One of the features of the economic slowdown is a decrease in consumer spending. Many people have either lost their jobs or are afraid of losing them so they spend or rather don't spend accordingly.
Now we cannot stop spending for the basics of life such as food but new clothes can wait just a bit longer and do we really need to go out to dinner so often? (This does not apply to certain sectors of the economy such as a team in dire need of a first baseman, you know who you are.)
And every cycle of this fear induced decrease in spending causes a slight worsening of the over-all economy which in turn causes us to even spend less.
This vicious cycle has hit the nations farmers and more precisely the dairy farmers. With the worlds population increasing especially overseas we were exporting more milk than ever before when the recession hit and the spigot was nearly turned off.
When we cut back on travel gasoline sales drop and so does the price so production of oil is slowed. And when we stopped buying cars production out of Detroit etc. slowed to a crawl.
BUT how do you tell a cow to stop with the milk already? It is an udder-ly perplexing problem.
Many programs were started during the Roosevelt years to help the farmer in times of trouble and one of them was to purchase his excess and sell it a loss. This semi-sweet deal allowed the Farmer to sit on his Fanny.
And when it came to milk the government stored it in powder form which increased it's shelf life dramatically and it can also be used as feed. But how much can Washington do and which industry deserves to get the next handout?
Some farmers are now thinking of selling off their milk cows but no one will buy them until things turn around. Of course at that point why sell? And that is the same dilemma hitting many industries. The best solution is to get the banks to start lending some of the money we gifted them and get companies who borrow to start hiring back the people they laid off in the first place.
And I will do my part. I hereby promise to drink more milk if they do!