A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
The market always works. For centuries legislators have tried to control it, but the laws of economics are immutable, and stand well beyond the reach of their rhetoric.
The price of corn has tripled in less than eighteen months. While it is fair to say there are a few factors causing this, there is a primary cause - and that is the well-funded and horribly misguided rush to legislate ethanol fuels.
So why the title of this column?
My family spent Memorial Day Weekend in Iowa County, in the lush valley of the Wisconsin River. Amongst other things, this is big dairy country. Beautiful farms adorn the rolling hills, and milk production is a 24-7 operation. For obvious reasons, dairy farmers have little use for bull calves, and for years have sold them to people who would raise them for beef. But do you know what they are doing with them now?
They are shooting them.
That' s because most farmers are frantically selling corn to ethanol processors, and the ones that aren't can barely afford to feed it to their livestock. So the market for bull-calves is shrinking, and instead of selling them, many dairy farmers are merely taking them for a walk behind the barn and introducing them to a bullet instead of a nipple.
Instead of the bleating of calves in this lovely area of our State, one can now hear random gun shots - then silence. Perhaps we will see P.E.T.A. add its name to the ever growing list of organizations on both the political right and the left that are condemning our government's dysfunctional ethanol binge.
The work of the market isn't always pretty.
But it gets done.