More on milk

More

If you want to know just how ridiculous our agricultural programs are, consider this: for about half a century, we priced milk based on how far the cow was from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. No, I swear, I am not making this up. Apparently, the USDA scientifically determined that Eau Claire was the perfectest place in the entire world to keep cows, and that therefore the farther you were from that fabled city, the harder you must find it to produce milk.

Of course, this created a magnificent self-fulfilling prophecy; since famers in Wisconsin got the lowest price, only the most efficient ones survived.

In 2002, we reformed the system. Now we use a weighted average of the Wisconsin and Minnesota prices to determine the support levels for the rest of the country. You really cannot make this stuff up.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In