As Consumers, How Do We Support Dairy Farmers?

I'm saddened to read about so many dairy farmers going out of business. It's obviously desirable to have Australian milk to buy in the future! Farmers cite the price of feed and the drought as reasons, but also pricing activities by supermarkets. Apparently it's not the supermarkets that are entirely to blame. It's also the processors who buy milk from farmers and then on-sell to supermarkets. Is the answer simply to buy non-supermarket branded milk? Is there anyone out there with answers on how to best support Australian dairy farmers to ensure a sustainable local business model?

Comments

  • -3 votes

    Don't buy milk from Coles and Woolworths. end/thread.
    We buy our milk from http://www.barambahorganics.com.au
    But then people want cheap.

      • +7 votes

        It was generally the city folk that voted for Labor, and the rural folk that voted for Liberals/Nationals/One Nation.

        Your thinking that country folk are somehow more accepting and easy to deal with is biased.

        They are the ones voting for coal (mining AND power plants) because jobs are more important that environment.
        They are the ones wanting more stringent gaps on immigration.
        They are the ones who are more likely to not believe in climate change, yet are the ones most affected by it.

        I think if you're looking at who's money grabbing and more accepting/easy going, you've got it backwards.
        The country folk voted, and have put the wrong party in power to enact real change on the issues that actually matter most to them.
        If anyone here can honestly tell me STILL what the Liberal policy is on important issues, I'd love to hear it.
        They won on a platform that fears change (fear Labors changes!!!), without promoting ANY change or policy themselves because one side of the party wants one thing and the other side wants another. So now they continue to do NOTHING. They've been on autopilot since getting in power, and look what's happening. Mismanagement and inaction of what's happening in the rural sector has been horrible. No policy on energy means business wont invest in it because there's no direction federally. And look at the Murray Darling. Holy crap.

        And you're blaming the city folk for all that??? Wrong mate, very wrong.
        Country folk are LESS progressive and accepting of change, so they keep voting for the party that doesn't change. Good luck with that.

        •  

          I don't know about that - look at the electorates of Sydney and Melbourne which had much higher concentrations of 'no' votes in the SSM plebiscite - even more so than all of the country areas of the same state.

    •  

      That makes little to zero difference. The majority of milk is not for Australian retail, the biggest influence on price is the milk solids market/export market which as the average Aussie you have zero input or influence of.

    •  

      Agree. Colesworth will screw suppliers down until they go broke then move on to the next supplier.

      When Woolworths did the "10c to Farmers" promotion at the end of that promotion they said to the supplier "We will be keeping that 10c from here onwards". source: I have a friend in a senior position at the supplier.

    • +2 votes

      As Consumers, How Do We Support Dairy Farmers?
      No, we don't.
      Why would we?

  • +78 votes

    Farmers are a small business like any other. There are tons of small businesses struggling right now eg. retail, food and hospitality, services, trades etc.

    Whilst the drought is bad for farmers, the Government does provide a ton of financial assistance to them via grants and subsidies because the farmers are a crucial voting block due to the way the electoral system works, a vote in the bush can equal 3-4 city votes because the population is smaller in the country side but there is a fixed number of seats in parliament.

    In contrast most other small businesses get nothing from the Government because they are not politically important.

    • +5 votes

      retail, food and hospitality, services, trades etc.

      Primary businesses are nothing like those other businesses. Some consumers may do without them (retail, food and hospitality, services, trades etc.), but can’t avoid the need for primary goods.

      • +25 votes

        Some consumers may do without them (retail, food and hospitality, services, trades etc.), but can’t avoid the need for primary goods.

        If dairy farmers are going out of business, then it clearly means that there is more milk being produced than people need.

      • +49 votes

        Most small business owners go into business hoping to make a honest living and support their family.

        I don't see how its fair to elevate one group of small business owners above another just because one is a primary producer, especially since farmers already receive priority support from the government.

        Most farmers in Australia are asset rich but due to the current drought conditions, are cash flow poor or negative. They can literaly sell the farm and move somewhere else, a choice that is not always available to other small business owners.

