Monday, February 24, 2014

Lesson #3: Absolute Marketing Power

Today, we roll back into history to look at the lobbying and government's response to pacify the agriculture sector.  Previous postings:   Lesson #1, Lesson #2

Today, we will learn that:

"You can avoid reality,
but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982), Author, Playright, Screenwriter, and Philosopher

"The Splintered Market", a book published in 1980, relates that the first marketing co-op in Canada was the Okanagan tree fruit growers in 1913, which was of limited success, as they couldn't control the marketing done by members, and they had no control whatsoever over non-members.

As typical with government, if any action is a disaster, they assume doing lots more of the disastrous action will be an effective solution to the initial disaster.  In other words, if throwing gasoline on a fire fails to extinguish the fire, the reason for the resulting disaster is assumed to be insufficient gasoline was used in the first attempt.

Lets see what Mr. A.G. Wilson had to say in 1971 about the draft SM Bill in Parliament:
“The Produce Marketing Act passed in 1927 by the British Columbia legislature gave exclusive powers to a board to control and regulate the marketing of specific farm commodities. When tested in the courts in 1931, the legislation was declared ultra vires since it interfered with inter-provincial trade.
The Splintered Market also notes that the courts also struck the law down as the levy charged farmers was an indirect tax, which was not permitted by the Canadian Constitution.

Lets continue:
"The onset of the depression sharpened the desire of producers to obtain market control since they observed that industrial firms were able to maintain prices by curtailing output. Continued agitation resulted in the passage of the federal Natural Products Marketing Act in 1934. Several marketing schemes were approved under this Act before it was declared ultra vires by the courts in 1937 on the grounds that the marketing of a product within a province was a matter under provincial jurisdiction.
Strike 2, but not to be deterred, the Provinces join in to the fight:
The respective provinces, to circumvent this difficulty, have each passed their own Natural Products Marketing Acts. Well over 100 provincial marketing boards have now been established.
So now we have a piling on, of both Federal and Provincial governments, to restrict trade and freedom.
Provincial marketing boards found themselves limited in their ability to regulate marketing since their control was restricted to the product produced within the confines of their respective provinces. This limitation was particularly onerous for those products which were produced in several provinces. Some means of coordinating the activities of provincial boards handling the same product was considered necessary if effective market control was to be achieved.”
One of the reasons for having both provincial and federal governments is to prevent absolute powers, to have counter-balancing, to prevent extremes and excesses.  If something requires both the Provinces and the Federal government to act in unison, the first assumption should be "This is something that should not be done!".

Unfortunately, they lobbyists were bound and determined to have their way, so they pressed on, and called for united action by both levels of government.

So the next idea was to create an independent third party, and both the Federal and Provincial governments would delegate their respective powers to this third party, thereby making it more powerful than either government alone.

Does this not give anybody pause or caution?

"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts absolutely."

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, First Baron Acton (1834–1902)
English historian, politician, and writer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Off-topic commercial spam that's posted so as to help sell your wares will be deleted.

On-topic comments, where you behave yourself and play nicely, will remain posted; whether they are pro or con. Everybody needs to fully understand all points of view so that we can find a solution that encompasses everybody's concerns. Give it your best shot.

If you decide to post, your posting becomes part of the public record, and SFPFC has full rights to use it (or not) in any reasonable manner or medium that suits our purposes.

Before posting, please proofread, and correct as necessary. If you subsequently discover a need to fix your previous posting, make an additional posting that refers to the original posting, then set the record straight.