Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moral Problems

In 1940 USDA Yearbook of Agriculture the introduction to an essay by M.L. Wilson states: “our economic problems are really moral problems.”

A book by George P. Brockway, “The End of Economic Man” states on page 76, “Since the essential economic concept of price is both a manifestation of personal will and dependent on the state, all economic questions are systematically questions of ethics and law.”

A recent paper titled, “Average Earnings and Long-Term Mortality: Evidence from Administrative Data” by Daniel Sullivan and Till von Wachter, of the Federal Reserve and Columbia University respectively, is available at:

The paper begins:

“In this paper we exploit a unique database that merges longitudinal earnings data on Pennsylvanian workers with national death records to study the detailed nature of the correlation between earnings and mortality. We find that the estimates typically reported in the literature, which are based on single years of earnings data, are likely to understate substantially the strength of the association between income and mortality. In particular, relative to a single year of earnings, the average of earnings over a six-year period predicts a 70 percent greater impact of income on mortality. In addition, controlling for the mean level of earnings over a period, we find that greater earnings volatility is associated with higher mortality.”

Apply this concept to dairy farming (low earnings and volatility) and it is easy to clearly state, the pricing system is killing dairy farmers.


  1. I just wish I could have 30 minutes with the Kraft people to explain to them what they are doing to us as real people. I would like for them to understand what thier greed is actually doing to us. Fortunatly they cannot touch our soul!!

  2. we will all meant our maker and then hopfully they will find out what they did

  3. I had a saleslady calling me to sell ink pens with our farm name on them. She said we could give them to our customers and maybe get repeat business. The general public has no idea.

    She then wanted to know why a small container of half and half was over $6.00 and why milk in NJ was around $5.00 per gallon. We had a long conversation about milk and how we did not set our prices and I told her that I lost over $200,000.00 last year and could not afford ink pens. I also explained MPC's and how they were not GRAS approved and how they are added to cheese and that KRAFT and imports were killing our business. She thanked me and told me that she would tell everyone she knew.

  4. another educated consumer. if that is how we have to do it, one at a time, then that's what we will do. the truth is all these folks want and they aren't going to get it from media or any other part of our industry.dwcovert