Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sweet, sweet privilege

I'm over at Anything Peaceful talking about the alarming powers that have been amassed by maple syrup growers in Quebec. The story is a great foil to talk about the consequences to civil liberties and secure property of abandoning the rule of law for legal privileges.
The Federation estimates that only 75% of producers support its fixed prices, but it has the legal power to strong-arm the 25% who don’t. Dissenting producers don’t — can’t — have the same rights under the law if it’s to be enforced. Without equal rights under the law, there cannot be secure rights to property. 
One rebellious seller remarks that since he defied the Federation, “They can come into my house anytime they want.” Perhaps that’s why producers in Ontario and New Brunswick, who still benefit from the price supports, have declined to join Quebec’s Federation.
How did this happen? Quebec producers sought legal privileges for themselves by organizing into the Federation. Now that that privilege exists, it’s been seized not only by maple syrup producers, but by a specific contingent who benefit most from it. Special powers, once created, benefit the especially powerful.
Check out the whole post here!

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