Why Is Government Fixing the Price of Milk?

Prices should be decided by buyers and sellers.

(Page 2 of 2)

The CDFA agrees because: "Milk is a perishable product and must be harvested daily," and "Milk continues to be viewed as a necessary food item, particularly for children."

I say, so what? It's not "lead time" or being "perishable" or even being "necessary" that makes milk unique. Plums and newspapers are perishable and harvested daily. It takes long lead times to build assembly lines to make cars. No entrepreneur has a guarantee of market demand once the factory is complete. All business is risky.

The CDFA wails that without price controls, "no other regulations would be in place to assure an adequate supply of milk."

Give me a break. It's in planned economies, like Venezuela, North Korea and the former Soviet Union that shortages occur. When politicians micromanage markets, consumers suffer.

Milk isn't "special." Almost no product is. Let competition set the price.

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  • ||

    Oh oh I know: Because Fuck You, That's Why!

    Do I win a prize?

  • UnCivilServant||

    No. And I think you already know why you don't.

  • Surly Chef||

    Man, I came in here just to say that.

    *slumps shoulders and backs out of room.

  • Brandon||

    FYTW, Stossel. It's always FYTW.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Why do you hate poor people?

  • Anomalous||

    Beccause they're tough and take too long to cook?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Not enough marlbing. That's why we have SNAP.

  • gaoxiaen||

    *marbling Dammit, I always see the misspelling a fraction of a second after I hit Submit.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    In 1976 Ronald Reagan stood before the farmers of Iowa and told them that he wanted to bring the free market to American agriculture. The farmers told Ronnie "We don't give a damn about the free market! Tell us where you stand on parity." Ronnie, knowing when he was licked, pleaded ignorance: "I don't know what parity is."

    In 1986, Ronnie urged farmers to vote Republican, telling them proudly that his administration had provided more money to farmers than all previous administrations combined! (True if you don't adjust for inflation, and Ronnie never understood that anyway.)

    The moral? Farmers hate the free market!

  • WTF||

    You mis-spelled your first name.

  • Paul.||

    The moral? Farmers hate the free market!

    Yes, we know.

  • Paul.||

    Oh yeah, you take me back to the halcyon days of 1985!

    You know who else hated the free market?

  • Anomalous||

    Karl Marx?

  • Loki||

    Every politician ever.

  • Paul.||

    Actually, I was thinking the pack of libruhls who organized Farm Aid to whom Reagan was responding.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Al Capone.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Thank Science! I am constantly kept up at night over the fluctuations in milk prices. It may even cause me to declare bankruptcy due to my credit over-extensions. Everything will be better when milk is simply $10 a gallon all the time!

  • ||

    milk is "special."

    Stossel could at least argue that point head on. He ducks it. I'm disappointed.

    The "special" nature of milk dates back probably 100 years. There's some good Cato background on this topic.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Stossel is not exactly the go-to guy for deep thoughts. I think of him as a libertarian billboard; hopefully catching someone's attention long enough to give the product a look.

  • ||

    Stossel is Libertarianism 101.

  • ||

    I think Stossel actually possess a clear understanding of libertarian philosophy much deeper than he projects publicly. He's appealing to a particular audience (these articles don't just get published at Reason).

  • Paul.||

    And then they look inside the box and see nothing but Kochs!

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    What's wrong with a box filled with Cokes?

  • ||

    What happens to dairy farmers that don't sell milk at the regulated price?

    The wierd thing is, most Americans probably don't even know that milk prices are regulated. They probably think we have a "free market".

  • Paul.||

    Yep, like how our free-market healthcare system is literally killing people! Literally!

  • sarcasmic||

    Those who force Peter to pay more for Paul's milk will always have the support of Paul.

  • ||

    I feel the most sorry for the lactose-intolerant Peters. And I mean that in every possible way.

  • Loki||

    The Denver Post warns, "Milk, food prices could rise if Congress fails to act."

    And that, in a nutshell, is why I don't read the Denver Post.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The dairy farmers say some dairy farms lose money, which proves milk prices are too low"

    Wow - what brilliant economic logic.

    So when a car dealership goes under, the problme was they just weren't charging enough for cars.

    When a restaurant goes belly up, the real problem is that the food wasn't expensive enough.

    I think I'll run right out and set up a hot dog stand on the street corner and sell hot dogs for $1,000 apiece. There's just no way that couldn't be a smashing success!

  • gaoxiaen||

    That might work if you set up directly abeam of the ISS.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    Vandenheuvel says cows can't be subject to market demand because "there are several years of lead time between when you decide to buy a cow and when that cow produces milk."

    As I sit here drinking my post-lunch Maker's Mark, I marvel at this insight courtesy of Mr. Vandenheuvel.

    And if the gods see fit to saddle you with a monicker like Robert Vandenheuvel, don't settle on the nickname of Rob.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Seems appropriate in this case.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "Congress is working on a farm bill"

    Why?

  • Super Hans||

    Because FUCK YOU, that's why.

  • Heenan73||

    Strange, that if just one state opted out of price fixing, the whole shebang would collapse.

    Strange that both political parties, that claim to be so different, support milk price fixing. Maybe they aren't so different after all.

  • bassjoe||

    Um... you just realized this?

    The political consensus in this country for most things is kind of scary.

  • Mark22||

    The biggest waste here isn't even the inefficiencies in the dairy market or the inflated prices consumers end up paying, it's the fact that our government officials, politicians, and public sector employees are wasting time and resources on such b.s.

  • Will Nonya||

    "Milk isn't "special." Almost no product is. Let competition set the price."

    Almost no product? SO what is an example of a special product?

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