A full year-and-a-half after Tom Vilsack promised “a new rural economy,” neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Department of Justice had issued any new policy recommendations. No major antitrust cases were filed. No joint report was issued.
The meat industry’s massive investment in lobbying was well worth the investment. Since Obama has taken office, the nation’s four biggest meat companies have steadily hiked prices and widened their profit margins. Last year alone, Tyson Foods reported a record profit of $778 million as the company raised prices for chicken, pork and beef. And in rural America, companies like Tyson are conducting business as they always have, using the tournament system to make chicken farmers compete against one another.
The only difference is that now, the big meat companies have proved that Washington is incapable of doing anything about it.
From “The Meat Racket” fascinating thrilling terrifying new book by Christopher Leonard that i’m currently reading. Read an excerpt on Slate here.