Dear CBS Radio: It Isn't Voluntary When Threats are Involved

18 February 2009

Editor, CBS Radio World News Roundup

Dear Editor:

You reported in today's 9 a.m. edition that the Department of Agriculture proposes to have meat processors put country-of-origin labels on their products. In this report you note that "Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said that the program is voluntary, but could become mandatory if meat processors don't comply."

It's clear that if Mr. Vilsack were an armed robber he'd assure persons looking down the barrel of his gun that he seeks only voluntary compliance with his requests that they hand over their money and jewels – but also that he'll shoot those persons who reject his requests.


Donald J. Boudreaux

Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.