        • -20 votes

          The difference between dairy and other businesses is how central dairy is to Australian diets. Milk consumption in Australia is higher than most Western nations. We each consume around 105 litres of fresh milk per year. Milk also has a host a health benefits, of course.

          Not arguing that the dairy industry requires government subsidy, but perhaps it does necessitate government strategy & heightened consumer awareness around sustainable prices, practices and products. This issue is part of a bigger problem re food security (in relation to climate change, drought, etc) more generally.

          According to Dairy Australia: "The number of farms has fallen by almost three quarters since 1979/80, from 21,994 to 5,699 in mid-2018. The trend in farm numbers will often follow changes in farmgate milk prices from season to season. Strong prices tend to either slow the rate of attrition or even reverse the long-term trend. At times of low farmgate milk prices, farmers choose to leave the industry or else cease dairying operations in favour of other farming activities, such as beef cattle farming."

          I'd doubt that there's much of market for farms for sale in drought-stricken areas, so just selling a farm might not so be so easy. That said, a lot of dairy farms are located on the coast.

          • +8 votes

            @hammy80: What are the "host of health benefits" milk provides?

            • +6 votes

              @TheGiantTomato: Exactly.. milk is, after all, baby food for cows! Don't get me wrong I love milk, but the 'health benefits' you are referring to are negligible. Better sources of calcium than milk include dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and watercress. Dried fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses (peas, beans and lentils) These foods offer many other health benefits as well as providing a natural and safe source of calcium.

              • +2 votes

                @m0nkeycheese: But how many people wants to drink nuts and beans?

              • -1 vote

                @m0nkeycheese:

                Exactly.. milk is, after all, baby food for cows!

                And seeds are used to germinate, plants are sentient, and photosynthesis provides oxygen.

                I know you are saying it in jest and it's not directed at you, but it is so cringe-worthy when people make this claim and consider to be a legitimate argument.

                It is much more convincing and far less condescending to simply state that are various non-dairy sources of calcium, often with higher %Di.

              •  

                @m0nkeycheese: Sure, but you need to take it into consideration the amount you'd need of these to get the same nutrients. Milk has calcium, but also protein, etc.

              •  

                @m0nkeycheese:

                broccoli, kale, cabbage and watercress

                Yes, more fancy food for cows!

                Dried fruits, nuts, seeds,

                Yes, more fancy food for monkeys, squirrels and mice!

                peas, beans and lentils

                Yes, more fancy food for worms and crawlies!

                Mmmm … it just doesn't sound right … almost like milk being baby food for cows …

            • +3 votes

              @TheGiantTomato: One cup (244 grams) of whole cow’s milk contains:

              Protein: 8 grams
              Calcium: 28% of the RDA
              Vitamin D: 24% of the RDA
              Riboflavin (B2): 26% of the RDA
              Vitamin B12: 18% of the RDA
              Potassium: 10% of the RDA
              Phosphorus: 22% of the RDA
              Selenium: 13% of the RDA

            •  

              @TheGiantTomato:

              • Cheap protein
              • Good amount of calcium.
              • 1L milk is cheaper ( and better ) than 1L Coke
                • some vitamins
          •  

            @hammy80: You rase some good point get big or get out.

      • +1 vote

        30% of livestock and produce is used for Australian consumers, the rest is exported.

        60% of all the water used in agriculture is for cotton production.

        Why exactly are taxpayers propping their failed business model?

    • +26 votes

      a vote in the bush can equal 3-4 city votes because the population is smaller in the country side but there is a fixed number of seats in parliament

      This isn't accurate at all.
      This is why we have boundary redistributions.
      In Victoria for example:
      The largest electorate by area is Mallee at 81,962km2 has 114k voters
      The smallest - Melbourne at 40km2 has 108k voters

      • +2 votes

        I think it only applies in WA now at the state level. However in the Senate, each state has 12 Senators, so the relatively more rural populations of QLD and Tas mean that rural votes have relatively more sway. (Also the fact that NSW is 15x larger than Tas and has the same number of Senate seats is something to think about).

