#21 Fake Money, Fake Food

Yesterday, in Issue #20, we discussed government intervention in agriculture. Which in the US, had its birthing under the New Deal in the 1930s. The government is still to this day, heavily involved in nonsensical intervention into agriculture.

Activities like subsidy for certain crops and even direct payments to farmers not utilizing all of their resources to grow at maximum capacity are the norm, but what is really interesting to me, are the types of crops which are most heavily subsidized.

And more interestingly than that, the way chronic diseases, and deaths there after have shifted in America as the US started more heavily subsidizing certain crops.

It was in the 1970s when High Fructose Corn Syrup came onto the scene and the push for more consumption of sugar (gotta get those essential carbohydrates) became more common. The following adverts are from a National Geographic in the early 1970s.

So it’s really not a surprise the trends we see forming in Chronic Diseases starting around the 1930s and accelerating into the 1970s as the role of fiat subsidy became more prominent. Of course, food manufacturers are going to have profit margin in the forefront of their decision making calculus. Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup are some of the cheapest ingredients thanks to their government subsidy. Thus they ended up in almost every product.

Many point to capitalism and say “look at all these evil companies poisoning the food” or “look at these problems free markets have created”. In reality, you must look deeper to see that the seeds of these problems are sown by government invention into the natural market process. Distortion of the natural evolving order of price discovery and supply and demand that have all kinds of negative side effects on society. If you want to know why Americans are only getting fatter and sicker, look no further than the cheap cost of sugar and corn syrup. Bought and paid for with the cheap cost of government capital.

All this is exacerbated by a medical care system that has long been in control of a carefully gated pharmaceutical and insurance monopoly, made possible only by regulators…but that’s a story for another day.


Book of the Month:

The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World

“Density (overgrowth) and uniformity (too much of one thing—namely immediate-returning or high-yielding capital, as opposed to the more roundabout variety—growing in the economy and “fertilized” by distortion) are the evidence of malinvestment in the economy, exceeding the amount of available resources. Investment cannot exceed savings any more than seeding in the forest can exceed land, nutrients, water, and sunlight—but under these interventions, the system acts as if that’s what is happening. This is what makes the boom so delusive and ultimately illusory.”

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