March 23, 2011
As the federal government goes on a spending binge, continuing to tread heavily on the American people --
As the state governments, too, carry on the federal government's wayward tradition --
As even county and metro governments get out of hand --
Perhaps it's time to shore up truly local government, which might be a bit more concerned with personal freedom and individual responsibility.
And perhaps Sedgwick, Maine, is as good a place to start as any.
On the first Saturday in March, the folks assembled in the town meeting considered and passed a "Food Sovereignty" law. Designed to oust state and federal busybodies who prohibit farmers from selling whole, raw milk to neighbors, the ordinance states that the townsfolk "have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local food traditions." Soon after, the Penobscot township passed a similar ordinance, but the notion failed in Brooksville.
Basically, these are attempts by townships to nullify federal and state regulation. It's worth remembering such ideas are not exactly unheard of.
Thomas Jefferson advocated state nullification of laws -- and historian Tom Woods has recently written a very popular book on the subject. The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises went further, thinking that liberalism (old-fashioned believing-in-liberty liberalism) entailed the right of secession down to the local level.
So it's not just locavores and food puritans rejoicing over the victories in Maine. Freedom-lovers can rejoice, too!
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge and Citizens in Charge Foundation, which sponsors both Common Sense and Paul's weekly Townhall Column. The opinions expressed in Common Sense are Paul Jacob's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Citizens in Charge or Citizens in Charge Foundation.