Nanny State

The Government's Looming Crackdown on Raw Milk Cheese

A new FDA report could mean more of your favorite cheeses will be unavailable in the United States.


Earlier this month reports emerged that the FDA had detained a U.S.-bound shipment of mimolette, a French cheese.

Mimolette, which has been imported into the U.S. for decades, is beloved and is unusual because its rind contains microscopic cheese mites. The FDA also recently held up a shipment of another such French cheese, Salers.

The FDA's complaints about the cheeses that reached U.S. shores in these cases? That they contain cheese mites.

Well, yeah.

If this FDA crackdown on a set of rather obscure, mitey artisanal cheeses that conform to traditional standards sounds like a small, targeted regulatory intervention involving cheeses you've never heard of, consider that this agency crackdown is but one small part of the FDA's larger, very concerted international and domestic attack on artisanal cheeses—especially those made with raw milk.

Take a joint U.S.-Canadian government draft report, Quantitative Assessment of the Risk of Listeriosis from Soft-Ripened Cheese Consumption in the United States and Canada, which has cheese buyers and sellers alike scared about the future of artisanal cheese in North America.

Both the U.S. and Canadian governments currently require soft and semi-soft cheeses sold across state (or provincial) borders to be aged for at least 60 days.

The report acknowledges, though, that "cheeses made from raw milk that have not been aged for 60 days" are legal in Canada in the province of Québec. The intrastate sale of raw milk and/or raw milk cheeses is legal in some sense in more than three-dozen states, according to this Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund map.

The report doesn't just touch on raw-milk cheeses. Its focus is laserlike. Indeed, by my count the words "raw" and "unpasteurized" appear more than 230 times in the 175-page report.

Both supporters and opponents of raw-milk cheeses view the report as a giant step toward increased restrictions on artisanal cheeses made with unpasteurized milk.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), whose members only "use pasteurized milk in cheese production," notes the report will help the FDA in its ongoing "reevaluation of the current 60-day aging requirements for cheese made from raw milk."

The report is a likely "prelude to increased regulations," food law attorney Jason Foscolo, who represents many artisanal food producers, told me in a recent email.

But are increased regulations necessary? Critics of the study, including Foscolo, note the science doesn't support that approach.

Indeed, much of the science contained in the report appears at least as soft as the raw-milk cheeses the report claims may be problematic.

The American Cheese Society, which represents artisanal producers, claims in comments it filed with the FDA that the draft report contains several "inaccurate and misleading" statements that could spur "increased regulatory efforts beyond those justified by empirical evidence."

Jill Erber, who owns Cheesetique, with two locations in Northern Virginia, echoes the ACS comments.

Erber, who Reason magazine's Katherine Mangu-Ward interviewed for a 2009 column on the harm that punitive American cheese tariffs do to U.S. businesses and consumers, read the draft report and notes several shortcomings with the data.

Using that data, she calculated in an email to me that the chances of a person in a high-risk group (e.g., a pregnant woman) being sickened by pasteurized cheese are the same as the likelihood of someone from the general population being sickened by unpasteurized cheese—in both cases a scant 1 in 55 million.

Erber notes that means "1/6 of the entire country could eat camembert at the same time and ONE person would get really sick."

Those microscopic odds are also reflected in real-world numbers.

Erber points out the report notes just "725 reported illnesses in the entire world over a 25 year period," a startlingly small number given worldwide cheese consumption.

Even the IDFA admits soft and semi-soft cheeses like Camembert—whether from pasteurized milk or not—pose little to no risk.

"The last outbreak in the United States was in 2006," notes the IDFA.

The draft report itself acknowledges a few of its many limitations. For example, it observes that like "all risk assessments, [its] results rely on inferences from limited data and on extrapolations."

It also indicates another key shortcoming—that experts have little idea where and when contamination happens due to "a lack of information about the non-milk contamination sources."

For the FDA, though, these extrapolations, information gaps, and a few rare exceptions may be just the excuse the agency needs to craft a harmful new set of rules.

"[R]egulators suggest they want to see raw milk cheeses like camembert and brie either subject to unprecedented testing, processing similar to pasteurization, or else banned completely," writes journalist David Gumpert, author of the book The Raw Milk Revolution, in a recent Food Safety News column.

The one potential bright spot both Erber and Gumpert note in the report is the indication that aging cheeses may simply allow Listeria more time to grow in those cheeses.

