Here’s today’s provocative question from professor Hightower: Why do so many giant corporations hate the marketplace?
Yes, hate. Oh, sure CEOs loudly proclaim themselves to be free market worshippers, and they piously preach against the cardinal sin of government interference in the awesome workings of the holy marketplace. But after church, these corporate executives slink into the back alleys of devilish government to procure subsidies, regulations, and other favors to satisfy their profit lust.
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Take the case of Monsanto Inc., which makes a product known as BGH that forces cows to produce more milk. Aside from the damage this does to cows, BGH is essentially an artificial sex hormone that is passed through the cow’s milk to people who drink it.
Guess what? Consumers – especially mothers – do not want their families drinking sex hormones. So there has been such a consumer outcry against BGH milk that numerous dairies and supermarkets now offer milk that’s labeled as being free of artificial growth hormones, so consumers can have a clear choice. Splendid! That’s the free market at work, right?
Right, but Monsanto hates it! We must have new government regulations to outlaw these additive-free labels, cries Monsanto, because they mislead consumers into thinking there’s something wrong with sexed-up milk. So lobbyists for Monsanto and its BGH users have been swarming state governments, demanding that regulators interfere in the sacred marketplace. Our competitors must not be allowed to tell shoppers what’s not in their milk, wail these lobbyist, for this information “confuses” consumers.
The confused ones are the corporations – confused on the concept of the free market. If they’re so proud of BGH milk, they should have their own labels declaring: “Mmmm, yummy! Milk with artificial sex hormones added!”
“Email from Robert B,” November 24, 2007
“Consumers Won’t Know What They’re Missing,” The New York Times, November 11, 2007
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