Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Do We Want? Cheap Cheese!

It is funny what causes people to protest.  The university students are protesting around Canada today because of the injustice they see in increased tuition.  Some of these folks don't want hikes, while others believe tuition should be free.  Anyhow, they argue this is an issue of social justice.  Well, thanks to a tweet by Roland Paris, I have another social justice issue: cheese, damn it!  Well, for me, not so much about cheese but about milk, chicken and other such stuff.

You see, Canada may not be alone in protecting farmers from foreign competition, but Canada does seem to do it far more intensively than other countries.  This article has some very striking comparison about the price of cheese, chicken, and other farm products where the costs in Buffalo vs. Ottawa are very, very stark, as in 50% to 250% more expensive in Canada.  And, yes, it is done to protect the 13,000 dairy farmers.

How is this an issue of social justice?  Because expensive food hits the poor and lower middle class far more than everyone else.  It is a much bigger percentage of what they spend money on.  In my previous posts and subsequent comments, I tended to scoff at the social justice argument about tuition.  Actually, I argued that the current low tuition is a social injustice since it has the poor/lower middle class essentially subsidizing the rich.  Same here: while farmers face a tough life, the protections here benefit the 1% and harm the 99% (actually the .04% vs the 99.6%).  And it is more than just an extra five cents for one's cheesy poofs.

But we will not see change since the electoral maps give disproportionate power to the rural parts of the country (see Canada is not so unique after all).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

U are so rt however canada accepts injustices why I'll never know. I 'm the only comment and a Canadian live in CHicago an investor in 2 pizza places in Canada food cost in US 10 to15 percent cheaper no dairy boards plus transportation to N. Ontario is ridiculous The people are outstanding rugged individuals having each party pushing a nanny state to get elected hurts the country!