"[O]ne reassuring finding is that aging raw milk cheese for 60 days has no apparent effect on the presence of Listeria—and may do more harm than good," writes Erber. "My only hope is that this information will be used to support eliminating this requirement."

If not more regulations, then what?

"We believe that the best way to prevent food-borne illness in cheese is to obtain our cheeses made by farmers and cheesemakers who work closely with the herd from which they are getting milk, and regularly test the milk for signs of food-borne illness," says Carolyn Stromberg, owner of Washington, DC's Righteous Cheese, in an email to me.

The public comment period for the draft report ends this Monday, April 29. You can weigh in directly on the issue here.

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  1. I have my cheese they way God intended, in processed and individually wrapped slices. Eating cheese with live mites? Slippery slope. What’s next, Klingons importing gagh into the country?

    No, it all sounds disgusting to me and therefore no one should be allowed to do it. If people were to start actually eating this cheese or raw milk products in general, we would see deaths in the thousands.

    1. If your “cheese” comes in individually wrapped slices then it isn’t cheese – its yellow platic food product that *might* have been driven by actual cheese on its way to the store.

      Next you’ll be saying you *like* Cheez-Wiz.


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      2. When I was in Korea a pregnant coworker was sitting there eating Kraft Singles like they were going out of style. I asked her why and she said someone had told her that “cheese is good for you when you’re pregnant.”

        It’s almost impossible to get real cheese in Korea, there isn’t much market for it. I finally got to costco, grabbed some sharp cheddar (and a ton of gin and dr pepper [not to be consumed together]). She didn’t like it: “This isn’t cheese.” That was pretty much of the end of my missionizing in East Asia.

        1. I don’t think I could survive somewhere without real cheese.

        2. That’s a lot like this person I knew in high school who had never had cheesecake. She thought the stuff you mix up from a box was real cheesecake until we told her the actual stuff is baked in an oven.

    2. If people were to start actually eating this cheese or raw milk products in general, we would see deaths in the thousands.

      Not only that, if they get sick, all our health care premiums go up. How dare they make us pay for their liberties.

      1. “1/6 of the entire country could eat camembert at the same time and ONE person would get really sick.”

        That one person could by your your own precious child. Of course raw-milk cheese must be prohibited. And CPS should remove the children from the home of any parent in possession of it.

        Nobody needs raw-milk cheese, especially olefactory assault weaponized cheeses like gorgonzola. Since they are biological in nature, such cheese are properly classified as weapons of mass destruction.

        1. stay away from my Stilton!

    3. Speakinf of disgusting cheese. I saw a special once about taboo foods and they did a segment about Casu Marzu. An illegal Sardinian delicacy.

      1. Some other wonderful delicacies. If you’re eating don’t click on this.…

        1. No list is complete without durian fruit.

          Durian’s unique appeal is that it allows one to enjoy the pleasure of eating shit without the harmful health consequences.

          Hotels and other public buildings in SE Asia post signs with a picture of a durian behind the international “NO” symbol, captioned “No durian beyond the point”

          Even Zimmer, the guy with the Weird Foods show on the Travel Channel, couldn’t handle it.

          1. I saw a chopped edisode last weekend where viewers were allowed to pick the ingredients through social media. The first basket had durian in it. The judges were not amused. It even looks disgusting.

            1. Durian tastes pretty terrific. The downside is that it smells like something filthy died in an underfunded YMCA’s locker room.

          2. I’ve had some durian ice cream that was good. The fruit isn’t that bad when you can remove the smell from it.

            1. You know what else isn’t that bad when you can remove the smell from it?

          3. We visited a good friend of mine’s family in Malaysia and they put me and her fiance through the “Asian food gauntlet” including a hot pot filled with unidentified animal parts, and durian. They had the training wheels durian and the “good stuff” I didn’t want to have to do a round two once I tried the training wheels version so I went straight for the potent one. Long story short, I could not force myself to swallow and my host finally got me a coke to wash it down.

  2. It’s artisanal cheeses; it’ll only kill the hipsters.

    1. Is there any word that screams duechy more than that one?

      1. Duechy does.

        1. Is that the snob variant of ‘douchey’?

      2. Which one? Hipsters?

  3. the science doesn’t support that approach

    We need a strict separation between state and “science”.

  4. 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security?

    Now we have the answer. Tea started the American revolution. Cheese, my friends, cheese.

  5. The agency crackdown is part of a larger and very troubling FDA attack on artisanal cheeses?especially those made with raw milk.