        • +6 votes

          The house of reps fulfils the 'proportional representation' mandate for our government. There is no reason to have a second house if it is going to be formed on the same basis, as it will look the same.

          The Senate structure ensures that the big and wealthy states can't bully smaller states - we (as a Victorian) can't just take Tasmania's money and give them nothing in return, because they have real clout in the Senate. At the same time the smaller states can't band together in the senate to screw over the larger states due to the proportional representation of the house.

          I am not against change of the Australian political institutions; I very much like the concept of citizens' juries, random selection of MPs as an alternative to voting, and dissolution of all political parties - but i just don't feel that the non-proportional makeup of the senate is an issue

          • +3 votes

            @dinna89: The senate adds another level of 'proportional representation' from a state/territory level. This allows all states/territories to have equal and balanced power.

            12 senators; two from each state or territory.

      • +1 vote

        https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/the-growing-clou...

        Melbourne and Sydney are home to more than 40 per cent of the Australia’s population and together they generate about 43 per cent of gross domestic product.

        https://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/federal_elections/2019/file...

        Melbourne has 22 seats
        Sydney has 20 seats

        42 seats out of 151 total = 27.8% of total lower house votes.

        Australian Senate proportions are even worse.

        US is similar

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidentia...

        Clinton 65,853,514 voters
        Trump 62,984,828 voters

        https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2016/11/29/another...

        Clinton won 64% of US economic output (GDP)
        Trump won 36% US economic output (GDP)

        Clinton won 472 counties
        Trump won 2584 counties

        Despite Clinton winning popular vote.

        • +15 votes

          You know that the AEC make up their votes based on people on the electoral role (i.e. adult citizens), not on total people?
          So total population is irrelevant as there are many non-citizens in Australia, especially in major cities. If you think the AEC have stuffed up electoral distributions that badly, go send them an email and let them know what you what changed, I'm sure they'd love to know.

          GDP is completely irrelevant. Would you prefer you got more of a vote based on how much you earned? That's awfully non-democratic of you.

          The senate is not based on population, it's not proportional because it's not meant to be.

          Foreign elections are irrelevant to Australia, they have their own problems with their electoral system.

    • +5 votes

      No you're ignorant of what's going on. There are a limited number of milk processors. Supermarkets hardball an unsustainably low price with the processors. Processors have to make money. Processors are an oligopolistic buyer of the powerless farmers short shelf life product who either throw their milk away or accept a rock bottom price. Couple that with year after year of drought which causes costs for such a water intensive type of farming as dairy and you've got a big problem.

      Market economics is broken for this market and the government needs to grow some balls and upset is grey constituent shareholders of the supermarkets.

      • +18 votes

        This is the same logic that the Wall Street banks used during the GFC when they cried they were "too big to fail" and received billions in tax payer funds to bail them out whilst paying their CEOs millions in bonuses.

        The Government should not socialize the losses of the farmers during the bad times and let them collectively privatize the gains during the good times. That is the false logic of the corrupt banks that brought the world economy to its knees.

        Remember the farmers are actively voting into power the same politicians in the LNP who actively deny climate change is REAL, who do not meet any climate goals and who funnel cash into their own pockets for water licenses.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/25/barnab...
        https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/17/quest...

        The weather is becoming more unpredictable increasing the likelihood of droughts like the one they are currently experiencing yet they are voting into power politicians are are actively working to make the situation worse through inaction.

        • +9 votes

          @xinyi

          The weather is becoming more unpredictable increasing the likelihood of droughts like the one they are currently experiencing

          Just a comment on 'droughts'.

          It really should be acknowledged that 'drought' is the normal state for much of Australia, and that the occasional good times are the exception. Accepting and understanding this would have saved much past grief, and untold future pain. Just because we have had some good years in the rural sector over the last 150 or so years does not mean that is the norm, or that situation will continue.

          And with the added influence of climate change leading to greater volatility, it seems very unlikely that things will improve.

