Saturday, June 26, 2010

Politics of Food

(click on image to enlarge)

While many stick to the idea of an "invisible hand" operating in the market, the truth is, the invisible, or perhaps, more correctly,the hidden hand is operating in the political system.

The above graph takes data from USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS)"Marketing Bill" information.

As can be seen,something happened beginning with Reagan. Corporate profits took off. Tax rates on those profits fell.

The Census Bureau has a significant amount of information on income inequality. Looking at incomes in five groups, in constant 2008 dollars, those in the bottom group, the working poor basically stood still from 1980 to 2006. The next two groups faired about the same. However, the to fifth gained almost 50 % in income.

John Rawls wrote "A Theory of Justice" in 1971. Rawls talked about an "original position", which meant if the world were to be reorganized tomorrow, everyone would have an equal interest in justice, including economic justice. As it is there are some who have a vested interest in things being unfair.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln said it best. "You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
    He also said "a house divided against itself cannot stand." Dairy farmers have all the power they need to change their own fate - I've said it million times. Unfortunately by and large dairy farmers are beast of muddy brains, easily steered by feeble men with misinformation as a rein and debt as a whip. Collectively it is only yourselves who are to blame. The "market" is nothing without you, no cheese is made without your cows, no milk is bottled until after it leaves your milk-house. True the folks who are dealing the cards stack the deck in their favor, I would say it's time to change the dealer and the deck.