URLs du Jour

2019-12-02

[Amazon Link]

  • So a sad story for the Welfare Queens, Dairy Queen edition: The Nation’s Biggest Dairy Is Failing Despite Relentless Government Intervention. As reported by Baylen Linnekin at Reason:

    In early November, Dean Foods, the nation's largest dairy producer, filed for bankruptcy protection. The company, which has secured nearly a billion dollars in debtor financing to keep it afloat temporarily, is looking to sell off some or all of its assets as it attempts to reorganize and survive.

    How did the government "help"?

    "USDA dairy marketing orders set minimum dairy prices, while the [agency's dairy] checkoff program takes money from dairy farmers to promote milk and other dairy products," I detail in my book Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable. "Taxpayers have the dairy checkoff program to thank, for example, for the ubiquitous 'milk mustache' advertising campaign. If there are any benefits to be had from either program, they aren't likely to be enjoyed by your local farmer, creamery, or dairy."

    There's an obvious joke in here somewhere about getting off the government teat, but I'll let you make one up and laugh at it.


  • Issues & Insights has an economic bone to pick with a young CongressCritter: AOC’s ‘Free Stuff’ As ‘Public Goods’ Is An Old Socialist Game.

    The political left has long tried to hide its true intentions and character through the use of euphemisms. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has learned to play the game as well as anyone. She has demanded that taxpayer-funded handouts be considered “public goods.” It’s a convenient justification for taking the property of productive Americans and giving it to those who have more political favor.

    “People like to say, ‘Oh, this is about free stuff,'” the New York Democrat said at a Bronx town hall meeting over the weekend, before Thanksgiving. But “this is not about free stuff,” she said.

    As (even) I know, economists define a public good as non-rivalrous (I can consume it without there being less for you) and non-excludable (By its nature, one can't restrict provision of the good to people who have paid for it.) The classic example is national defense.

    Giveaway programs don't qualify on either count.

    And yet AOC graduated from BU with an econ major. So either she's forgotten what she learned or BU did a poor and incomplete job teaching her.


  • And the great Titania McGrath notes that some progressives are stealing her ideas without proper attribution.

    Guilty confession: I excused and myself left the Thanksgiving table when one of our guests started to spout off politically. (It was after the meal, though.)