An Example of How Government Helps the Poor…

by Don Boudreaux on January 13, 2014

in Crony Capitalism, Politics

if by “poor” you mean a behemoth cooperative of producers such as Land’O'Lakes, and if by “helps” you mean forcing up the price that families, including poor families, pay for milk in order to enrich those politically powerful producers.  Here’s the account in today’s Wall Street Journal.  A slice:

The feds already buy one of every five gallons, and agriculture laws already make it illegal for processors to sell milk below a regionally dictated price. Then there’s a quota on dairy imports and prohibitive tariffs. In 2005 the OECD estimated that consumers pay a 26% “milk tax” as a result of all this central planning.

Lovely.  I can see why “Progressives” believe that the U.S. government is just the trustworthy, principled, and caring outfit that we should further empower to ‘redistribute’ incomes and to protect poor Americans from the rapacity of the rich.

(It is true, I admit, that cronyism in the United States isn’t – yet – as rampant as it is in Argentina.)

….

Given the actual, historical record of government behavior, asking government – simply because it possesses fearful power and expresses an interest in the assignment – to watch over “the poor” is akin to asking a gang of serial rapists – simply because it possesses fearful power and expresses an interest in the assignment – to watch over a dormitory full of unarmed co-eds.

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