Any Way You Slice It
I wonder about those who consider themselves "conservative", or tend to think they are "Republican-like," lacking the "extremist" positions that separate us radicals from them.
I speculate on what they consider to be the "necessary government" that they say we need in our lives in order to build a community, develop markets, raise a family, and thrive under a capitalist economy.
I ponder whether or not they can draw a distinction between functions that can necessarily be performed in the free market, and those that they think require minimalist government because they cannot comprehend the loss of such services from our caring bureaucrats.
I wonder if they ever think about Swiss Cheese.
Yes, that tasty white dairy product that we make the choice to purchase or not purchase, based on our value scales of its use as an edible good as vs. the alternative uses for our money. That stinky stuff with the holes in it.
The latest government invasion into our personal lives involves the US Department of Agriculture and its attempt to "regulate" Swiss cheese. Regulate what? The process by which it is made? Nope. The amount of fat that it contains? Not that. The pasteurization process? Think not.
The size of the holes in the cheese is what our Potomac bureaucrats have decided to get into their grasp.
Anybody who knows their cheese, knows that Swiss cheese is currently given a Grade B rating, based on the size of the holes, which are currently eleven-sixteenths of an inch. That, of course, is common information.
However, the cheesy cheese industry wants to bring home a banner Grade A rating for Swiss cheese, which would require decreasing the size of the hole to three-eighths of an inch. This grade change would result in the most coveted Grade A rating, meaning that cheese producers could charge a higher price than is currently the case with the substandard and lowly Grade B cheese.
The USDA is spending great resources to study the effects of such change because of heavy lobbying from the cheese industry. In fact, this hopeless wasteland of a bureaucracy released a proposed new 15-page regulation requiring the reduction in hole size.
Amazing, isn't it? . Not only is this CHEESY as hell, but it just plain STINKS. It is FLAT out ridiculous that our government can find its way into our refrigerated meat drawers. It's downright un-AMERICAN. The SWISS would never do the same in their country. Very KRAFTy for a bunch of government employees — I must say. I'm trying not to be too BLEU about it, though. But any way you SLICE it, it's wrong...The industry, it seems, is going to MILK this for all it's worth. HOLY COW!
So how do we cope with our beloved hole sizes being shrunken to accommodate an overbearing industry and bored bureaucrats? We boycott Swiss cheese in favor of Colby — that stuff with the little pockmarks in it, unless they want to change the number of pockmarks, too. Or we can buy the shredded kind, Grade A or not.
For right now, I take my personal stand against the thuggery of the USDA and the Cheese Industry boobs. I sit here around midnight, with a flavorful red wine, and a package of Sargento Deli-Style Swiss cheese, enjoying nibbling around those eleven- sixteenths-of-an-inch holes that I so dearly cherish. And I feel free. For now.
I have been wondering what Site Editor Lew Rockwell is going to think when he sees this article in his mailbox in the morning. I'm thinking he'll be thinking I've had too much wine and ate too much bad cheese. But, that's not the case. There are no HOLES to this story…. Believe it or not.
September 1, 2000
Karen De Coster is a politically incorrect CPA, and an MA student in economics at Walsh College in Michigan.
Copyright © 2000 Karen De Coster