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Jun 18, 2013

The folly of consumer policy

Daniel Hannan raises the philosophical argument against government intervention in the market here:

A recent example comes from Britain with a report by the Commons international development committee, urging people to eat less meat as the surging demand was unsustainable: 
Families should stop eating meat on a daily basis, MPs warn today. 
Pork, lamb and beef should be 'occasional' indulgences rather than dinner-table staples.They said the global surge in meat and cheese consumption was unsustainable, with the UK 'never more than a few days from a significant food shortage'. 
The Commons international development committee said farmers should rear more animals on grass because livestock is land and energy intensive and grain should be saved for humans.
The self-righteous hubris of these idiots is highlighted by their bleating over the use of grain to raise livestock yet failing to mention poultry in their list of items people should cut down on.  They actually assume that non members of parliament are so dumb that they will have to be told to do what the free market would sort out all by itself.
Unless there is an increase in production consistent with the increasing demand, the prices of grain and hence meat products will increase.  This will cause most people to cut down on the higher priced items in favor of products that give more bang for the buck, or in this case pound.
If MPs spent less time worrying about the contents of suburban pantries, perhaps they might have the time to reduce the demand on grain by repealing the ridiculous rules mandating large quantities of it being diverted to fuel tanks.    

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