    Raw milk is almost as inherently evil as guns.

    1. From my cold, dead, cheese-slicked fingers, my friend…

  6. My guess is the bureaucrats don’t no anything about the process of cheese making etc. I think I read here about the cluelessness that brewers were encountering from regulators.

    1. So those with expertise in the cheese-making process have a useful contribution to make to public policy?

      Or, in other words, blessed are the cheesemakers.

    2. They don’t know shit about a charcuterie, either. They’ve been cracking down on places curing artisanal meats, too.

      1. For some reason, I read that as “artisanal mites” and was imagining something like the insect version of Kobe beef.

  7. Cheese mites? If you put them under a microscope, do they look like Warner Brothers’ cartoon termites; a tiny body attached to a giant set of teeth?

    1. Naah. More like that killer tomato that Bailey uses on all the GMO threads.

  8. Sounds like a government agency trying to think up new and better ways to justify their budget.

    The ol’ “Never let a serious crisis go to waste” is being supplanted by “It doesn’t actually need to be serious” and “I can pull a crisis out of my ass anytime you need one”.

  9. Two summers ago there was a listeria outbreak with cantelope….from mainstream industrial farms ….

    1. I tried the cantaloupe thing a few weeks ago, and it really does work. Hard to get it to warm up in the microwave though.

  10. Bill Maher tears into the police state last night.…

    1. I watched that! It was great!

    2. Maher can put his finger to the wind. The fact that he is apparently decided to be less of a boot licker doesn’t bode well for the future popularity of Obama.

      1. The fact that he is apparently decided to be less of a boot licker

        Well the election’s already over after all. It’s safe to criticize now that the opposition is out of the way.

    3. Hey buttfuck, haven’t seen you on since the story broke that Bush’s approval rating is equal to glorious leader’s. Have you found a way to rationalize that yet?

    4. Bill Maher starts off by fellating the cops.

      “Protect and Serve” is a slogan. (See: Warren v. D.C.)

      Jimmy Kimmel then tells us we have the police state because we asked for it.

      Then the idiots claim the cops “caught” D. Tsarnaev. They only “caught” D. Tsarnaev after a homeowner went outside for a smoke and noticed his boat was bleeding.

      Bill Maher then disagrees with Mirandizing D. Tsarnaev. Hardcore Libertarian there.

      I don’t see any “tearing” by Maher.

  11. I remember doing an under-the-table deal with a well-known artisianl cheese shop during the ’90s. It was just like a dope deal. “Hey, OMWC, I’ve got some real Epoisses! Raw milk! Totally illegal!” Pulls out an anonymous-looking package from under the counter. The smell would knock you over.

    Fucking awesome with an aged Grands Echezeaux.

    1. The world is turning into Atlas Shrugged, but it’s also turning into the Thursday Next novels, where cheese is a black market item, and despite attempted interventions by the Cheese Enforcement Agency, smugglers are continually developing more potent and dangerous cheeses for their users.

      1. Did you know “Last Friday” is finally in the works?

      2. And the Crimean war continues. . .

  12. I wonder if part of what is driving this is bureaucrats choosing the path of least resistance. If I work for the USDA, I have to do something to justify my existence. Sure, I could go after the big corporate food producers. But that is hard. They have lawyers. They give Obama money who then appoints my boss. Going after Tyson chicken sounds great and all, but it is liable to get me on the major shit list. Washington has ways of dealing with bureaucrats who cause problems for powerful people, namely sticking them in offices with nothing to do. So, I have to do something. But I don’t want to go after the obvious targets. So what is a budding bureaucrat to do? Go after some Amish family in Pennsylvania or some hippies out on Colorado making cheese. They don’t have any connections. And I get something to put on my yearly evaluation.

    1. If I work for the USDA government, I have to do something to justify my existence.

      And that, my friend, in a nutshell, is why the government spends $3.5T/year. The status quo is never enough. “We must do more or we’ll be deemed irrelevant. Damn the cost, our jobs are on the line.”

      1. Completely. It is totally backwards to the real world. In the real world, if a manager comes in and says “I can do the same thing we are doing now with two fewer people”, that manager gets promoted. In government, that manager just ensured he will never go anywhere from where he is. The way to get ahead in government is to say “we need five more people to do what we are doing”. That is called empire building. And thousands of people all striving away to justify more and more people for decades on end and an entire culture of “doing more with more people is always better” is a big reason why we are where we are. No one in government who wants to get ahead ever asks “do we need all of these people” or “should we be doing this”.

