The perils of market concentration

A nice little example of why we rather don\’t want to be run as a bureaucratic State.

The threat of action by Unison, the public sector union that represents 80 per cent of the Meat Hygiene Service\’s 1,200 inspectors, could mean leading supermarkets are unable to procure enough UK meat at the busiest time of the year.

Before the EU imposed this Meat Hygiene Service upon us we had a much looser system of inspection. With a number of caveats we let the market deal with it all. That meant that no one in the system had a choke hold upon it. Myriad abbatoirs, some very small, some large, produced meat and there was no one able to close the entire system down.

Now of course we have to have one of those 1,200 people present when an animal is slaughtered. And when said bureaucrats go on strike the entire system is screwed. The logical extension of which is that, given that the bureaucrats are the people with the power in the system, over time the profits of the system will flow to the bureaucrats. That is what happens, after all. Profits flow to the scarce resource.

What a happy land the EU is creating, eh?

Note please that I\’m not suggesting there should be no inspection of either meat of abbatoirs. Rather, that there are no solutions, only tradeoffs. And that perhaps this tradeoff isn\’t a good one. The marginal (if any at all, there\’s a very good argument that the requirements of having such inspectors has closed all the small abbatoirs and thus reduced the quality of the meat we get) improvements in the quality of meat we\’ve had mioght not be worth the handing over of the entire system to the power of a small group to hold it hostage.

7 thoughts on “The perils of market concentration”

  1. Having fewer local abattoirs also means much longer journeys for the animals which is not a good thing. It’s another trade-off: animal welfare against supposedly improved meat hygiene.

  2. “Having fewer local abattoirs also means much longer journeys”.

    ooh, ooh – food miles alert here. Gaia screaming, & so on.

  3. This is economic sabotage at best, economic terrorism at worst. We are stupid to let a system be held to ransom by a few individuals. Remember the tube strikes? Exactly the same situation. Either they should have to sign a no strike clause or there needs to be a non union recognition clause in their contracts.

  4. But the UK is a bureaucratic state and always has been. All that State has done is export the blame for its incompetence and then have Timmy blame the foreigners for imposing stupid rules that the bureaucratic State allowed to happen.

    Its a virtuous circle jerk and everybody wins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *