Economics

Why Buy the Cow?

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cow

From today's Wall Street Journal front pager on the stimulus bill:

Dairy and beef cattle producers butted heads over talk that the government might buy up dairy cattle for slaughter to drive up depressed milk prices.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the image of families scrimping and saving to buy milk for the children a classic Depression tale of woe? Here we are, with the 1930s foremost in everyone's minds, and we're going to legislatively order the deaths of a bunch of cows in order to keep prices high as a favor to a small but powerful group of dairy farmers?

Who will think of the children

(UPDATE: The same ass-backwards logic was at work in the 1930s, of course, in the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Plus ca change…)