Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Milk Industry Moos for Bailout

The head of the milk industry today petitioned Congress to include the failing milk industry in the sweeping $700 billion financial industry bailout.

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy marketing cooperative, said: “Americans depend on good milk, and we just can’t give it to them in today’s marketplace. We need this bailout as a stopgap to tide us over until the economy strengthens next year or in 2010.”

Dairy farmers have long complained that high costs of pasteurization and shipping have stymied their market. In addition, Chinese milk producers have recently flooded the U.S. with cheap milk, and people are buying it despite recent reports of contamination by leftover tiger and toy parts.

Japanese milk conglomerates have also gotten in on the free market. Taking a page from Toyota and Nissan in the auto industry, they have produced quality milk with more luxury amenities Americans want, like candy-cane-striped coloring, mini-TV screens on containers, and free mp3s downloadable from their websites – all for less than the cost of a gallon of U.S.-produced milk.

On top of it all, the cost of pasteurization is outracing deflation when just a few months ago the average consumer was battling rising inflation, and labor is now entrenched because of corporate givebacks, Smith testified.

“Union cows are afforded the protections of more lavish benefits than ever before. They work 20-hour work weeks, laze around the rest of the time in sun-drenched fields chewing on their own puke, and the union will no longer let us shove our arms up their behinds to artificially inseminate them to increase output by mass-producing a workforce. And let’s not even talk about retirement earnings, like grazing privileges on failed golf courses. We’re absolutely castrated!”

Smith also told committee members that federal regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions, enacted during the Clinton administration, have put the DFA’s more then 18,000 dairy farmer-owners in 48 states on the brink of bankruptcy.

“We know that methane gas is a serious contributor to global warming, but just how are you supposed to feel comfortable producing milk when you have a suction pipe attached to your ass all day long,” Smith asked the committee. The cost, meanwhile, of mandatory conversion of the gas into additives for candy bars, plastics, grain products, and Chinese food is “absolutely gutting us,” he added.

Richard D. Holland, president of the United Milk Workers of America, scoffed at the DFA’s claims of imminent bankruptcy.

“They’re crying over spilled milk! Their cows are the best in the world, and that’s solely because they are union members of the brotherhood of the UMWA. We will give back nothing. NOTHING! Our workers deserve our steadfastness.

“Why, if the DFA had their way, they’d be siphoning slop from the udders of any old field cow, dumping it into unwashed used containers, and selling it on the shelves of American Wal-Marts just to make a profit. Those greedy bastards!”


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