Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wheat Board Blues

Some bad news for the Wheat Board monopolists:

6 comments:

Phillip Huggan said...

The reason I'd be hesitant to dismantle the CWB were farmers to change their minds and vote against CWB, is that Canada enjoys a 20% or so premium in our wheat price in world markets. I'd expect the premium to erode with private marketing. Also, farming is by nature counter-cyclical. Those farmers that suck at marketing but thought they were good, will lose their farms and raise their families on a Labor Ready wage. Not good for anyone.
But maybe I'm wrong and the premium would outlast CWB? The troubling aspect is I haven't even seen the premium issue mentioned by CWB opponents (like S.Harper).

Iain G. Foulds said...

... No man stands so small as one who would deny his neighbor the freedom to sell the fruit of his labours as he chooses.

Anonymous said...

Hey phillip, anytime you want to reference how farmers get a 20% price premium with verified sources, feel free.

20% price discount is more often the case!

You don't really sound like a farmer, so I will ask why do you suppose it is that farmers in Ontario and Quebec are not lobbying to go under the full control of the CWB with those 20% premium prices?

Iain G. Foulds said...

... Phillip... who are you to deny the freedom of another Canadian citizen to market his goods as he chooses?
... As always, we are looking at another policy of economic collectivism- the denial of the values of individual liberty and private property.

Anonymous said...

Nope, I don't have any references as to how much, if any, of the 20% premium is from single marketed brand. My point is the issue wasn't even discussed. And no, not a farmer.
I've noticed in many industries administrative overhead is deadweight and a distraction. I'm pointing out that if wheat farmers decide to lose some farming expertise to gain entrepreneurial skills, if they suck at marketing there won't be as many safety nets.

How much do you guys think single marketing is responsible for the 20% Canada brand premium? I'd guess not much until publicized quality-control issues, whether real or not, make the news in protectionist export markets.
Price discount occurs in rising grain price environment and premium occurs in lowering price environment; CWB price to farmers is a trailing indicator.
If CWB is fractured, I'm for removing some existing taxpayer-funded public safety nets, as I'm sure you free-market guys are too.

Phillip Huggan said...

Sorry, last comment is mine. I suppose barley is a good case study. It dual marketing works throughout an entire business cycle it would be tough not to change my mind.