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Posts Tagged ‘Baby Formula’

Why we all need education in economics and international trade

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2022

BY TED TUCKER, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR

What has not changed, however, are the fundamental truths by which economies operate. And the benefits of free trade are more than just access to higher-quality, lower-priced goods — a point underscored by the recent baby formula shortage, caused in part by a limited number of domestic formula companies under strict government policies designed to keep out foreign producers. Studies show that globalization actually boosts the American economy by reducing inefficient domestic industries and providing resources and opportunity for innovation, in turn raising wages and improving living standards.

As prices at the gas pump and on our store shelves rise, President Biden recently mentioned he would consider lifting some tariffs on China in an attempt to combat exorbitant inflation. It’s an issue he has addressed before, noting that inflation is his “top economic priority.” And while doing away with tariffs is a start, there’s more to be done to encourage international trade — the real solution to combating rising costs. Simply stated, all barriers to free global trade limit competition and allow domestic producers to increase prices, a contributing factor to inflation. But somewhere along the way, elected leaders have forgotten this basic economic concept and have turned to policies limiting an international marketplace.

A global pandemic and subsequent runaway deficit spending have contributed to a historic level of inflation. Now, Republicans and Democrats alike are questioning U.S. participation in international trade and suggesting that weaning ourselves from a global free market is the right answer. In doing so, they are ignoring a basic economic truth: voluntary trade creates wealth.

Look no further than the president’s State of the Union address: “Instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America,” Biden said, receiving applause from both sides of the aisle. And Democrats recently revved up support for this effort, including Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who introduced the Supply Chain Resiliency Act. She noted, “Our ‘made in America’ economy has been neglected, exposing us to shocks that leave us unable to produce or acquire the things we need, putting our health, economy and security at risk.” 

However, it isn’t just Democrats who want to curtail international trade. Others, such as Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, have said the need to domestically produce critical items such as computer parts and semiconductor chips “was there solidly before, but the Russian invasion [of Ukraine] just puts an exclamation point on it” — making it clear that both parties have experienced an abrupt change on this issue over the past several years.

What has not changed, however, are the fundamental truths by which economies operate. And the benefits of free trade are more than just access to higher-quality, lower-priced goods — a point underscored by the recent baby formula shortage, caused in part by a limited number of domestic formula companies under strict government policies designed to keep out foreign producers. Studies show that globalization actually boosts the American economy by reducing inefficient domestic industries and providing resources and opportunity for innovation, in turn raising wages and improving living standards. In fact, the Bureau of Economic Analysis notes at least half of America’s imports are inputs for U.S. manufacturers, not consumer goods. These imports reduce imported-input costs, ultimately lowering a manufacturer’s production costs and facilitating economic growth.

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Bastiat Predicted the Baby Formula Crisis 170 Years before It Happened

Posted by M. C. on June 7, 2022

The formula shortage is due in large part to past and present government promises of “costless” benefits. 

Like any purveyors of fiction, those who promise benefits without costs must maintain that fiction even in the face of failure. Rather than be revealed as incompetent or liars, they simply devise new promises. Today’s new promises come in the form of a government airlift of miniscule volumes of baby formula set to artificial fanfare.

https://mises.org/wire/bastiat-predicted-baby-formula-crisis-170-years-it-happened

Robert Zumwalt

The current baby formula shortage in the United States is a pressing crisis, and many in the media have been rushing to explain how such a thing could have happened. But on close analysis, it appears to share the same root as virtually every other crisis experienced in the modern world: a government promised benefits without costs.

Our political leaders either fail to understand or outright ignore the basic, unavoidable limitation on government action, that no government benefit comes without a cost. As French writer and politician Frédéric Bastiat wrote in his 1848 essay, Government:

Thus, the public has two hopes, and Government makes two promises—many benefits and no taxes. Hopes and promises that, being contradictory, can never be realized.

Now, is not this the cause of all our revolutions? For between the Government, which lavishes promises which it is impossible to perform, and the public, which has conceived hopes which can never be realized, two classes of men interpose—the ambitious and the Utopians. It is circumstances which give these their cue. It is enough if these vassals of popularity cry out to the people—”The authorities are deceiving you; if we were in their place, we would load you with benefits and exempt you from taxes.”

The current baby formula shortage is one more example of government promises running into the contradictory reality of their own hidden costs.