          I recall reading about a report by CSIRO in the 1930's, which went along the lines of: Australia is very dry, that droughts are a common/normal/expected phenonemon, (that Australia is not just a southern hemisphere clone of green old England), and that rural sector development should take this into account. Massively water-intensive, and seasonal-intensive crops, etc should not be looked up as a reliable future. (Sorry, I don't have a reference for this.)

          Fast forward to 2019… and we still bemoan the fate of the 'poor farmers', of how 'unlucky' they are, of how wretched the droughts (oh, and then the occasional floods) are. And government still subsidises primary producers on many levels.

        • -3 votes

          What a peculiar comparison to 'Wall St banks'. Maybe yourself or one of your many admirers could perhaps explain that in more detail? I didn't suggest handouts but stronger laws to stop oligopolistic behaviour so the farmer isn't continually in prison bending over to pick up the soap in the shower block.

          Farmers do take climate change seriously but don't trust Labor and the Greens and can't see the point in economically vandalizing their already precarious predicament to take action that the two biggest polluters won't.

          Anyway it looks like agricultural land should be cheap to keep expanding the belts and roads. There won't be any kowtow to the supermarkets then…

        • +1 vote

          "Remember the farmers are actively voting into power the same politicians in the LNP who actively deny climate change is REAL, who do not meet any climate goals and who funnel cash into their own pockets for water licenses"

          Exactly. It's hard to feel sorry for farmers who don't change and vote against their own interests.

          These so called conservatives want a dog eat dog world and then expect handouts for farmers, miners, banks, Murdoch and people of their choosing.

      • +2 votes

        But less than a quarter of milk production in Oz is sold as fresh milk. Most is powdered, UHT'd or made into cheese or butter and then exported. And world prices for milk products are at record highs.

        Dairy farmers in areas that are naturally good dairy country (ie they don't require irrigation, have decent soils and don't have tropical pests) such as Gippsland, south coast NSW and northern Tasmania are currently doing very nicely - they're the ones that process and export most of their milk.

        Its the high-cost areas who've had a routine drought who are screaming. These high cost areas only do dairy because they have cities reasonably nearby for a fresh milk market (fresh milk being very expensive to collect and transport long distances). Some of them only became dairy areas because they were promised totally unsustainable volumes of irrigation water at essentially zero prices - once the water was priced at its value they became unviable at the first hint of a drought.

        There's a lot more to this story than supermarket pricing for fresh milk.

    • +3 votes

      a vote in the bush can equal 3-4 city votes because the population is smaller in the country side but there is a fixed number of seats in parliament.

      This is incorrect.
      Electorates are designed to have roughly the same number of people.

      Your point that all votes are not equal is correct. But this largely refers to some electorates being "marginal". I wouldn't be surprised if there the proportion of marginal electorates which are rural is more than the proportion of all electorates that are rural.

    • +2 votes

      This has to be the worst, naive, ill-informed yet most upvoted post I have ever seen on this website.

    • +1 vote

      This comment is so wrong, it almost reads like fake news!

      @xinyi , Please educate yourself about agricultural subsidy. Here is a good start: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_subsidy

  • +15 votes

    I'll just leave this here for you.
    https://youtu.be/IIOvRO8k7uI

    • -3 votes

      a 6 year old video?

    • +3 votes

      Still good! Thank you! I did not know that the two main processing plants are owned by a Japanese company and a French company respectively… or that buying Farmer's Union milk, other branded milk that's processed by these two processors (Parmalat and Norco) delivers more profits to Coles & Woolies than supermarket-branded milk does.

      •  

        processed by these two processors (Parmalat and Norco)

        Don't lump Norco in with Parmalat. Norco is a farmer collective and you should buy them. I think you meant to say Lion.

        Does anyone know if Devondale is still a collective and Aussie owned?

      •  

        correction: Parmalat & lion.

  • +1 vote

    Is there such a thing as market forces that drive milk prices and right now there is a glut of milk on the worlds markets hence driving milk prices down . We are forced by retailers to pay more with a farmers tax . I feel sorry for the battler’s paying more than they should for their milk !