        1. Much the same way that nobody is asking why ATC is a government job.

          1. Can you imagine how much more efficient it would be if privately run?

            1. Even with no gain, there is nothing inherently governmental about the position even by the government’s broad standard for that description. They should be employed by the airports they serve. Maybe the FAA could certify them, but that should be the absolute limit of it.

              1. Air traffic control also handles airspace outside of airport movements- “area control centers”. They direct traffic from facilities that are not in airports. “Privatizing” this would result in a public-private enterprise with its inherent corruption. The only other option is getting rid of it and letting airlines and general aviation figure something out, which is a fine option.

        2. In the real world, if a manager comes in and says “I can do the same thing we are doing now with two fewer people”, that manager gets promoted.

          At very small companies, perhaps. If you’ve ever worked at a company of any size, you know that the importance of a particular manager is determined by the number of subordinates they have, so anyone who proposed this is going to be heard as “Hey boss, I just came up with an idea on how to make you less powerful!”


    20 most hated celebrities. I think they got it about right.

    1. Most “hated”, i.e., most sick of. Roman Polanski would, or should, be on a most truly hated list.

      1. Polanski isn’t a celebrity anymore. All of his friends in the media were appalled to discover that when ‘old news’s his ‘troubles’ surfaced again, he got precious little sympathy from the proles. So they try to keep him out of the limelight, in the hope that someday he can return to Hollywood without getting lynched by the ‘little people’.

        Myself? I hope his schlong falls off while he waits.

    2. Taylor Swift? What could anyone have against her? She seems like an honest to God sweetheart. Did I miss something? Did she kill and eat a baby or something?

      1. I agree with you. But for some reason she has gotten the reputation as being a frigid man eater. And she did date a Kennedy. So that is one strike against her.

        But I don’t see it either. She is gorgeous and seems pretty nice.

        1. She dates guys, dumps them, and then writes songs about how they’re bastards who broke her heart. Then her fans use the lyrics and timing to figure out exactly who the song is about, and spread it all over.

          She’s a psycho bitch. Who I would do depraved things to if I ever got the chance.

          1. In fairness, more than a few men have made careers doing that.

        2. I don’t know about frigid, but her albums seem to be fueled entirely by breakup songs; the woman is a breakup machine. Also the Kennedy was a highschooler iirc.

          1. The Brit ex that she ridiculed during a performance was what, 19? She’s become the relationship monster that she used to complain about: the older experienced one preying on fresh meat.

          2. Evenm larva-stage Kennedys are evil.

            1. they should be force feed raw milk cheese and unpasturized beer until their livers can be harvested for pate…

        1. Okay, got it. She’s hated because she makes money by writing songs about her experiences.


          1. You know how most people favor laws against criminals profiting by selling their stories to be made into a book or movie? It’s like that.

          2. Not just her experiences. It’s a question of “what do all of your failed relationships have in common, Ms. Swift?”

            “Too much, Taylor Swift?”

            “There you go.”

          3. “Okay, got it.”


        2. The only thing wrong with that caption is the question mark. Her “I’m the young innocent victim in the relationship” schtick is wearing thin and losing credibility. She always gets dumped? Sure…..

          1. Hollywood will never stop making movies involving drop dead gorgeous women playing parts where they can’t get a date. So I am not sure that schtick will ever wear that thin.

            1. But they don’t keep the same actress playing that part.

              1. No. They just go on to play attractive old women who can’t get dates like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give.

                1. I wouldn’t date Diane Keaton

                2. Taylor Swift is going to look like a ragged, used-up, alcoholic female country musician in ten years. Pretty much standard career pattern.

                  1. But she should have enough money to see herself through an Elton John level drug binge and still not need to appear on Celebrity Rehab.

      2. Her music is obnoxious, and her personality is insufferable.

      3. Her dating history and its interaction with her song writing.

  14. Gibberish

    And this makes one wonder how much difference the intellectual collapse of the austerian position will actually make. To the extent that we have policy of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent, won’t we just see new justifications for the same old policies?

    I hope not; I’d like to believe that ideas and evidence matter, at least a bit. Otherwise, what am I doing with my life? But I guess we’ll see just how much cynicism is justified.

    Can Krugabe be any more stupendously unselfaware? Or is it pure mendaciousness?

    1. It is like people like Terry McCulliff don’t exist in Krugabe world, like government spending somehow doesn’t go to benefit the rich and the powerful.

