Friday, 1 May 2009

Occult protectionism

Over at the MacDoctor blog, MacDoctor says with regard to Swine Flu Myths
Countries banning pig imports are practicing occult protectionism.
This is a good point. Part of the economic problems that arise from situations like this swine flu outbreak is that interest groups can take advantage of the fact that there are many misunderstandings about the true situation to get protectionist measures put in place under the rationale of "protecting the public". Such non-tarrif barriers we are told are temporary, but as Milton Firedman once put it "There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program".

So far I have not seen any such moves here in New Zealand, thank goodness, but they may well come. Even if they don't there is the question as to what swine flu will do to the demand for pork, ham and bacon. Will we see a drop in demand for these products. As Homepaddock explains
It’s already happening in the USA where the price of pigs has fallen [...].
This is despite the fact, as MacDoctor points out
Even if you ate raw pig flesh from an infected pig (Eww), you would be highly unlikely to contract Swine Flu. It is impossible to contract Swine Flu from properly cooked pork, ham or bacon.
Still it will be interesting to see what happens to the price of pigs here.

2 comments:

Matt Nolan said...

Very true

HerrSchnapps said...

I'm hoping demand will fall drastically; I can then enjoy delicious bacon more often!
Thanks Swine Flu and Ignorance!