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Call Navel a Navel

December 29, 1985

So Ned Baker, chairman of the Navel Orange Administrative Committee (doesn't that sound like the translation of a Politburo planning agency?), is unhappy that Washington won't agree to the restriction on the number of oranges allowed to roll to market. "Growers Upset Over Ruling on Orange Quotas" (Nov. 15). And Baker has the euphemistic audacity to proudly state, "We're not asking for a subsidy."

What does he call a "Marketing Order " (read: monopolistic restraint of trade) that boosts consumer prices and grower profits artificially? All he's done is to eliminate the middleman in the subsidy: The growers are picking the pockets of the consumers directly instead of letting the government do it for them. But we all know how necessary middlemen are in today's economy. Before we congratulate Agriculture Secretary John Block for rebuffing NOAC's demands, let's make sure he is not just:

- Planning to insert the Department of Agriculture in the picture as a formal distributor of subsidies, instead of just participating in and legitimizing NOAC's consumer extortion, or

- Waiting for even heavier "lobbying."

Instead of all the double talk about bringing supplies in line with demand, and newspeak like "marketing order" and "continuation of the stability," let's call a navel a navel.

Ned Baker should be named Commissar of Navels. Then his acronym, CON, will accurately define what he and his organization do.

JOHN DOFF

Los Angeles

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