Raisin Outlaw Takes on Raisin Monopoly?
NPR’s Planet Money recently ran an interesting story about Marvin Horne, a raisin producer who is taking on the Raisin Administrative Committee, a government agency that controls the production of raisins. The dispute gave rise to the recent Supreme Court case of Marvin D. Horne, et al., Petitioners v. Department of Agriculture.
Here is an introduction to the story:
In most industries, competitors getting together to restrict the supply of a good would be illegal. But in the raisin world, it’s the opposite. Competitors have to work together. They all decide as a group how many raisins to release to the public. What can get you in trouble in raisins, is going against that group.
Raisin farmer, Marvin Horne, is a raisin rebel, a raisin outlaw. He refused to follow the rules of the Raisin Administrative Committee and found himself under surveillance by Rocky Pipkin’s detective agency. Now he’s being sued by the federal government for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On today’s show, the upside-down world of raisins.
More On Beer Monopoly
Not Brewopoly, the beloved
family board game, an actual monopoly. As was noted in the inaugural post of the SLACE Archive, Anheuser-Busch InBev is attempting to purchase another beer conglomerate–Grupo Modelo. That Planet Money story used the attempted purchase as a predicate for discussing the economic effects of monopolies. This story, on All Things Considered (11:30 minutes), discusses the economic battle between big beer and craft brewers and how many of the hip craft beers you think you are drinking are really owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Special thanks to Jack Foster for bringing this story to my attention.
NY Corruption and the Revolving Door
Last night, Rachel Maddow started her show by discussing New York State’s outrageous public corruption scandal. The scandal involves New York State Senator Malcolm Smith, New York City Council Member Daniel Halloran, and four others in an six count complain, which alleges bribery, extortion, and fraud charges.
State Senator Malcolm A. Smith, a former Democrat, allegedly paid off party bosses in order to get on the ballot in the New York City mayoral race as a Republican.
Aside from this blatant corruption, Maddow discussed subtler, routinecorruption–the revolving door between Washington and the private sector. As an example, Maddow noted former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chief Mary Schapir. Schapir, who was tasked with being Washington’s top bank regulator, recently took a job with a consulting firm which advises banks about compliance with SEC regulations.
The video (17:55) includes a brief introduction to the rest of the episode, and the relevant part of the story begins just under two minutes in.
For the FBI press release regarding New York State corruption scandal, click here.
This is Planet Money episode (29:02 min) discusses Dow Jones industrial index, its history, and why it is an over-hyped economic indicator. After explaining how the Dow Jones industrial average is calculated, Jacob Goldstein, NPR’s economics correspondent, argues against using the Dow as any sort of serious measure of the health of the economy. Part of the reason that I post this story is because it explains what stock prices represent, a topic recently discussed in Professor Germain’s Business Associations class.
King of Beers? Monopolies Brewing?
NPR’s Planet Money Team explores Anheuser-Busch InBev’s potential purchase of Grupo Modelo and Department of Justice’s suit to stop the acquisition.