  • -2 votes

    Buy the new cold pressed raw milk and other stuff like that which is more high end and more $ in farmers pockets

  • +17 votes

    If you have to modify your habit, it is just drawing out this terminal problem.

    It has been on a suspended death spiral with subsidies and do gooders for far too long. Time for market forces to take control.

    Dairy cows aren't going extinct. Not every dairy farmer will get out of dairy farming. Those that remain will have a product that's in shortage and get rich. Others will take notice and follow suit.

    • -5 votes

      Appreciate your point that propping up dying industries is not ideal, but I think it's worrying that this particular industry is dying, and perhaps we as a society need to think about why and what we can do to prevent losing local producers of essential products, such as milk. Do you want to be buying UHT milk in the future? I don't. Australia has the most concentrated supermarket market in the world, with the two big players exerting a huge amount of influence (Coles approx. 30% market, Woolies 37%, Aldi 9%, + others such as IGA), which means supermarkets can exert huge amount influence on the price paid for farm produce. In the case of dairy, it's more complicated than this (just supermarket buying power), but certainly worth thought about how the system is failing to serve farmers and consumers…. both of whom stand to lose out if local dairy dies off. If we simply "leave it to the market" to decide, well, there are bigger ramifications… And I am not sure they're all pleasant.

      • +3 votes

        with the two big players exerting a huge amount of influence

        How do you think these players established their duopsony in the first place? Farmers wanted to cut out the middle man and seize bigger profits. They sold directly to Colies.

        Do you want to be buying UHT milk in the future?

        No. I'll keep buying fresh milk because it will still be available. Probably not for cheap but that was the whole start of the problem in the first place wasn't it?

        both of whom stand to lose out if local dairy dies off.

        Nope. Change creates opportunity. Someone industrious will take the opportunity to set up shop (in this case, farm).

        If we simply "leave it to the market" to decide, well, there are bigger ramifications

        That's classic fear mongering.

        "If we don't act now, who knows what will happen?"

        Well, this guy does and it isn't doom and gloom. It's temporary inconvenience followed by business as usual.

        • -4 votes

          Sounds like you've drunk the capitalist KoolAid. Business as usual is creating the kind of society that puts profits over people, profits over the environment, profits over wellbeing. It's time to rethink 'business as usual'.

          • +1 vote

            @hammy80: Jason Smith, dairy farmer from NSW:

            "We also just need the general society to value our product and pay a fair price for the hard work that we do."

            He said if nothing changed, there would not be a dairy industry left in a few years.

            "If you look at the figures of the families lost to our industry in the last 18 months and the coming 12 months, you would have never seen an exodus of dairy farmers like it ever," he said.

            "If something isn't done now, you won't be drinking Australian milk, you just won't be."

            Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-26/dairy-farmers-mass-ex...

            • +1 vote

              @hammy80: And what part of NSW is he from? I will lay quids he runs irrigated pasture in somewhere like the Hunter Valley or far north coast. Jason is generalising from his local experience, not realising that his locality is not all of Australia.

              Those areas are certainly seeing people exit (though not at the rate they did during the Millenium drought), but areas that export their stuff (ie cool high rainfall areas) rather than depend on irrigation and a nearby city for their market are seeing record prices for dairy farms. Where I live people are moving INTO dairy from cropping.

          •  

            @hammy80: I think you've drunk the communist KoolAid. Have a person(s) decide what the greater good is and how much everyone should sacrifice so the authorities can distribute resources to build a "just and united" utopia.

            It's time to rethink what is a dream and what actually works.

            "If something isn't done now, you won't be drinking Australian milk, you just won't be."

            A dairy farmer claiming that they're way is the only way that Australians will have fresh milk. Must be credible.

            There's already an "emergency fund". The naive believes it is for the greater good of society. The reality is that the funds will be grown to a juicy amount and be used as a carrot to secure voter segments. This is essentially how every socialist government hangs on to power - the promise that the floodgates of riches is about to open for the group they believe is the most valuable voting segment.

