Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lesson #1: #ChickenMafia History Lesson

We need to know our #ChickenMafia history, or we are doomed to continuing listening to their broken record over and over again.

In a previous Blog posting (see The Supply Management Fortune Teller ) we reviewed the historic debate in the House of Commons in December 28, 1971 concerning the Farm Products Agencies Act.

Doing an Internet search, I found some relevant documents.  I ordered one of the contemporary documents from an university's archive, as follows:.
University of Saskatchewan Library, Department of Agricultural Economics, Ref. # KF1718.W55 1971 (front cover library label), b24167496 (inside back cover in ink), Catalogue Bar Code (back cover) # 902001621757
I received the inter-library loan a week later.  The document is 22 pages long, and is a faded mimeograph (an ancient form of making copies before Xerox or photocopy machines were generally available, after all, this was 1971, just shortly after the dinosaurs left the Earth).

It is so faded, it is hard to read, and impossible to scan or copy.  My only option is to re-type it.  Oh joy!

At 22 pages, it's too long for the 30 second attention spans of today, so I'm going to spoon feed it to you a paragraph or page at a time, then add my biting whit of commentary to it.  Stop me if you've heard this one before.  Here goes:

Bill C-176 “An Act to Establish the National Farm Products Marketing Council and to Authorize the Establishment of National Marketing Agencies for Farm Products”.
by A.G. Wilson*
* Talk prepared for presentation to a meeting of the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists held on March 22, 1971.

Bill C-176
“An Act to Establish the National Farm Products Marketing Council and to Authorize the Establishment of National Marketing Agencies for Farm Products”
“Few pieces of legislation have given rise to the kind of controversy which surrounds Bill C-176 since its first introduction into the House of Commons early in 1970. Opposition to the Bill has gradually increased as the many implications of its respective sections have become more apparent. Study has revealed the Bill as originally written to be incomplete as a document to serve as a guide for the attainment of the marketing objectives outlined. In addition, the philosophy of control inherent in the Bill and the lack of safeguards to prevent the abuse of such control have incensed citizens interested in the preservation of democracy. The vehemence with which various views of the legislation have been expressed has been largely responsible for the delay of its passage. This delay has provided time for consideration of amendments which could render the legislation more acceptable to the individuals and groups who will ultimately be affected by its operation.”
OK, that's enough for today.  Everybody needs to build up their stamina for something like this, slow and easy to start.

Biting Commentary
So we learn that SM wasn't a slam dunk.  There was huge controversy then, just as there is today.

Today, Small Flockers and the public plead for relief from the oppression and tyranny by the SM Mafia.

Isn't it interesting that United Grain Growers ("UGG") and others recognized the SM Bill was "incomplete", had a scary set of powers and authority, lack of controls of those powers being granted, and lack of safeguards.

Notice that they saw back in 1971 there may be abuses, up to and including those that threaten democracy in Canada.

Now it isn't every day that you hear such vitriolic language coming out of the mouths of farmers, especially in the 1970's.  "Incensed citizens" you say.

It is obvious that the Bill polarized many different groups.  Everybody fell into one of two groups:
  • You loved it (ie. those in line to receive a million dollar monopoly), or
  • You hated it (ie. those who would be losing their personal freedoms, confiscation of their livelihood, and subjected to abuse, oppression, and tyranny in perpetuity).
 That's the kind of stuff you can really get worked up over.
And so they did.

More to come.  Stay tuned.

Lesson #2: Assumptions and Constraints in Designing a Supply Management System

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