Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Carrier deal: Good news for workers, good politics, but not sound economics


Once, on a visit to the French countryside, I visited the most beautiful, picturesque little country farm I’d ever seen. The farm produced an organic yogurt for the market and, ever the annoying economist, I asked my host how this boutique operation could compete with factory farms. “We couldn’t possibly do so,” he told me. The farm never came close to profitability and survived only because of deep subsidies.

This revelation led to the inevitable compare-and-contrast discussion between the proud French farmer and the efficiency-oriented American. The punchline of that conversation came back to me Wednesday for a topical reason I’ll reveal in a moment. The farmer explained to me that the way to think of his operation was that of a nonprofit that the public willingly supported in order to enjoy truly organic food and the existence of a quaint, noncorporate farm (it was open to visitors, which was how I happened to be there).


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