John Stossel: The milk of human blindness
Congress is working on a farm bill, which, among other things, will set limits on how high or low milk prices can be in different regions of the country.
The dairy farmers say some dairy farms lose money, which proves milk prices are too low. But cheesemakers say they can barely stay in business, proving milk prices are too high.
Prices are not just money. They're information. Rising prices tell farmers to produce more; that increases supply and prices go back down. Falling prices tell producers to invest in other products. This system works well for plums, peaches, cars and most everything we buy.
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."
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.
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.
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed."
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