Dairy farmers were allocated $350 million in extra assistance recently (as if the billions we artificially funnel to them every year are not enough) because of plummeting prices. The assistance will come mostly in the form of cash, although the federal government will also buy more dairy products for nutrition programs, and at increased prices. (Not to be outdone, hog farmers are asking for the same.) An article from Wednesday's edition of the Wall Street Journal Online has the details.
In a rare fit of candor, one dairy farmer group admits that the emergency money, and the decades-old programs, are not enough:
The National Family Farm Coalition, a Washington-based farm-advocacy group, is asking for an overhaul of the milk-pricing system, which is based on a complex Depression-era regime administered by the federal government.
So far I'm with them, but then they lose me with this:
The coalition supports an idea that would keep prices stable by creating an oversight entity to manage the amount of milk a farmer can produce.
"While we appreciate this money, it won't be enough though to keep farms from going broke," the coalition said in a statement.
Ah, milk quotas. Good idea. And we can learn from the Europeans about how to pull that trick off.
Seriously? We need a new "oversight entity" to actually "manage the amount of milk a farmer can produce"? Talk about fatal conceit. That's fatal insanity to think that a centralized agency can manage milk production on a farm-level basis.