Feds Should Finally Stop Messing With Milk Prices

Government overreach has mucked up the market for decades: Bill Frezza

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 20, 2012 1:02 PM CST

(Newser) – About 400 California cows got shipped to Kansas this month alone, and more are likely to follow as scores of state dairy farms continue to shut down, writes Bill Frezza at Real Clear Markets. Why? Blame the "byzantine" world that results when the federal and state governments try to manage the dairy market, writes Frezza. "It's crony capitalism that only a Soviet commissar could love."

We all pay too much at the supermarket thanks to mandated minimum prices that have been set by the feds since the 1930s, and the industry isn't about to let Congress change that, he writes. In California, it just so happens that those minimums are lower than elsewhere in the nation because the state's cheese makers have more clout than the state's dairy farmers. These farmers are now "on the ropes" and bailing quickly. It's time for the government to get out of these markets, "allowing the dairy industry to restructure itself on rational lines," writes Frezza. Don't hold your breath, though. Read his full column here.

Jersey cows line up to feed at a dairy farm in this file photo.
Jersey cows line up to feed at a dairy farm in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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