18 April 2010 - Listeners Respond with Gusto

A week ago on Samuelson Sez, I shared with you some of your responses to my question, "Are monopolies and the lack of competition in agriculture and agribusiness hurting farms and ranches in the United States?" You read comments from several people who, indeed, feel that monopolies in supply and marketing companies are hurting the bottom line of producers.

But not everyone felt that way. So this week I share with you the thoughts of three producers who think there is a much greater threat to the future of American agriculture than monopolies and lack of competition.

From an Iowa farmer..."The answer to your question is No. I am an independent pork producer in northwest Iowa and monopolies and the lack of competition, be it packers or suppliers, is the least of our problems. The biggest monopoly of concern is the one being created in Washington, DC. And the government takeover of huge parts of our private economy."

A farmer in Ohio left little doubt about his feelings, saying..."Orion, we are not concerned about agriculture monopolies. What we are concerned about is President Obama and the Democrats sticking their Socialist noses into our private lives just as they are doing in all other aspects of American's lives. President Obama and the Democrats have to be stopped before they turn this great nation into a Socialist and Progressive Society."

Then, these thoughts from a farmer in Michigan..."The only monopoly that I fear is the federal government, along with a great number of regulatory agencies it has spawned over the years. Mom and Pop organizations cannot provide multiple stacked seeds, manufacture chemicals, provide slaughter facilities for beef and pork, and have the resources to distributed them and also export them, at any price. We are on a slippery slope here and jeopardize not only our food supply but that of millions of people around the world a lot hungrier than we are, if we try to break up large corporations for the sake of size or to artificially try to create competition."

This all started because the Justice Department and the Department of Agriculture announced a series of five hearings to examine the subject of monopolies in agriculture. The first one in Ankeny, Iowa attracted a standing-room-only crowd and generated some strong anti-corporate criticism, particularly in the seed industry. I suggest you check the schedule and make your feelings known at a hearing near you.

Again, thanks for letting me share your thoughts on Samuelson Sez.