Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Secret Libertarian Message In Food Inc.

I know, I know, you think the title must be a perverse joke.  However, I am serious.  Now, I have no idea if the passel of Leftoids who made Food Inc. are secret libertarians or unaware/inadvertent libertarians, but a libertarian message there is, buried near the end of the 'film.'
Consumers Drive The Train!
One must wade through ever deepening piles of manure to get to the end of the film to discover that, yes, the customer drives the train in a truly Free Market.  They give The Walmart a fine hearing, buried at the end, because they are out buying "organic" products for their stores.  Why are they buying 'organic?'  Because their customers want them.

Organic is a funny word anyway.  All food is organic.

Subsidies Bad!
Also, this pack of Marxists discovered that subsidies are bad.  Sort of.  They go to great lengths to complain that there is some sort of a lack of regulation, that somehow there is not enough government involvement, yet they complain that the government is regulating in favor of the biggest players in the food industry.  Isn't it obvious that this is the outcome every time you give government the power to pick favorites?

Anyway, they have a complaint that corn is subsidized.   The subsidized corn is messing up our food when it is fed to cows, or when corn sugars are fed to us.  Oh, and "the corporations" are doing this just to poison us because they don't care if they kill their customers.

The hidden libertarian thing here is that subsidies are bad.

Only The Large Rule?
Another of their complaints is that the food industry is consolidated into about four "giant" companies.  They show numerous examples of small farms, that seem to be doing pretty well, so I am not sure if the writer of the narration actually saw what he was narrating.  Within this complaint, they complain that food production has been consolidated into a handful of large factories.  That is pretty much the way things go with advancements in production technology.  However, they also complain that the armada of inspectors have declined.  Seriously?  If the production is, as they claim, concentrated in a few factories, then the inspectors do not need to cover as much ground.

Of course they use the fiction of Upton Sinclair as some sort of evidence that meat packing is dirty business.  Oddly, their video clips of where meat is actually butchered shows pretty darn clean conditions, while the narrator talks about all the filth that was on the outside of the cows before they were washed off and skinned.

The secret libertarian message here is that without government possessing the legal authority to pick favorites, the consumers would be picking their favorites in the marketplace as manufacturers competed for their business.

Walmart Monolith?
They make a big deal about Walmart, yet the opening credits and many other scenes appear to be shot at Kroger.  This seems to be a big thing with the neo-Marxists, pretending that Walmart is the only store left and that they have some magical power to destroy other stores.  In my neck of the woods, they don't seem to be doing such a good job, since I have to drive past Food City and Kroger to get to a Walmart produce department.  One had to drive past all three to get bags of fried gluten, or even a fresh-frozen pig's head.

Intellectual Property Gone Wild
They also make a point about Monsanto's aggressive patent enforcement and the ridiculous government handling of that sort of thing.  If, and only if, they managed to frame this bit factually (accidents can happen), then the Intellectual Property system is really out of whack.  Some farmers, who claim to never use Monsanto seed, say that other fields cross-pollinate their seed, resulting in patented Monsanto genes ending up in their next generation of soybeans.  Somehow, our glorious courts deem this as a patent infringement.

I don't know about you, but to me if you have a patent for something that can replicate itself, you should not have a claim on other people's property that your creation invades.  Too bad these farmers can't retaliate with trespassing charges.

If only we had decent judges who would throw out cases like this.  However, the film's answer to these issues is more government.  Sounds like another argument for the abolishment of intellectual property.

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