In the past when Southern Californian fruit growers were faced with a glut and falling prices they let the fruit rot on the trees. When castigated for this apparent madness they pointed out the quite logical capitalist argument that they would have to pay pickers wages for fruit they couldn't sell. When again they were taken to task for this argument they were offered by some charitable organisations the prospect of them supplying free labour and they would distribute to the needy. Again the fruit growers had an answer to that.
"Every year charitable organisations buy at cut-rate prices our unsold surplus. Giving it away would even spoil that source of income for us."
The fruitgrowers may have appeared heartless but from an economic standpoint letting the fruit rot seemed the logical action. A similar solution is being followed today by French wine producers.
"Hopes of a glut of cheap champagne are set to be dashed when vineyards meet next week to agree on a big cut in production to prop up prices. With sales falling, producers may be ordered to leave up to half their grapes to wither on the vine in an attempt to squeeze the market." (Times, 29 August)
Capitalism is a crazy system, obviously inside socialism we would deal with the problem by drinking more champagne! RD
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