This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at

Your Ad Here

Friday, May 27, 2011

President Obama Steals $90k From A Family Who Sold Rabbits

This story is widely cited. To give their children business experience, a family was raising and selling rabbits. There were selling them for a very small profit.

An FDA agent asked to inspect their rabbit farm. The family consented. DON'T TALK TO THE POLICE! EVER! The family was threatened with a fine. They can settle for $90k, or go to trial and risk losing $2M+.

A pro-State troll says "The title of this post is an exaggeration. President Obama didn't personally rob $90k from this family." The President is personally responsible for everything the Federal government does. He could issue a pardon. He could direct the FDA agents to focus their enforcement efforts elsewhere. President Obama did not do that. Therefore, President Obama personally approves of this abuse of State power.

It was offensive to see pro-State trolls discussing the issue. Many pro-State trolls said "The law must be strictly enforced as written! No exceptions!" Why is the law written that way? Regulations are a regressive tax. They hurt people who try to bootstrap a small business, like this one.

A pro-State troll says "The rabbit farm was unsafe! Those poor rabbits!" First, rabbits are property. You can do whatever you want with your property. Second, the rabbits were voluntarily sold as pets, and seemed to be in good condition. Third, why should the State be interfering in private transactions? Why can't the farmer do whatever he wants with his property?

Finally, even if the family was abusing the rabbits, that isn't a crime. Rabbits are property. Mistreating a rabbit isn't morally equivalent to mistreating a human. However, some sources say the rabbits were well treated.

Notice the offer of "We'll settle for $90k, but it'll cost $2M if you go to trial and lose." That's a clever ploy. First, $90k is probably more than the State thugs spent so far. The State will profit from this extortion incident. Second, $90k is probably cheaper than fighting it. If the family hires a lawyer, the bill will probably be $50k+. The family won't recover the legal fees even if they win. If they go to trial and lose, the fine may be $2M+. Unless they estimate their chance of winning to be more than 99%, it's in the family's rational self-interest to settle. The legal system is stacked in the State's favor. Their chance of winning is probably less than 50%. The prosecutor, via biased jury selection, will only pick jurors who think "The law must be strictly enforced as written!"

Finally, the family probably has assets worth much more than $90k. If they have a farm and retirement savings, they're better off settling than risking all of it. A middle-class family is a juicy target for State extortion. If you're flat broke, there's nothing to steal. If you're super-wealthy, you can hire lawyers, bribe politicians, or afford to fight and lose. A middle-class family has enough assets that there's something to steal, enough assets that they might rationally choose to pay rather than risk losing everything, but not so well-connected that they can defend themselves.

For example, if the family only had $5k in net worth and they were threatened with a fine of $90k, they would obviously refuse to pay and fight it pro se. If the family has a net worth of $1M, then they have a strong incentive to settle rather than fight and risk losing everything. In this manner, it's easier for the State to extort from a middle class family, rather than extorting from someone who's broke.

I'd like to see the family say "Up yours! We're fighting this, and we're going to do it pro se!", and then make a "jury nullification" argument. However, I understand if the family caves and settles. It would be pointless to hire a lawyer and fight, because that's more expensive than settling. The State thugs know that a lawyer costs more than $90k, when they made the $90k settlement offer.

The odds are stacked against the family. It's in their rational self-interest to settle.

I'd like to see a system like "tax resister insurance", where someone bankrolled this family in their fight against the State.

This is a flagrant abuse of State power. I'm offended by the people who say "The law must be strictly enforced as written!" It's like President Obama personally walked into that family's home and stole $90k from them. That would be obviously evil. Via "color of law", the net effect is the same.


Anonymous said...

In the UK, the BBC television programme Watchdog highlighted attempts by a firm of lawyers to extort money from old age pensioners.

The old people were told they would be prosecuted for copyright infringement of either a gay pornographic movie or a German pinball computer game.

The extortion amount was around the cost of hiring a lawyer to reply by letter.

So if the old people choose to fight via a paid lawyer, they would still lose the same amount!

I believe this firm of lawyers was referred to the Solicitors Complaint Bureau.

I didn't hear what happened, but I did some Internet searching and it seems some lawyers had registered a new name with the Legal Society and were sending out new threat letters under the new name

So that's alright then.

Bad publicity just caused the firm to change their name and then business as usual.

I guess extorting money from old people is a lucrative business.

I don't see Mr Cameron getting all hot about this.

dc said...

Farming bunnies not a crime. Selling pet bunnies a crime. USA is going to be worse than any totalitarian regime in history.
buckle up . . . .

open id error
choose your google id

This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at