Bernie Bros: Search 'Egg Prices' Some Time

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Last week, I took conservatives to task for their "Bidenflation" half-narrative on egg prices.

This doesn't make me a fan of the left, nor does it mean the proposed explanations or solutions from that side are any better.

Consider the way Bernie Sanders has been demagoguing this issue by attempting to blame capitalism and punish the agricultural conglomerates:

Image by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen, via Unsplash, license.
Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT, also blamed "corporate greed" to push for a windfall profit tax.

"Corporate greed is the producer of Egg-Land's Best, Farmhouse Eggs & Land O'Lake Eggs, increasing its profits by 65% last quarter to a record-breaking $198 million while doubling the price of eggs & reporting no positive cases of avian flu. Yes. We need a windfall profits tax," he tweeted.
There is a saying to the effect that a falsehood can run laps around the world before the truth ties its sneakers, and this is a prime example.

Assuming the numbers Sanders dumps out are true, let's consider what he might be leaving out.

What I learned from a few seconds of searching was the following:
  1. The avian flu started killing chickens early last year.
  2. It takes 18-22 weeks for a chicken to mature enough to begin laying eggs, so that's the best-case time to recover from all the culling that had to be done.
  3. Just since last October, 140 million chickens have had to be culled due to the flu.
I guess if there really are zero cases of avian flu for some producers, the culling worked. But even if the birds were all killed on November 1 -- which they weren't -- we'd only start seeing replacement hens a couple of weeks from now.

And Bernie's dyspeptic rant -- tweet, actually -- was two weeks ago.

And it's worse than that: Even the very first of the culled chickens hadn't been replaced yet, so it was ridiculous to expect egg prices to drop because egg supplies were still low.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether Bernie Sanders doesn't know anything about the industry he wants to loot, or doesn't care.

And I would strongly recommend asking yourself: Whatever the answer to that question, might it also hold true for any of the myriad other statements and policy ideas he spews forth on a daily basis?

And please consider the possibility that he is just as clueless or arbitrary about his politics and his underlying moral premises as he is about egg production and pricing.

-- CAV

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