Stupid People the World Over
As I read the Dem-Gaz yesterday it was once again hammered home to me just how many stupid people there are on this planet. Clueless. Without understanding.
Take France for example. Hey, I know, the usual shtick on France is to joke about how poorly they perform in wars. I am not going to go for the cheap laughs. After all, most of their wars have been against Germany and England. They are in a tough conference.
No, I want to talk about the story that describes how French dairy farmers dumped almost a million gallons of their product on a monastery that is a popular tourist destination in order to "denounce the slumping price of milk", along with an EU plan to end production quotas.
Does anyone else see the supreme idiocy of protesting slumping prices of a product? The market is trying to send the farmers a message. Not enough people want enough of their product at a price the sellers of that product want to charge. The result is a lower price. In America, we recognize that as a market problem, but so dependent on government are the French dairy farmers that they see it as a political problem. That somehow protesting against market forces will change economic reality.
The insane thing is, idiocy may pay off. Authorities in France and other countries have largely supported the farmers. The French Minister of Agriculture said, "To be forced to spill milk and waste it in the fields is a sign of great desperation". Forced to waste it? Who forced them? They chose to waste their already-gathered product defacing the private property of others.
This is where we are headed if our own countrymen don't start facing reality. Everyone will look to the government to change the price of what they are selling to a figure more to their liking. Or, as in the case of health care, buyers will try to force the price down to a price more to their liking. The latter will produce shortages every time, the former will produce a glut every time. Both are wasteful and ultimately destructive of prosperity for the whole nation.
The only way to avoid shortages and gluts is to have government subsidies. That is to say, the price will not really be changed, but only the apparent price to the end user. This results in over-consumption every time, as in if you are paying half the bill I will have the steak and lobster. So we will all order steak and lobster expecting the other guys to get much of the tab, and the only possible outcome is that we will over-consume for dinner after dinner until we are broke.