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Capitalism without competition

What a podcast episode from The Daily @ The New York Times: Who do You Want Controlling Your Food?

Since 1980s and Ronald Reagan, a continuous process of mergers and market consolidation in the food industries ash left small producers are the mercy of giant corporations. When small producers try to innovate to reach consumers directly they are crushed by corporations. In this episode, you can hear the chilling words of Ronald Reagan; that the wholesale meat market in the US is an oligopoly controlled by just 4 corporations; the lack of power of small farmers and ranchers towards these corporations.

Most of all, the political system, administration after administration, has either supported this lack of competition or has proven not to have the will and power to address it.

From The Daily site: “During the pandemic, the price of beef shot up. Wholesale beef prices increased more than 40 percent — more than 70 percent for certain cuts of steak. Yet ranchers reported that the profits weren’t trickling down. The conventional wisdom was that price increases simply reflected the chaos that the coronavirus had caused in the supply chain. But there’s evidence that they were in fact a reflection of a more fundamental change in the meatpacking business. We speak to ranchers about the consolidation of the industry and explore what it can show us about a transformation in the American economy — one much bigger than beef.”

Photo credit: Febiyan on Unsplash

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