Beefing Up Gov't: Biden May Impose New 'Regulations' On Meat Processing Plants

P. Gardner Goldsmith | December 1, 2020
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In a classic example of shallow constitutional research (or none at all) and the Aristotelean fallacy of “appeal to authority”, a new report in USA Today pushes the argument that, should Joe Biden take the sordid stage as President, he likely will (should) impose new and more stringent “regulations” on US meat processing plants.

In addition to its frustratingly pro-government-aggression argument, it’s a report that offers curious people an opportunity to learn.

The first lesson appears in my use of  “US meat processing plants," which is employed to show how easy it is to infuse something with prejudicial subtext. A term such as that semantically implies that the meat plants are “part of America," part of “our collective interests”, rather than private businesses few of us own and at which few of us work. So, for example, rather than reporting about employees at “meat processing plants operating in the United States”, USA Today says:

Advocates for American meatpacking workers, sacrificed during the pandemic by an industry that has President Donald Trump’s ear, offered tentative hope for a heavier hand under President-elect Joe Biden.

And who could argue against helping “American meatpacking workers” who were, somehow, “sacrificed” by their evil employers and their pal, Donald Trump?

This is USA Today. This is a piece published under their category “investigations,” not opinion.

That’s journalism 2020 for ya.

At the close of the “investigation” we see in italics that the story comes from USA Today and what USA Today tells us is the “Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. The center is an independent, nonprofit newsroom based in Illinois offering investigative and enterprise coverage of agribusiness, Big Ag and related issues. Gannett funds a fellowship at the center for expanded coverage of agribusiness and its impact on communities.”

So it makes sense that this piece of “journalism” should not be real journalism at all, but advocacy, driving an agenda, and appealing to “authority” in Washington, DC, to tell business people, their employees, and consumers how to live.

As indicated by their scaremongering and scapegoating intro, the USA Today propagandists employ their “reporting” to push a narrative that Joe Biden can save “Americans” from a horrifying pandemic (which is, even if one believes the inflated CDC numbers, roughly as deadly as the seasonal flu) shutting down meat plants by either working with Native American Senator Elizabeth “Spreading Bull” Warren (D-MA), or issuing edicts via his magically unlimited “executive powers” to, in essence… shut down meat plants.

Hence, we see USA Today adding more biased spice to their concoction:

Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, won the U.S. presidential election on a campaign promise to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The spread took hold in meatpacking plants this spring and since has infected more than 42,000 workers and killed at least 221. The Trump administration, meanwhile, weakened safety guidelines and signed an executive order to keep plants open at the request of industry officials, even as outbreaks ravaged the plants.

All of which is curious, since Biden has yet to be determined by the Electoral College to be the victor of the election and it seems odd for “journalists” to claim that they have divined the single reason he “won.” Then there’s the fact that the “executive order to keep plants open” is precisely the same unconstitutional “executive order” to which the authors of the USA Today piece refer as one of the answers allowing Biden to impose his will on private meat processing businesses. More on that in a moment…

Before we move on, let’s also note that the claim of 221 deaths out of 42,000 infections – translates to a fatality rate of half-a-percent and does not take into account what percentage of total processing plant workers the “infections” represent. Those who were “infected” (or tested positive in the unreliable tests) should be able to return to work free and clear, because they now carry ANTIBODIES and won’t be carriers.

None of which is discussed by the hand-wringers at USA Today.

Instead, they let Liz Warren make her argument for legislation and DC bureaucracy imposing new “regulations” – regulations that see no enumerated constitutional power for their existence in the first place.

’Thousands of meatpacking workers contracted COVID-19 because giant meatpackers refused to lose a single dollar slowing down line speeds to keep workers safe, and the Trump administration’s (Department of Labor) accommodated them at every turn,’ said Warren, a frequent critic of the agency’s response to the coronavirus outbreaks inside meatpacking plants.

And, in case readers didn’t get enough of her sanctimonious smoke-blowing…

’A Biden administration can immediately restore OSHA to serve workers, not big corporations – starting by issuing enforceable health and safety standards for COVID-19, conducting on-site inspections, and ramping up enforcement activity so that giant companies don’t escape accountability for workplace conditions that expose workers to serious harm and death,’ Warren said.

Just don’t mention that lawyer Lizzie worked for, and made millions off of, immense corporations like Dow Corning while it fought liability suits by women who sought compensation for autoimmune disorders they argued were inspired by silicone breast implants acting as adjuvants in some genetic subsets known as haplogroups.

And while “Prez-Elect” Biden has not produced any concrete proposal to fulfill Lizzie’s pipedream of further controlling these private businesses, USA Today reminds readers that during his cellar-based campaign, Hunter’s dad did say that meat plant workers should be made to stand 6 feet apart and be made to work under federal requirements for politically preferred “protective equipment.”

And USA Today appeals to leftist union reps and professors to reinforce the message that Trump messed-up, that the feds need to do something, and that Joe can lead the way, imposing these measures and more.

How? Well, of course, using the same “power” USA Today criticized Trump for using in March, the so-called “Defense Production Act,” which was passed in 1950 and, as anyone at USA Today can see, violates the US Constitution by granting the President the “power” to not only offer private businesses contracts to provide what he deems “necessary” in a time of “national emergency” (again, not in the Constitution), but to FORCE them to give him what he demands in his “deals.”

It’s right there in the Constitution, next to its provision that the President can act like Harry Potter and employ magic phrases like, “Productiarcha!”

And USA Today seems to believe in this magical world, because, in part, they offer this:

Marc Perrone, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said he thinks Biden could sign an executive order, using the Defense Production Act…

Of course he does.

But, not only is this “Defense Production Act” not provided for in their “Constitution”, that so-called “rule book” doesn’t grant the feds any power to “regulate” private business at all.

That’s because it’s PRIVATE, on private property, and all parties participating in the agreements do so of their own free will.

As MRCTV’s Eric Scheiner reminded in his Nov. 30 report on the NYC pub owner who declared his establishment an “autonomous zone” in his resistance against threats by the government, private property is supposed to be free of government meddling. The sole purpose of the very concept of “private property” is to allow for AUTONOMY, and anything that does not use tax money is PRIVATE. Period. It is supposed to be, by definition autonomous.

Just because a place is open to people who might want to engage in trade, that does not mean that the place is a “public” place. Public places use tax money, and private places don’t.

Joe doesn’t get this. Liz doesn’t get this. USA Today’s team who wrote their gushing piece in favor of heavy, expensive, fascistic federal impositions on meat packing plants – they don’t get this. But Reason’s Baylen Linnekin DOES get it, and he also understands the financial impact a Biden attack would impose.

(W)hichever rules the Biden administration might impose, if they reduce worker density at meat plants that are already operating at capacity, then there simply won't be room—or jobs—for all of the workers that currently staff these plants. 

That's because meatpacking plants are designed to maximize output while complying with existing rules. Changing the rules means changing the plants. That's not easy.

If Joe and Liz and the USA Today propagandists want meat plants to operate in a certain way, they don’t need to break the Constitution, they don’t need to order people around.

They can start their own businesses, see who wants to work there and who wants to buy from them, and leave others in peace.

Of course, peace is something they repeatedly have shown they don’t embrace.

They prefer "beefing up" government aggression that will raise prices and hurt poor people.

That's not healthy -- at all.