23 March 2007

Zoning

An interesting comment from an Arizona contributor to a discussion on organic farming:

The organic farmer gets a minuscule share of the price of a loaf of bread. The solution to this is for the organic farmer to become a producer of food, not just organic agricultural commodities. But the local zoning people tell me that if I grind my grain into flour and bake bread with the flour that these are "industrial processes" and that they will take whatever action it takes to stop me. …
On the other hand, I have a friend in Bangkok whose next-door-neighbours house a small gem processing operation, which runs most of the night, at high volume.

2 comments:

Harald Korneliussen said...

The problem is indeed that sensible regulations are too often co-opted by particular interests. It used to be that the Norwegian electronics standards were just different enough from the Swedish ones to give our own washing machines an edge at home. Nowadays that's moved to EU level, but I'm sure it's still goes on, not just with respect to other nations, but between competitors as well.

It's not obvious to me how to prevent this.

Ronnie Horesh said...

I'm not sure either. But very often the regulatory environment, like import barriers and subsidies, is biased in favour of big business at the expense of small businesses and ordinary people. Outcome-based policy might help redress that balance.