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A Little Euro News - the good, the bad and the ugly
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The good:
This month, the European Union voted to repeal its strict rules on the size, shape and appearance of 26 fruits and vegetables. It will still regulate 10 items, including kiwi fruit, but if one of these is now deemed too petite, or too plump, it could still be sold as long as it carries a warning label.

"This is better regulated at the level of trade than at the level of Brussels," said Michael Mann, the E.U. spokesman on agriculture.

The changes take effect in July. Until then, it will remain illegal for retailers throughout the European Union to sell a forked carrot or a cauliflower less than 4.33 inches in diameter. A Class 1 green asparagus must be green for at least 80 percent of its length. A vine shoot on a bunch of grapes must be less than 1.97 inches.
A small thing (literally and figuratively) but an important step toward liberty. Consumers should have the option of accepting or rejecting fruits and vegetables based on size, shape and color, not government. The waste inherent in that sort of system is silly and only drives up the price of those items which meet the arbitrary standard imposed by government and which artificially limits supply. So this, albeit minor, is a good thing.

The key line: "This is better regulated at the level of trade than at the level of Brussels."

Recognition that the decentralized market with its millions of independent actors is a much better arbiter of "value" than some centralized bureaucracy and will make the proper adjustments based on consumer demand.

The bad? From Britain:
Tough new targets on tackling climate change will cost Britain £500 a year per household, push up utility bills and force 1.7 million Britons into fuel poverty by 2020.
A report from the Committee on Climate Change said the sacrifice would be worth it 'given the consequences and higher costs of not acting'.
Worth it to whom? Liberty? Meh. No choice at all if the Committee has its way. "Sacrifice" by decree but for "your own good" - like you have no way of determining that.

And the ugly - well again it involves Britain, but it comes from European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso discussing Britain and the Pound v. the Euro:
U.K. officials "who matter" said they are considering joining the euro, according to comments made by European Commission [President] Jose Manuel Barroso to the French radio station RTL. He said that while a majority in the U.K. are opposed to the idea, "people who count in the United Kingdom are in the process of thinking about it.
Those "who matter" (aka, those who agree with Barroso) obviously don't include the majority of the people in the UK, but hey, it's the EU we're talking about here. Who are these people to get in the way of "progress" and the dreams of politicians? Choice? That only extends to vegetables. Barroso and those "who matter" will take care of the big things for you - just move along and be a good little prole.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Joining the Euro would be an emergency measure for them. The UK, Switzerland, Ireland and some other European countries might potentially end up in the same situation as Iceland; i.e, with outsized financial sectors that have gone broke (not to mention housing bubbles that are far larger compared to the size of the economies that the US one, at least in case of Ireland and the UK). As a member of the Eurozone, Ireland would be propped up, but the others were on their own in the same situation.

Written By: Ralf Goergens
the Committee on Climate Change said the sacrifice would be worth
I bet not one of those committee members will be wintering in a cold house. They’ll be jetting off to another Climate Summit in South Pacific.
It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.
Ayn Rand
Written By: Jay
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