    2. I hope not; I’d like to believe that ideas and evidence matter, at least a bit. Otherwise, what am I doing with my life?

      I wonder how many astrologers, alchemists, and Lysenko devotees wrote stuff like this in their diaries to steel themselves against the slings and arrows of their ideological enemies. Of course there’s such a thing as “insufficient demand” (whatever that’s supposed to mean in the post-Hazlitt world). Of course Sadbeard is the hero who just so happens to argue for pumping trillions of fiat dollars into bankers’ coffers, while Ron Paul’s the big austerity meanie who wants the poor to suffer by ensuring their dollars have actual long-term value.

      Keynesians are from another planet. It’s astonishing that Austrians haven’t just rejected them wholesale and declared Krugman et al to be something completely distinct from economists.

      1. An0nb0t – Matty Yglesias is Sadbeard the kinda pirate. Krugabe is Rejected Bond villain #6. “No, Mister Bond. I expect the economy to die.”

        1. You are, of course, correct.

          Don’t know how I managed to get my millionare crony-capitalist media-whore Keynesians who are frequently feted by statist bootlickers confused.

      2. “It’s astonishing that Austrians haven’t just rejected them wholesale and declared Krugman et al to be something completely distinct from economists.”

        I think that, in large part, they have.

        Certainly Krugman’s musings in NYT have very little to do with real-world economics.

        And, of course, the sentiment is mutual. In one of his NYT articles, Krugman compared Austrianism to the phlogiston theory of fire.


    Tragic letter to Instapundit. Yes, drug warriors are going to a special circle of hell.

  16. Guess what country is the largest producer of cheese?

    Guess what country is the largest exporter of cheese?

    Now guess what country produces its cheese mainly for its domestic market and has a dairy board and a Department of Agriculture and a Food and Drug Administration full of cronies?

    1. This regulation would be like mandating that the car industry produce only two door four cylinder hatchbacks with air bags and a speed governor of 80 miles an hour. Shockingly, American cars wouldn’t be very popular in the export market.

    1. I hope they keep those uncovered, painted Western whores away from the righteous.

  17. Government is slowly killing our national economic productivity . . .

    (I just felt like saying that 😉


    But the stonewalling of the background check proposal was a mistake, both politically and substantively. Following a series of tragic mass shootings, public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of reasonable legislation restricting the ownership of guns by people who shouldn’t have them. There was also plenty in the proposal that gun-rights proponents like me could embrace.

    I hate it when I agree with SIV, but Levy can eat a bag of dicks. This makes CATO look like a bunch of big government McCain Republicans, in my estimation.

    Somebody should tell that idiot it’s already legal to transport a gun across state lines. Instead of making more laws, we should ensure the cops know, understand, and obey the ones we have.

    1. Is it finally safe to say that Levy is not a libertarian, but rather has libertarian-ish views on some issues? I don’t like litmus tests for political movements (which tend to be amorphous, ad hoc, and coalition-based by their nature), but advocating for gun control and higher taxes are the two best ways to assure me that you aren’t a libertarian.

      1. Yeah, if you advocate for gun control you’re not a libertarian.

        1. I don’t think you even qualify as a conservative at that point. Gun rights really are that important and that undebatable at this point.

          To me they are a real test. There isn’t any rational case to be made for gun control. It has failed everywhere it has been tried. And there is pretty much an air tight case that more guns equals lower crime. So the only case for gun control is either out of some emotional idea that you have to do something or out of a cultural affinity for the gun control people and the desire to appear reasonable. It takes a fair amount of courage to be really pro second amendment in some circles.

          My view is someone who is otherwise reasonable on issues supports gun control, they are either just too emotional to think clearly about the issue or they are cowards who are too afraid to take the social sanction of being pro second amendment. Either way, I can’t see how they qualify as anything but leftist at that point.

    2. I am about to lose all use for CATO over this. If you are willing to give in on gun control, you can go fuck yourself. I don’t care how pro pot or pro freedom you claim to be in other areas. This whole thing makes CATO look like the worst Cosmotarian stereotype. They are willing to be all reasonable about guns because they are bunch of Washington douche bags who don’t own or care about guns and think gun owners are dumb rednecks.

      1. Gun control is a definite dealbreaker for me. I wouldn’t vote for a guy who supported it, and I sure as hell have reservations about an organization whose chairman supports it.

