Interesting question, and quite frankly any answer to this question is going to be speculation. But here are some possibilities. First off, if such a regulation were put in place it would need to be one that was phased in over time, as people would need time to adjust.
Currently, not many people live in some of the states that produce the most food, so there would need to be a redistrubution of the population, to allow for a balancing out of poeple and capacity for food production. Cities would need to make a serious effort to grow more food within city limits and most every household would need to grow backyard gardens and cities that don’t already allow for it might need to allow people to keep small numbers of farm animals, such as egg laying hens. It is likely that that some housing developments would need to be turned back into agricultural land. Finally people’s diets would likely need to adjust to what can be grown within the state–and some places are better adapted to grow certain crops than others. There are probably many more adjustments that would take place, and I am curious to hear what others come up with.
I believe that this would be very good for the the nation and the world. Not only will food be bought locally, but also on an international scale. Get rid of tax breaks for farmers by the federal government. It is destroying proletariat nations that are distraught by capitalism. They simply can not compete with US farmers and often have to lower their prices below subsidence level.
lunafish made a lot of really good points. I think that overall people would have to get used to a vastly different diet than we currently have, because there are some climates that are just not suitable to grow certain crops. If the population were redistributed (as it would likely have to be) some areas would probably have to remain empty because it would be too difficult to grow enough food there to support a population. Specifically, I’m thinking of places like Los Angeles – currently it has a huge population, but they have very little drinking water and have to bring it in from other places.
There is also the issue of people’s current skills. Most folks (myself included) do not know how to farm. I could certainly learn, but in general being a farmer is full time occupation – our current society doesn’t allow for everyone to be a farmer. Granted, there could still be some farmers who transport their goods into cities where people continue doing their regular jobs, but overall I feel that stopping states from trading agricultural goods would also require an overhaul of our society in general.
California would go broke because it would lose a huge amount of income; basic services would come to an end. The vast majority of states would no longer have the vast majority of food selection that they now have, and in many, people would go hungry.
It is a silly concept. Where would it stop? Would you require the population of Chicago to eat food grown in Cook County? They would all starve.
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