Friday, April 18, 2008

A Bad Time to be a Pig

Chapter 5 of my favorite economics textbook talks about how governments sometimes try to help farmers by paying then not to bring crops to market, an action aimed to reduce supply and raise prices. A student brings to my attention a recent example of this kind of policy:
EDMONTON —In what is being called an unprecedented move, the federal government will pay Canadian pork producers $50 million to kill off 150,000 of their pigs by the fall as the industry teeters on the brink of economic collapse....Those who qualify for payments must agree to kill off an entire breeding barn of pigs and not to restock the barn for three years.