        If he were just a fellow I could be more forgiving, as they have different views and Cato itself doesn’t endorse specific policy proposals, but the chairman? It makes me distrust Cato as a whole. I haven’t completely given up on it, but I’m a lot more reticent about supporting it.

        They are willing to be all reasonable about guns

        It’s more that Levy specifically is willing to concede these things, because he doesn’t care about them. It doesn’t personally bother him, and he apparently has the political sense of Maureen Dowd, so he thinks giving in to dead-in-the-water legislation that violates our right is a good idea.

    3. Yeah, those polls are complete bullshit, and Levy is just another worthless Beltway Cosmotarian pinhead.

      If they were right, Max Baucus would have voted Yea instead of Nay. Somehow I think Baucus, a guy who has been getting elected as a democrat in a conservative traditional state for 40 years, is a little more in touch with the actual views of regular people than a putz like Levy.

    4. Currently, dealers can charge up to $125 for background checks. If these fees are supposed to promote public safety, the taxpayers ? and not just law-abiding gun owners ? should foot some of the bill. And more F.B.I. staff members to manage the database would also help expedite the process.

      And there’s the wrinkle. Remember, it’s an onerous and insurmountable burden for a person to produce (free) identification in order to vote. It is unAmerican if a person waits more than 15 minutes to vote. It is neither onerous nor insurmountable if a person has to pay $125 in order to own a firearm.

    5. Following a series of tragic mass shootings, public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of reasonable legislation restricting the ownership of guns by people who shouldn’t have them.

      Perhaps that statement is correct AND people realize that the legislation in question wouldn’t have done a fucking thing to achieve that goal.

      1. That’s optimistic of you. There was only one poll showing “overwhelming support” and it looked like voting results under a dictatorship. Even my friend who has been flogging the gun control talking points dropped it as soon as I asked where the number came from.

        The general WaPo polling for that sequence is here. The only other place they get close to that 90% number is “would you support making sales of illegal guns a federal crime.

    6. Gun-rights advocates should use this interval to refine their priorities and support this measure, with a few modest changes. If they don’t, they will be opening themselves to accusations from President Obama and others that they are merely obstructionists, zealots who will not agree to common-sense gun legislation.

      But I am an obstructionist. Undermining the second amendment is NOT “common sense.”

      Fuck off and die in a fire Levy.

      1. Exactly. This concern troll bullshit pisses me off.

        I mean, being a libertarian means being an absolutist on the Bill of Rights. If you’re not a staunch defender of individual liberties, even the ones that make your social circles squeamish, then you aren’t a libertarian.

  19. Gun-rights advocates should use this interval to refine their priorities and support this measure, with a few modest changes. If they don’t, they will be opening themselves to accusations from President Obama and others that they are merely obstructionists, zealots who will not agree to common-sense gun legislation.

    Principles are all well and good, but we don’t want people to think we’re a bunch of fanatics!

    1. Gun rights advocates would do well to just give up on their cause and agree to what the gun controllers want. Fuck you Levy.

  20. I guess Hercules Savinion Triathlon was originally inspired by this blog post.

    1. I mean, the guy is a little over the top, but he isn’t wrong. He just downplays the rapey aspect of Vikingism.

  21. while Ron Paul’s the big austerity meanie who wants the poor to suffer by ensuring their dollars have actual long-term value.

    Several times recently, while watching teevee personalities talk about monetary policy, I have been overwhelmed by the suspicion they don’t really know what “inflation” and “deflation” actually mean.

    Some of these people seem to think “deflation” means money is worth LESS, and “inflation” means money is worth MORE.

    1. Well either they’re idiots, or they’re just well aware that inflation benefits debtors, not creditors. And debtors are noble victims. Creditors just sit around on their fat cat asses collecting money from working people.

      1. The idea that “creditors” is just another word for “savers” never enters into their minds. Where do they think the money those creditors loan out comes from? For being so convinced the world is a zero sum game, they really do seem incapable of understanding that you might hurt some people by trying to help others.

        1. Saving isn’t fair John. It isn’t fair that gratification must be deferred.

          Let me tell you a tale. I work with a girl who bought, on credit, a BMW SUV. Now I know for a fact she can’t afford it. Her husband is a prison guard/Guardsmen, currently deployed to the Stan. Hes gonna pay for it.

          Bimmer got totaled, she got 12 grand from the insurance comapny. 8,500 went to pay off the totaled Bimmer. So now, with 3500 dollars in hand, she’s looking for a new car. No problem right? I mean, you can get a five year old Accord or Camry, that 3500 should cover at least 40% of the cost.

