Arnold Kling  

Who is Harvesting Cash?

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The Washington Post has another in a series that looks at our corrupt agriculture policies.


A maverick dairyman named Hein Hettinga started bottling his own milk and selling it for as much as 20 cents a gallon less than the competition, exercising his right to work outside the rigid system that has controlled U.S. milk production for almost 70 years. Soon the effects were rippling through the state, helping to hold down retail prices at supermarkets and warehouse stores.

That was when a coalition of giant milk companies and dairies, along with their congressional allies, decided to crush Hettinga's initiative.


Even though I agree that our agricultural policy is corrupt, I do not think people in Washington should feel smug about it. The DC metropolitan area is "harvesting cash" at taxpayers' expense to a much higher degree than is rural America. If the Post were to direct our outrage toward the wealth that has accumulated in the Washington DC area suburbs, then that would be a real man-bites-dog story.


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Brad Hutchings writes:

Key paragraph is on the last page:

Hettinga vowed to keep supplying his customers in Arizona and California even though the new law required him to pay the Arizona pool what he said was a "crippling" sum of up to $400,000 a month.

It puts into perspective how it makes sense that both sides spend millions on lobbyists and a few thousand here and there in campaign contributions. I really do like that Hettinga put John Kyl's name on a milk carton though! Classic.

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