Pete’s dreams are America’s dreams, you see.

In the meantime, though, America has a little transportation problem that a Secretary of Transportation might look into if he wasn’t so busy performing a gender reeducation parable for the Woke family values crowd. Namely, that federal rules combined with California Air Resource Board regulations are destroying the trucking industry, a major link in the broken supply-chains for the gazillion products and parts that an advanced technological economy needs to keep on keeping on.

Under the rules, for example, California wants to phase-out tractor trailer rigs more than three years old, and eliminate all trucks that run on fossil fuels by 2035. Now, it happens that most of the truckers who service the ports of southern California are independents. They have to buy their own rigs, on which many make the equivalent of a mortgage payment, because a semi-rig can cost as much as a house. Of course, the rig must be allowed to operate for the duration of the loan. The new government regulations cancel that financial formula, and with it, the trucking industry. So much for the good intentions of the eco-wonks.

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How California’s Cities Strangle the Permit Process, by John McNellis

One huge business cost that rarely gets mentioned is the costs imposed by government bureaucracies. From John McNellis as wolfstreet.com:

If cities don’t start seeing the forest for the trees, our business landscape—if it hasn’t already—will irretrievably change.

California’s cities want to do the right thing. They’ve been telling us all the right things since the Covid mess began: promising to speed building permits for struggling landlords and tenants, to slash red tape, to help small businesses—particularly retail—through to the other side. But somewhere between our public employees’ enthusiastic adoption of remote working and city Zoom calls that resemble a high school yearbook, that right thing is proving elusive.

Like they say in Jersey, I know a guy. This guy has a small apartment portfolio in San Francisco. He wants to convert some of his garages into studios; that is, he wants to create accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Because a garage-turned studio is by definition lower income housing, the state of California has mandated that all cities swiftly approve ADUs to help with our housing crisis. The approvals for his conversions should have been a piece of cake.

They weren’t. This guy applied to the San Francisco Planning Department for permits more than a year ago. The approval process flat-lined, leaving his ADUs still hung up today. He said, “We were even told the permit was ready to be issued for one, we paid the invoice, went to pick it up at Planning, only to hear, ‘It isn’t ready yet’. Weeks later and we have no idea why we can’t get this permit.”

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What’s Yours Is Now Mine: America’s Era of Accelerating Expropriation, by Charles Hugh Smith

The smaller the pie the higher the probability that somebody will resort to theft. That somebody includes the government. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The takeaway here is obvious: earn as little money as possible and invest your surplus labor in assets that can’t be expropriated.

Expropriation: dispossessing the populace of property and property rights, via the legal and financial over-reach of monetary and political authorities.

All expropriations are pernicious, but the most destructive is the expropriation of labor’s value while the excessive gains of unproductive speculation accrue to the elite that owns most of the nation’s wealth.

In a nation in which the leadership has finely honed the art and artifice of legalized looting and financial legerdemain, it’s not surprising that the expropriation of labor’s value takes many forms. For the self-employed and small business proprietor, the list is practically endless:

1. Proliferating junk fees for permits, licence renewals, applications, late fees, penalties, fines for violating obscure regulations, etc. (Never mind if you’re losing money; by definition, as a business owner you’re “rich” and deserve petty expropriations. If you’re Amazon, however, we’ll shower you with subsidies and tax breaks.)

2. Sky-high liability insurance, disability insurance and workers compensation insurance, because all the fraud and friction in these systems adds expense and you’re the one who will pay for it all.

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Better Than Banning, by Eric Peters

Governments bent on denying things to their subjects often find that it’s easier to make ownership prohibitively expensive rather than an outright ban. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

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Bans are problematic when the thing being targeted is already in wide circulation. Gun being an obvious example. They can decree no new sales but what about the ones already sold – already possessed – by literally millions of people?

Door-to-door confiscation risks physical resistance and is logistically difficult regardless. It is much easier and equally effective to not ban possession of guns outright but rather to require that those who wish to continue continue possessing them pay for the privilege.

That they pay a lot for it. Not just once, either.

An annual registration fee, for instance. With the threat of criminal repercussions for failure to pay, if discovered (as during a “routine” traffic stop, for instance).

Also make ammunition expensive – as via heavy taxes. Not illegal, per se. Just generally unaffordable.

Presto! You have banned without actually banning.   

This method will likely be applied to cars that aren’t electric cars and – most particularly – cars that are not modern cars; i.e., those without built-in spyware (marketed as “apps” and “concierge services”) which present the threat – to the electric car agenda – of  being an alternative to them.

The electric car agenda is about more than just electric cars. It is about connected carsand electric cars are the apotheosis of connectedness.

The source of motive power is almost incidental to the fact that the powers-that-be can remotely control a connected electric car. Its range, for example, can be increased over-the-wire via a “software update.” It ought to be obvious what this implies. If the range can be extended, it can also be reduced.

To zero.

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The Late Great State of California, by Jeffrey Harding

Our family left California seven years ago and we’ve never looked back. Lots of people have followed. From Jeffrey Harding at mises.org:

My family moved to California in 1950, part of the post-WWII westward migration. My widowed mother, tired of Boston’s dreary winters, felt the westward pull. My eldest brother, a WWII Navy veteran, had heard good things about San Diego from sailors who had been stationed there during the war. So, California, here we come.

I would like to think those were the golden years, at least for us. California was new, bright, warm, and full of promise. The East was old and cold. And San Diego was thriving. Defense and aerospace jobs were plentiful. Land was cheap, homes were cheap. A building boom met the housing needs for optimistic migrants. You could get things done in California.

It’s not that California anymore. We are overregulated and overtaxed and people aren’t so optimistic. People want to leave.

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The Grass GESTAPO Is Out of Control: 30K in Fines and Potential Foreclosure for a Too-Long Lawn, by Dagny Taggart

We’re closing in on the point where everything not explicitly permitted by the government is forbidden. From Dagny Taggart at theorganicprepper.com:

A few weeks ago, I noticed a woman standing in my neighbor’s yard doing something I thought was pretty damn strange: she was measuring blades of grass with a tape measure.

Then I noticed the city truck parked on the street.

Turns out, the woman was with codes compliance or whatever they call it…apparently, her job is to drive around looking for reasons to harass and extort people for things like tall grass.

When I realized who she was and what she was doing, my next thoughts were “Are there not real problems in this city that need attention? There are people who drive around and measure grass for a living? And these employees are paid with taxpayer money…to extort taxpayers?”

It isn’t like there aren’t real problems in this city. Like most regions in the US, there are things like potholes, traffic light outages, crime, and other random issues that, to a logical thinker, seem more pressing than the height of residents’ lawns.

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Obama’s Forgotten Frauds and Debacles, by James Bovard

James Bovard discovers some chinks in Saint Barack’s halo. From Bovard at lewrockwell.com:

Former President Barack Obama is again busy lecturing Americans on politics. His speeches have contained many snappy lines that would deserve attention if they came from an untainted source. But Obama as president was guilty of many of the things against which he now warns his fellow citizens.

Last September, Obama received the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government at the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana. Obama told students that “the biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism” and called for “a restoration of honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government.”

Obama flailed cynicism as in the glory days of his 2008 presidential campaign. He declared that “making people cynical about government … always works better for those who don’t believe in the power of collective action.” He also warned that “the more cynical people are about government, the angrier and more dispirited they are about the prospects for change, the more likely the powerful are able to maintain their power.”

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