Many years ago I lived in Davis, California and worked in West Sacramento, about 15 miles away. The drive took me over a long causeway which crossed an area that frequently flooded in the wet winters and dried out in summer. Sometimes winters weren't wet enough to flood, but the area was marshy. Needless to say, there were no buildings on this massive stretch of land.
Oftentimes I saw hispanic goatherders or sheepherders who spent the summer grazing their flocks on the abundant grasses and weeds. It was pleasant to see the land being put to use. The shepherds had little dome-roofed caravans they would park in the shade of the causeway. Their companions were herding dogs which were superbly trained. They were solitary fellows, but always seemed friendly and would return a wave.
This morning my brother sent me an article about some new regulations put in place by the federal government regarding working conditions for herders. Please please, someone tell me where in the constitution does the federal government have the right to tell employers what kinds of conditions they must provide for herders?? We're not talking state government, or county, or city. We're talking the feds.
"These new special procedures issued by the Labor Department must be followed by employers who want to hire temporary agricultural foreign workers to perform sheep herding or goat herding activities. It describes strict rules for sleeping quarters, lighting, food storage, bathing, laundry, cooking and new rules for the counters where food is prepared."
Under the Obama Administration, "the nanny state has imposed 75 new major regulations with annual costs of $38 billion."
“This captures what is wrong with government,” said Diane Katz, a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation. “I could not have made this up.”
Let me get this straight. Herding animals has been a respectable form of employment for, oh, about five thousand years, possibly more. And now suddenly in 2012 we need "strict rules" for food counters and ventilation.
And people wonder why our country is going to heck in a handbasket with high unemployment and businesses closing. As Ms. Katz points out, instead of fixing a problem (that never needed fixing!), these stupid regulations make it that much harder to employ herders.
Congratulations Labor Department, you've done it again.