From a Department of Defense Press Release:
At the direction of the president, and in light of the historic drought, the Defense Department is reviewing its procurement of beef, pork and lamb to determine if additional or accelerated purchases can be made to provide some relief to the agriculture industry and get the benefit of current lower prices.
DoD purchases approximately 94 million pounds of beef, 64 million pounds of pork, and 500,000 pounds of lamb annually.
The Defense Logistics Agency will discuss with its vendors the value of buying additional meat at lower drought related prices for future use through long-term proper storage.
From my point of view, this is a backdoor way of giving money to private businesses. If taken, this action will transfer millions of tax payer funds to private industries that cannot survive in traditionally and historically volatile markets. Farming and ranching are unpredictable trades, and they’re protected by heavy insurance policies and complicated hedge instruments. This seems to be a pretty shitty, almost secretive way to artificially prop-up businesses for no other reason than to influence and manipulate markets (eg, tampering with food prices during an election year, appeasing ag-lobby during election year, etc.). Bottom line is that the federal government will buy extra meat for no other reason - the meat goes into storage. Man, the agriculture lobby even has the President in a vice grip.
H/T Soldier Porn
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