Government Promises and Hidden Costs

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Baby Formula: Thank Protectionists and the FDA for the Shortage

Posted by M. C. on May 16, 2022

Within this voucher programs, funds are funneled to select corporations through programs that grant a formula company “the exclusive right to have its formula provided to WIC participants in the State.” In practice, this means the largest companies with the most lobbyists are able to dominate the subsidized portion of the market. Since the subsidized portion of the market is so huge, that usually means those companies dominate the market overall. This makes it harder for newcomers to break into the market and offer any real competition. This means the marketplace becomes reliant on a small number of large firms. 

Protectionism is fundamentally about using violence against Americans who try to bring goods to market in ways that the protectionists don’t like.

https://mises.org/wire/baby-formula-thank-protectionists-and-fda-shortage

Ryan McMaken

For parents who rely on baby formula—whether by choice or due to medical necessity—the nationwide baby formula shortage has become increasingly difficult to ignore. According to the Wall Street Journal, Walgreens, Target, CVS, and Kroger have all begun rationing supplies of formula.

Covid lockdowns, combined with a product recall by formula manufacturer Abbott Nutrition has created a very real shortage in a product that is key for proper nutrition in many children.

With the shortage has come the usual half-baked bromides about “evil corporations” and how baby formula companies are supposedly not regulated enough. Throw in a few references to “late-stage capitalism” and you’ll get a good taste of the usual “blame capitalism” narrative that accompanies every bout of shortages or rising prices.

Formula Is Heavily Regulated and Subsidized

In reality, federal government intervention in the formula market is rampant. Thanks to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), formula companies are heavily subsidized by voucher programs which mean that the US government is “provid[ing] more than half of the formula that is used in the US.

Within this voucher programs, funds are funneled to select corporations through programs that grant a formula company “the exclusive right to have its formula provided to WIC participants in the State.” In practice, this means the largest companies with the most lobbyists are able to dominate the subsidized portion of the market. Since the subsidized portion of the market is so huge, that usually means those companies dominate the market overall. This makes it harder for newcomers to break into the market and offer any real competition. This means the marketplace becomes reliant on a small number of large firms. 

[Read More: “Why Are the Feds Subsidizing Baby Formula Companies?” by Ryan McMaken]

The anticompetitive nature of federal WIC policy is just one aspect of how little the formula market has to do with anything we might call “the free market.”

Protectionism Prevents Access to Foreign Formula

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Michael Bloomberg Proposed Ban on Baby Formula as NYC Mayor

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2020

Ironically, a 1997 lawsuit filed against Bloomberg and his company alleged that he told an employee who disclosed her pregnancy to him that she should “kill it” in order to protect her career at his firm.

Progressives looking out for you.

Because you are too dumb to take care of yourself.

This tells you something about the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/02/18/nyc-mayor-michael-bloomberg-proposed-ban-baby-formula/

by Dr. Susan Berry

As New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg demanded that mothers breastfeed their babies and insisted hospitals keep baby formula under lock and key.

In 2012, the current Democrat presidential candidate created the “Latch On” initiative, which exerted control over a mother’s decision on how to feed her baby.

The Daily Mail reported at the time:

Mayor Bloomberg has demanded that hospitals stop handing out baby formula to persuade more new mothers to breastfeed their babies.

The New York City health department will monitor the number of formula bottles being given out and demand a medical reason for each one.

More than half of the city’s hospitals agreed to institute the Latch On program. Subsequently, those hospitals ended the practice of distributing free bags of formulas and baby bottles to new mothers.

With the support of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the campaign was presented as a health initiative for both mother and baby.

“With this initiative the New York City health community is joining together to support mothers who choose to breastfeed,” said Thomas Farley, city health commissioner.

WTVR reported Bloomberg defended the initiative, claiming it would make people healthier.

The proposed ban on baby formula arrived soon after another one on sugary drinks in large containers to control obesity. In 2008, Bloomberg also banned trans-fats in city restaurants and demanded menus display calories contained in each food item.

“Most of the public health officials around the country think that this is a great idea,” Bloomberg said of the baby formula initiative. “I gather that the immunities that a mother has built up get passed along to the child, so the child is healthier.”

However, some mothers complained about the campaign.

“It’s up to the mother to choose what’s right for her and her child,” said Lisa Tacy, according to WTVR. “I don’t think the government should be doing anything to prevent the mom from being a mother and making her own decisions.”

Ironically, a 1997 lawsuit filed against Bloomberg and his company alleged that he told an employee who disclosed her pregnancy to him that she should “kill it” in order to protect her career at his firm.

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The Greatest 'Yo Mama' Jokes In The History Of The ...

 

 

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