#&*@ Consumers

Kara O’Connor’s article is entitled, Don’t Let TPP Sink US Dairy Industry but we like our title above.  She starts with NAFTA causing Mexican dairy farmers to fail and illegally come to the US.  There must have been lots of those folks.

Sidebar: TPP is borderline free trade and some free traders have come out against it.  It seems to be dead and it seems unlikely that the president-elect will revive it.  So why did O’Connor write it?  End Sidebar.

Then she sees the problem as this three cushion shot:

Canadian farmers years ago realized the problem of oversupply, and came together to prevent it through a quota system. As a result, Canadian farmers can actually make a living and afford to modernize on a farm of 100 cows or fewer.  [Our comment: And Canadian consumers pay extra for milk and milk products because of the cartel.]

However, if the Trans-Pacific Partnership passes, the Canadian oversupply control system will be dismantled. American exports to Canada will increase, pay prices in Canada will drop, and thousands of Canadian dairy farms will go under. I take no joy in the fact that by pushing them under we can make it another year. I would rather that all dairy farmers keep their heads above water.

 So if the Canadians support it we are in trouble?  We are now in the business messing about in Canadian politics to support Canadian dairy farms and hurt US farms.  This is getting silly.  Sometimes there are simple solutions to seemingly complex problems.  Here is one.  Think about the consumers.  Being anti-free trade over milk is a great example of wanting to tax the poor via tariffs to support the rich.  We know that there are folks richer than dairy farmers but it is still true that the poor is buying lots of milk from the richer producers.  The consumers in Mexico (with even a greater percentage of poor folk) that have already benefitted from the reduction in tariff wall.  The consumers in Canada that are being taken advantage of by the Canadian dairy cartel.  Consumers in the other TPP countries.  All of those consumers benefit from free trade.  The complicated part is TPP because the agreement is so (thank you Mr. Lame Duck) complicated.  The only complex question about TPP is: Is it free trade?

 

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