Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Think Tanks Get Into Thanksgiving Spirit

The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation has a selection of six different holiday cards for Thanksgiving.  All of them are related to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Here are the different ones that you can email friends, family, and others:
  • Let's be thankful our doctor's waiting room doesn't look like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade...yet.
  • Let's be thankful Michelle Obama isn't regulating our servings of pumpkin pie.
  • Let's be thankful Kathleen Sebelius isn't coaching our football team.
  • Let's be thankful the government doesn't regulate how much we can eat at Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Let's be thankful our liberal cousins will be too embarrassed to bring up Obamacare at dinner this year.
  • Let's be thankful Cyber Monday shopping doesn't happen on (as seen above)
There is also a post on The Foundry, a blog of the Heritage Foundation, titled "The Thanksgiving Menu: Overstuffed with Regulations," which details various regulations that may impact your Thanksgiving meal.  Says the post:

Lest there be any doubts about the extent of the problem, forthwith is just a taste of the regulatory minutiae that control today’s menu:
  • Turkey. Title 9, Part 381.76, of the Code of Federal Regulations directs turkey inspectors on the proper method of examining a frozen bird, to wit: “If a carcass is frozen, it shall be thoroughly thawed before being opened for examination by the inspector. Each carcass, or all parts comprising such carcass, shall be examined by the inspector, except for parts that are not needed for inspection.” 
  • Cranberries. Title 7, Part 929, establishes a “marketing committee” overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set quotas on the volume of cranberries shipped to handlers from growers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island, New York. The grower “allotments” help to ensure that the price of cranberries remains artificially high. 
  • Bread/rolls. Title 21, Part 136, requires anything labeled as “bread” in a bakery to weigh one-half pound or more after cooling. To be legally called a “roll,” each unit must weigh less than one-half pound after cooling. 
  • Potatoes. Title 7, Part 51.1546, dictates the proportion of allowable defects among specific grades of spuds. Potatoes graded as “U.S. No. 1” may not exceed the following tolerances at the point of shipping: 5 percent for external defects, 5 percent for internal defects, and not more than a total of 1 percent for potatoes that are frozen or affected by soft rot or wet breakdown. An entirely different set of tolerances apply to U.S. No. 1 potatoes while en route or upon reaching the destination, while similar standards are also set for “commercial” grade potatoes, “U.S. No. 2” potatoes, and “off-size” potatoes. 
  • Green beans. Title 21, Part 155.120, defined green beans and wax beans as “the foods prepared from succulent pods of fresh green bean or wax bean plants conforming to the characteristics of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and Phaseolus coccineus L. The beans shall be one of the following distinct color types: (a) Green; or (b) Wax. The varietal type is either (a) beans having a width not greater than 1 1/2 times the thickness of the bean; or (b) beans having a width greater than 1 1/2 times the thickness of the bean.” 
  • Corn meal (for stuffing). Title 21, Part 137.275, distinguishes yellow corn meal from cleaned white corn meal: “Yellow corn meal conforms to the definition and standard of identity prescribed by §137.250 for white corn meal except that cleaned yellow corn is used instead of cleaned white corn.” 
  • Pecans. Title 7, Part 65, requires “country of origin” labeling for pecans and a variety of other foods. The declaration may not contain abbreviations or flags. However, the adjectival form of the name of a country may be used to identify the country of origin—provided the adjectival form of the name does not appear with other words so as to refer to a kind or species of product.
Other think tanks are also getting in on the Thanksgiving spirit.  Brookings has a post titled "Planes, Trains and Automobiles for Thanksgiving Travel."

Here is AEI's Thanksgiving guide to making conservative arguments liberals can understand.  Here is another one linked from AEI (as well as the Hudson Institute) on the meaning of Thanksgiving Day.

Christopher Leonard of the New America Foundation (NAF) penned this piece for the Washington Post titled "That Turkey on Your Plate Could Use Some More Industry Competition."

Angela Logomasini of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) wrote this piece titled "Disregard Toxic Advice on Turkey Day."

Here is the Cato Institute's take on a happy Thanksgiving.