Monday, November 7, 2016

Right to Farm - Oklahoma State question 777

I was for it - competition, and driving prices down is a good thing, and less regulation on the market. Scientifically driven efficiency is optimum. But a constitutional amendment seems silly, frivolous. Over the top hyperbole.

On the for side, face reality: small farms are a luxury, not a viable way of life anymore, this is for progress to use better technology to create more food more efficiently. While I buy seasonal items from a farmers market for the freshness and flavor that is so much better than big box grocery offerings, I do so as a luxury of my older years, and I personally know how prohibitively expensive fresh produce is for young families. Anything we can do as a cooperative society to use technological advancements to drive down the price of fresh food is a good thing.

However! On the against side: this bill doesn't solely focus on vegetables and fruit, it's also about ranching, raising livestock. It's so broad that it could be applied to any kind of husbandry, including raising pets. I sure don't want people wantonly breeding more animals. The unaltered cats roaming the street and breeding rampantly are incredibly annoying if not yet a menace. And because this bill paints such a broad swath across many markets, this can only tend to muddy things up in court - losing the best outcome, a fast and responsive free market.

For future consideration: what we really need is a mechanism to make fresh produce more affordable to young families who are often living paycheck to paycheck (with mortgage plus utilities at nearly 50% of their salary there's no wiggle room in those young budgets).

When a bag of celery and a head of lettuce costs more than an entire frozen meal, cheese crackers and potato chips, canned or frozen items in excess of x caloric, salt, sugar or fat content, need some sort of health tax imposed that gets applied directly to subsidize cost reductions for produce - balance it out. Celery, lettuce, tomatoes, apples, grapes should all cost 1/4 what they do now. A bagged salad or prepared fresh veggie box should be much cheaper than a fast food box meal. We'd solve a lot of problems, and help health issues and farmers both.

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