Fast Food Nation

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Unformatted text preview: Throughout the Cold War, America’s decentralized system of agriculture, relying upon millions of independent producers, was depicted as the most productive system in the world, as proof of capitalism’s inherent superiority. The perennial crop failures in the Soviet Union were attributed to a highly centralized system run by distant bureaucrats. Today the handful of agribusiness firms that dominate American food production are championing another centralized system of production, one in which livestock and farmland are viewed purely as commodities, farmers are reduced to the status of employees, and crop decisions are made by executives far away from the fields. Although competition between the large processors has indeed led to lower costs for consumers, price fixing and collusion have devastated independent ranchers and farmers. The antitrust laws outlawing such behavior need to be vigorously enforced. More than a century ago, during the congressional debate on the Sherman Antitrust Act, Henry M. Teller, a Republican senator from Colorado, dismissed the argument that lower consumer prices justified the ruthless exercise of monopoly power. “I do not believe,” Teller argued, ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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