            •  

              @tshow: The only way Australians will have fresh Australian milk is if the domestic dairy industry survives. I think a dairy farmer is in a pretty good place to comment on the industry that they're part of. Not disagreeing that the emergency fund is a waste of time.

              • +1 vote

                @hammy80: It will survive. As I have mentioned, the smarter farmers would have contingencies such as savings or would have hedged their risk with other livestock. They will ride out the storm and will seize the industry when supply is scarce.

                The mere suggestion that "once it's gone, it is gone for good" is simply laughable. Dairy cows aren't going extinct neither is the flora the cows are grazing. They were both introduced and can be reintroduced.

                • +4 votes

                  @tshow: It's not like dairies can just pivot to 'other livestock.' A dairy operation is a huge upfront and ongoing cost between milkers, vats, farmhands, etc. You can't just decide to become a beef op because the infrastructure is different and there's arguably even less money in that. Then there are all sorts of peripheral considerations like abattoirs, transport to sea port, etc. Plus, dairy regions are based in regions like Gippsland for winter rainfall and spring pastures, that are too wet for sheep farming.

        • -2 votes

          Which part of Australia do you live in where the Market works? Where I am it's not working, from Roads to electricity, Banking to communications, I can't see any example where the Market worked for the people. Of course, the Market is great for a few shareholders and CEO's.

          • +3 votes

            @Repi: The fact that you're on a phone posting to an internationally connected forum is proof of market forces at work. None of these technologies were commissioned by any government but developed privately.

            • -4 votes

              @tshow: Sorry, I cant help you, you need a professional

            • +2 votes

              @tshow: If the free-market system has been anything to do with the rollout of Internet services, it is hardly a good example to use.

              Besides, all forum services are built on web technologies (ie HTTP), which work over any TCP/IP network. Neither were designed, adopted, or driven to scale in any way by free-market mechanisms.

              In contrast, phones, and to a lesser extent mass Internet provisioning, was made widely available by commercial interests, however continue to be regulated by people with no ability to imagine the risks, impacts and potential they present, and have failed, miserably at every stage to allow free-market processes to take a lead role.

              I'd posit that the enormous adoption of Internet connectivity is driven more by people's desire to (pay whatever it takes) to access p0rn via the WWW, (and big business to reach in and record our innermost motivations) than by free-market systems, as the regulations since day dot have made them anything but free. Barriers to entry have always been far higher than setting up the infrastructure, risks of regulatory change, existential threats posed by monopolistic/oliogoplistic/government change, etc.

              Def think a better analogy could be found.

            • +2 votes

              @tshow:

              The fact that you're on a phone posting to an internationally connected forum is proof of market forces at work. None of these technologies were commissioned by any government but developed privately.

              Huh? That's demonstrably false. A very significant chunk of the technology stack was developed by publically-funded groups, for example:

              TCP/IP: DARPA
              HTTP: CERN
              WWW: CERN
              WiFi: CSIRO

              •  

                @abb: Yet none of those are the internet are they? They are protocols for accessing the internet are they not?

                Anyway, splitting hairs regarding what is the internet doesn't really change the fact that the vast majority of advancement is from free markets, not the genius of government.

                • +1 vote

                  @tshow: No one thing "is" the internet. You need standardised protocols to have the internet. You also need cables and routers (the first generation of which were publicly funded), and obviously computers (origins of which I don't know).

                  If you're implying something along the lines of "customers pay for access now, therefore public funding for the development was irrelevant" then I guess we just disagree on definitions.

                  Don't take me as completely opposed to market mechanisms, price competition between suppliers generally drives efficiencies and that's how we got 750 squillion transistors in our pockets for less than a year's wage.

                  But also public funding of speculative research is an extremely important thing to do (and recognise), very few companies have the long-term view or deep pockets to do this kind of work.

                  (edit: didn't see your second line - disagree, most 'blue sky' research I can think of was govt-funded. Companies are good at refining the processes and driving mass adoption though.)

                  • +1 vote

                    @abb:

                    Don't take me as completely opposed to market mechanisms

                    Didn't for a second think that. I can appreciate criticism of a point without categorizing a person's school of thought.