          No no no, she wants, nay…needs an Infiniti SUV. Because in the six months since she had the Bimmer, she’s gotten very used to leater seats and a navigation system. She can’t go back to lesser cars.

          I spent a good ten minutes trying to explain basic finance to her. She remained unmoved.

          1. There is no saving these people. In a sane and just world, that girl would, if she was lucky, be sent to a debtor’s prison; if she wasn’t lucky, she would be sold to a brothel to pay off her debts.

            1. She could easily afford any modestly elegant vehicle if she is hot and is willing to become a trade conference-level escort. Beats debtor’s prison.

            2. ” In a sane and just world, that girl would, if she was lucky, be sent to a debtor’s prison”

              Jesus you’re stupid.

              1. Jesus you’re stupid.

                Gonna have to agree with sgs on this one HM, advocating for debtor’s prisons is some Tony-level asshatery.

          2. You just described a whole lot of modern America. The whole culture of saving and work and investment is dying. I think my grand parents generation. Those people would maybe have one vice. Usually it was cars. My one grandfather always loved to buy a new car every few years. But that was it. Those people saved and sacrificed and hated owing money or living even at their means let alone beyond their means. It was a question of morality to them. Unimaginable that most of the people from that generation would go out and run up a bunch of credit card debt on bullshit and then declare bankruptcy and walk away from it. And now people do it all of the time and think there is nothing wrong with it.

            And sadly people like you describe make it hard on responsible people. It is like housing. I refuse to spend 50% of my take home pay on a mortgage or buy a house with no money down betting it never goes down in value. But because of that I have no hope of outbidding the jackasses who take out the interest only mortgage for 40% of their take home pay. Thanks a lot for destroying access to affordable housing and making those living responsibly lives that much harder. And of course when you default I will have to hear about how horrible it is someone is losing their home.

            1. My grandpa has a notebook with like…35 entries maybe? With detailed notes of every single car he ever bought. From the first one he purchased to the ones he has bought for his grandkids.

              He loves shopping for used cars.

              1. That is awesome. I have no illusions about what America was like in the 1950s or before. There were a lot of things they did wrong. I would never want to go back to the days when an interracial marriage was a scandal or girls couldn’t take shop.

                But they got a lot right. We have totally lost touch with so much that gave us all of this wealth and this great country we were fortunate enough to be born in. All this shit didn’t get built by people sitting on their asses waiting for a handout.

                1. Yeah the insidious thing about the Left, IMO, is that they knew that people, deep down, knew that Jim Crow was wrong. So they packaged socialism with tolerance, wrapped up poison in honey.

                  Now we’re at the point where you get accused of being racist for advocating a small government, as though one has anything to do with the other. But it works to keep the sheep flocking to and fro.

                2. The bottom line is people are no longer held responsible for their actions. A safety net is one thing. But the term has changed from making sure irresponsible people don’t starve to death, to irresponsible people shouldn’t be accountable for their misdeeds at all.

                  Progressives get elected by telling people it’s not their fault when they fuck up and the government will cover them. AND the other side has gone too soft to decry such bullshit.

        2. But insufficient demand! We must stimulate more demand, which is somehow magically separate from supply. If that policy hurts the poor the most (those whose primary assets are cash) then so be it.

          One of the benefits of doing the demand-side dance is that central planners can decrease real wages while increasing nominal wages and engaging in the sorts of class warfare that minimum wage laws and similar bs encourage, thereby convincing the victims of your monetary policies that you’re the ones looking out for their best interests against the evil rich. That might be the single most repugnant part of Lord Keynes’s legacy, which is really saying something.

      2. No, no, that’s an ugly stereotype–the rich never sleep and all of the time that they’re not beating their noble servants with bullion, they’re swimming about Scrooge-McDuck-style in vaults full of horded gold rounds.

        Which is IIRC more or less what Marx said the rich did with their wealth.

        1. Labor theory of value. How dare all of these rich people make money by simply having money.

        2. In Capital, Marx’s name for the capitalist in his examples is, in fact, Moneybags.

      3. What bigger debtor is there than the federal government?

  22. The idea that “creditors” is just another word for “savers” never enters into their minds.

    In the magical world of Krugabe Keynsianism, “Saving” is a sin. Those people should be punished. It is the duty of every patriotic American to spend a multiple of his actual cash income every year.

    Aggregate Demand will save us!

    1. “Do you have any savings in the bank.”


