Dairy Pricing Blind Spot

     Kevin McCallum’s [Seven Days] article on dairy pricing (“Milk Check”, Jan. 18) is well written save for one crucial thing. Kevin explains that government-forced over-order pricing for milk will likely make Vermont’s value added dairy products industry less competitive in national and world markets. But he has an enormous blind spot about the central question: who is going to get hit with the higher prices?

            If the state forces handlers to pay higher milk prices to farmers, the handlers will pass that price increase along to the retailers, who will mark it up to their customers.

            This is another example of a popular but deplorable legislative game: find a sneaky way for the government to benefit favored groups, in this case all farmers, well to do and struggling alike, and send the bill on to consumers who can’t figure out why they are paying more for dairy products.

            This is the same deplorable game as the shamefully named Affordable Heating Act, which plays the same trick on families and businesses that heat with fuel oil, propane or natural gas, with the proceeds going to subsidize heat pumps and electric cars favored by the unaccountable Public Utility Commission.

            I can remember when liberals objected to schemes to secretly transfer money from consumers to favored special interests. Where are they now?

(Letter to the editor of Seven Days  published 2/8/23)


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