Alan Furchtenicht self-righteously proclaims:
>As I read some of the anti-BST comments I can't help but believe these
>folks have no idea what it means to live in a capitalist, competitive,
>free market economy.
Perhaps we do know, and that's what worries us.
> You might try a little background reading like "Wealth of
>Nations" (1776) by Adam Smith. Its [sic] a classic and extensively
>quoted today in many economics texts.
As I read comments such as these, I find it hard to believe that these
folks can't see the problems of living more than 200 years in the past.
Tell me Alan, what does Smith have to say about externalities? What did
he know about economies of scale which he couldn't possibly imagine?
>If a product works to their economic benefit they will buy and use it,
>if not, they won't. It really is as simple as that.
I agree. They'll use it whether or not it's safe, whether or not it's
sustainable, whether or not it kills off small family-scale producers.
Life is more than economics, Alan.
I will admit that I don't know squat about dairy management or federal
dairy policy. It's not my gig. However, my impression is that we already
have a surplus of milk in this country. It's not expensive--hell, there
are even artificial price supports, aren't there? Then why, praytell,
should we work to be more efficient? Why don't we work instead to allow
small-scale independent producers to make a living wage?
Alan, the unbridled capitalist, free-market economy has allowed the
successful to become big, and the big to become bigger, all at the
expense of the rural community. And by the way, those who were successful
but did not have a desire to become big (i.e. weren't greedy) have been forced
to either become big or go out of business.
Obviously, there is a philosophical question here. Would you rather live
in a world based on unlimited capitalism, which is fast leading us to
nothing but corporate giants (I'm not just talking about agriculture
here)? Or, would you rather put the brakes on huge corporations and do
something to protect the little guy (and all of the smaller-scale
services which support the little guys)?
Now, I have little hope that we can reverse the American trend of "bigger
is better," and I do think there *may* be ways for (a small number of)
small guys to succeed, and so I am working toward that end (CSAs, etc.).
But, what I'd really prefer are (gasp!) protectionist farm policies which
attempt to give competent small producers a chance to compete against the
Call me socialist, but I prefer to drive through the countryside seeing
something other than football-field-sized buildings and 50-row machines.
p.s. guy = male or female in my dictionary :-)