      “That proves you are undertaxed.”

  23. I spent a good ten minutes trying to explain basic finance to her. She remained unmoved.

    What was it Twain said?

    “Never try to teach a pig to whistle; it can’t be done, and is simply an annoyance to the pig.” or some such.

    1. You can’t win an argument with an ignorant man . . .

  24. Everything is prevented except that which is allowed.

  25. Alleged actual ricin-letter-sending dude arrested.

  26. Hat tip to Reason commenter #HOLO YOLO


    1. All six people who read 24/7 are very impressed.

      1. Six people read 24/7? That’s a bit of a high ball number, no?

        1. “Six people read 24/7? That’s a bit of a high ball number, no?”

          Jes’ me and a buddy or two…

      2. I just wanted to see reason print something as ridiculous as “#HOLO YOLO”

        1. What does the HOLO part of HOLO YOLO mean?

  27. I’ll just leave this here:…..013-03.jpg

    1. Thanks


    Wow. Have some grade A snark. And I hate people who are not MDs or at least PHD researchers in some kind of medical science who call themselves “DR”.

    1. How smart can you possibly be marrying that POS?

      1. Cash strictly cash Slammer.

    2. My late, Chemical Engineer PHd, father would probably agree with much of your sentiment, but at the same time he only half-jokingly referred to MDs as Plan B doctors because they did not to have to do original research. I would suggest that my father’s long string of patents (unfortunately for his heirs, all owned by DuPont) earned h his title in a way “Dr” Baden does not.

      1. Your father was a hard science researcher. He earned is “Doctor” title.

        1. Joe Biden, six-pack Joe who has never earned more than a pols salary, lives with The DuPonts in Centervile, DE, one of the richest Zips in the country. Being a public servant pays well.

          Meeting Joe when I was still in HS started me on a journey away from being a longhaired liberal douche. (But it was the 70s so I can be forgiven for my douche bag very.)

          1. ***bagery****

            Damn autocorrect

          2. Seriously? You met Joe Biden, and it helped change your political orientation?

    3. You know who else called themselves “Dr.”?

      1. Ted Geisel?

      2. Andre Romelle Young?

    4. Meh. As least doctors generally aren’t as anal about others using the title, unlike some (professional) engineers.

      1. My husband is civil PE. When I go off about the rent seeking nature of professional licences he becomes very uncivil!

        1. Hi PACW, My sympathies to you… Ask him if he makes endless bribes (oops, I mean, campaign contributions) to the politicians so as to preserve his “special licensed status” there. If not, cut him a break, and make peace on this one… I am an UN-licensed engineer, and I do NOT militate for people to have to come and ask me for a prescription for a knife or a TV or whatever I am an engineer on, before they can buy one (protecting my privacy here, my web site is and I want anonymity). My “significant other” is a licensed CPA but he/she does NOT militate to preserve his/her special privileges. That’s what matters. So my unsolicited advice is, cut him a break if he deserves one?

      2. I had a statistics professor who had a phd in math. He was very insistant on people calling him doctor. He was pretty resonable as a professor though.

        1. I had an English professor that wanted us to call him “Doctor”, but he was actually a pretty fun teacher.

  29. ps-

    It’s a good thing CATO wasn’t allowed to fall into the evil clutches of the KOCHTOPUS. Who knows what sort of horrible unlibertarian policy positions they might have embraced?

  30. A lack of kidney donors has forced specialists to introduce a “mortality calculator” that will bump people off the transplant list if they don’t meet certain criteria.

    1. But we can’t create a market for organs because that would be inhumane.

    2. GASP! Death panels!

    3. I read that as a MORALITY calculator. Sentence still works.

      1. That’s funny. Who’s gonna write that program?

  31. Plain raw milk is disgusting. But raw milk cheese just seems traditional to me. Doesn’t the cheese process pretty much take care of milk germs and replace them with new ones?

    1. The mite cheese should totally be shunned, though.

  32. A parable

    The cheese-mites asked how the cheese got there,
    And warmly debated the matter;
    The Orthodox said that it came from the air,
    And the Heretics said from the platter.
    They argued it long and they argued it strong,
    And I hear they are arguing now;
    But of all the choice spirits who lived in the cheese,
    Not one of them thought of a cow.

    – Arthur Conan Doyle, Songs of Action, 1898

  33. Well, this will be one of those blue moon events where liberals actually care about liberty.

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  35. Sometimes man you jsut gottta throw your hands up in the air!

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