Ed Driscoll

The Forgotten Hog

Speaking of what Time magazine called the New New Deal in 2008, apparently not realizing what dual-edged sword that phrase was, here’s what Amity Shlaes wrote the year before in her seminal look at the Depression, focusing on FDR’s Agricultural Adjustment Administration:

The AAA got its first serious negative publicity after Americans learned that a total of six million young pigs were killed before reaching full size over the course of September. “It just makes me sick all over,” one citizen would write, “when I think of how the government has killed millions and millions of little pigs, and how that has raised pork prices until today we poor people cannot have a piece of bacon.”

Flash-forward to 2011:

Soaring feed costs may lead to hog herd culls. “US hog producers may begin culling herds as the sputtering economic recovery stymies pork demand while tightening corn inventories increase livestock-feed prices — thus, curbing animal supplies and increasing costs for meatpackers.”

As Jon of the Exurban League tweeted in 2009, “Just finished Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man today. Obama’s team thinks it’s an economics textbook rather than a cautionary tale.”