I remember in the 1970s the sight of oil company executives getting dragged before Scoop Jackson's committee in Congress, forced to defend themselves against charges they were holding tankers offshore to drive prices up. Hilariously, this was at the exact same time oil company executives were testifying in front of a Congress begging legislators to allow them to build the Alaska pipeline. But demonizing oil companies simultaneously for both decreasing and increasing the supply of oil has been a tradition for decades.
Anyway, I have always found it intriguing how behavior in one industry made unsympathetic by the media can be treated so differently from identical behavior in a more media-cherished industry. Check this out:
U.S. dairies will remove 86,710 cows from their herds to be sold to slaughterhouses as part of an industry-funded program intended to boost milk prices by curbing output.
The buyout is the third such cull in nine months, the Arlington, Virginia-based National Milk Producers Federation said today in a statement. The most recent buyout completed last month involved 101,000 cows, the most ever for the groups so- called Cooperatives Working Together program, which began in 2003.
Note further that this appears to be acceptable behavior in milk but not in oil, despite the fact that milk is heavily subsidized and the beneficiary of government price supports while oil companies simply pay a whole boatload of taxes.
It turns out there is one other such example in the news, where an industry is destroying hundreds of thousands of units of inventory, with the inevitable result of raising prices (particularly to the poor), all with the facilitation and in fact funding from the Obama Administration. Can you guess what that is?