Adam Smith in WEALTH OF NATIONS, wrote “the goal of merchants is to widen the market and narrow the competition”. The ultimate “narrow” competition is monopoly. Every Industry desires that. The farmers have it in the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) but our Federal Minister of Agriculture has moved to destroy it. The Law prohibits that without a Referendum of farmers but as Kaiser Wilhelm said when he invaded neutral Belgium in 1914, “Necessity knows no Law”.
The taxpayer-subsidized American Grain Industry has often asked the Courts to destroy the CWB because it is advantageous to Canadian farmers. Ritz is doing what Courts refused to do.
The CWB has been supported by most farmers since 1943 because most of their product was exported into an unpredictable market, and they needed a monopoly to give them some security.
The CWB is now opposed by those naively believing they can sneak a few truck-loads of grain into the new “Buy American” market, those who believe they are big enough to be the diner instead of the dinner, and those who will not “contract” with the CWB because they want to be “free”, to contract with private grain traders.
The CWB is also opposed by the grain merchants. Many of the Mansions on Wellington Crescent and behind the “Gates” were built by grain merchants who operated prior to the CWB, and they want a return of that privilege. But are the interests of Grain Merchants beneficial to either grain producer or consumer?
Adam Smith, the Saint of merchants, often quoted but seldom read, wrote, “Any law of Commerce proposed by them comes from (those) whose interest is never the same as that of the public and have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public. People of the same trade seldom meet even for diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public”.
Herb Schulz – Winnipeg Manitoba
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