My husband told me he heard this on NPR (got to wean him from NPR…). There is a glut of milk. In the middle of this crazy recession, there is a glut of milk. Rather than allow milk prices (which are SUBSTANTIAL, btw) to drop to meet the glut, our fun government is going to use tax dollars to help these farmers. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/business/02dairy.html?pagewanted=2
Meanwhile, local dairies are talking about how the government subsidies hurt them. See, the government forces price fixing. If a local dairy like Mallorie’s (http://www.malloriesdairy.com/) can produce milk for less than the enormo-conglomerates (I’m sure this would be a word if I were president), they have to raise their prices AND give the surplus to the government. The government then gives that money to the enormo-conglomerates in the form of subsidies. In effect, this makes small dairies subsidize larger dairies. That STINKS!!
Look, I don’t know about your family, but my family is BROKE. I can promise you I’d buy more ice cream if more was on the market cheaper. The government just bought a ton of milk powder from these dairies. Well? There are starving kids in Haiti! Let’s give them some milk.
Good heavens!! Only a group of complete dunderheads like we have in our congress would do something this stupid. In case you’re thinking I’m railing against one party or another, I’m a third party lunatic. Although, full disclosure is that I think big government requires serious stupidity. The reasoning behind this policy is that we have to keep a stable food supply, so we have to keep ALL farmers in business. As usual, a policy that makes sense in the abstract is totally useless in practice. The actual application of this policy ensures that we have expensive dairy products during a recession, while at the same time, we are being taxed to throw the dairy products away.
Visit Mallorie’s website and they give some ideas on what people should do to REALLY help local farmers.