                    But also public funding of speculative research is an extremely important thing to do (and recognise), very few companies have the long-term view or deep pockets to do this kind of work.

                    That's true and there's where the concept of natural monopoly manifests.

                    The dairy industry doesn't fall under that category.

          •  

            @Repi: Why is it now a thing that people are honestly arguing that markets don't work? Everyone sensible has accepted that markets are a very clever solution that produces the closest thing to optimal outcomes that we're going to see. Of course there are some places where they've produced sub-optimal outcomes - but if you think this justifies nationalising industries or providing high subsidies to an industry, and that these solutions would do better than the market, then you you really need to do some reading.

            •  

              @wty707: because there is no free market, industry is not a vacuum. legislation help create these niches and companies want to privatise profits and socialise costs ie ever increasing profits.

              • +1 vote

                @abuch47:

                because there is no free market

                You're on OzBargain. It's ironic you cannot see the free market staring you in the nostrils.

                privatise profits and socialise costs

                You mean like the dairy farmers? I mean… during the good years, I don't see them distributing their profits but we are certainly hearing about socializing the cost.

                • +1 vote

                  @tshow: You mean like the dairy farmers?
                  Or do you mean like Banks, they need the public to insure them, only capable to function in a free market in good times.
                  Maybe toll roads, they can only work in the free market with a guarantee on car numbers, any shortfall, the public carries the can.
                  Could it be the energy sector or maybe airports, they love the free market with government protection and a monopoly.
                  Could it be the free market telecommunications, only took them a few short year to relegate Australia from one of the world leaders to be ranked #63, behind what we call developing countries.
                  These are just some of the sub-optimal outcomes, the list could go on. Now it's your turn to come up with the shining free market examples.

                  •  

                    @Repi: I don't disagree that those are good examples of the failure of government. It isn't an example of free market as you've already mentioned, they are bailed out by public funds.

                    I don't see how doing the same for dairy farmers will make it any better than the institutions you've named.

                    Now it's your turn to come up with the shining free market examples.

                    Everything you see around you, wherever you are, is an example of free market. Look at the average automobile, it used to be restricted only to the ultra rich but due to advances in manufacturing, there is a proliferation in manufacturer's and the competition of price has made ownership of a vehicle possible to practically anyone.

                    I have a feeling you have absolutely no idea what free market means and even less so how widespread it is. Everything that the government doesn't stick their beaks in is essentially governed by free market, hence the name free market.

                    The things you don't see on said market today is because it isn't needed/wanted.

                    • +1 vote

                      @tshow: Broached in my post below but what are the boundaries around a free market? A globalised one? Or an Australian one? How much of our resources do we sell to foreign powers while still calling it a free market?

                      •  

                        @MissG: That's going to a whole meta discussion for a whole different topic.

                        Dairy isn't even part of that discussion as it barely qualifies as a strategic resource and the downstream debate to quantify the impact whilst determining regional and global trade impact would be even further off tangent.

                        (…but to indulge… global free market with the exclusion of arms, land, labour in the international sense not unions, and true essentials such as water.)

                    •  

                      @tshow: I wasn't' going to bother replying to your ideology any more, but then this came up. Free Markets in full flight.

                      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/08/a-bigg...

                      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/call-for-government-...

                      Better look up your car example too, try to find a country not supporting (or owning) their car industry. https://theconversation.com/factcheck-do-other-countries-sub...

                      Some governments like their population employed, some like to send their resources overseas for almost nothing, make the GDP look good with enormous immigration numbers, import everything and contract out the Governments responsibilities to the free market

                      Nobody wants the Government to control everything, but free markets have failed miserably. Anyway, we can discuss further when we meet at the Centerlink queue, after the Market has done it's job

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                        @Repi: If you like reading decidedly left wing publications, you should consider a move to glorious China.

                        Their publications will be exactly to your liking and the government will mandate their way to your dream lifestyle.

                        Enjoy the move.

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          I like tshow. (They) present a very clear snapshot of reality.

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