We asked the legendary economics teacher from Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off – also known as Ben Stein – to assist us in today’s lesson. Not only was Mr. Stein unavailable, he specifically asked us to quit calling him and ringing his doorbell at all hours. He also said something about a restraining order. He was joking. We think. So we are on our own.
Okay class, open your books and your minds to see if we can shine light on the scam being run by the National Milk Producers. This will hopefully help others to understand the difference between Smoot – (something). Anyone? Anyone?
Hawley. The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 which exacerbated the Great Depression. It is a classic example how government, if it is not careful, can make a bad situation much worse.
F.D.A., we’re looking in your direction, so please pay attention.
So the subject today is “rent-seeking.” And what is “rent seeking” you ask? Well here is the classic definition:
“Rent seeking is the attempt to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating any new wealth. It is achieved by attempting to capture regulatory agencies to gain a coercive monopoly.”
Now, can anyone give me an example of “rent seeking” today?
How about you, Mr. Mulhern? Mulhern?
I will give you a hint. One of the most egregious and baldface attempts at rent-seeking we can find today is The Dairy (something) (something). The Dairy Pride Act. You of all people should know this Mr. Mulhern.
You see class, Mr. Mulhern is attempting to run a protection racket worthy of John Gotti. By controlling the use of the word “milk,” the NMPF is trying to recapture lost market share that has been declining since the 60’s. And they are trying to run their scam on the F.D.A. as well as American consumers.
Alas, I can see by the clock that our time is up. Remember, your term papers are due tomorrow. The topic:
“Minnesota: Should we give it to Canada?
Those students who make an “A” in this class will receive a case of Almond milk in reward. You may not like that, Mr. Mulhern. But don’t worry — there’s not a chance in hell you’ll get an “A” in this class.