Gas Price Crimes and Milk Misdemeanors
Today’s post is simply planned as a collection of stories that you can make your own mind up about. Won’t that be fun! There is an investigation into milk price fixing centered on the Kansas City area and the headquarters of the Dairy Farmers of America. You can get the national angle here from the Washington Examiner and the local story here from the Platte County Landmark. Now, take these charges into consideration when reading Reason’s story about the recently passed horrible Farm Bill. As an Examiner editorial (that I can’t find to link to) asked recently, why is it a crime when private co-ops conspire to fix prices, but the federal government is allowed to do the exact same thing with impunity? Don’t get me wrong, price fixing should be investigated and prosecuted. However, the same government that is investigating this is also helping agricultural interests artificially raise prices through any number of means, from direct subsidies for ethanol to high tariffs for foreign sugar, to asking people nicely to eat more avocados.
Also, in the Platte County Landmark you can find an editorial stating that the price of gas is dictated by corporate manipulation moreso than supply and demand. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I guess this chart, which clearly shows the growth of demand of more than a million barrells a day each year for the past four years, has nothing to do with price increases. Nothing at all to do with it, so let’s all go to the water cooler and bash the oil companies.