October 24, 2005
Larry Kudlow's reaction is "good choice" though I get the impression that he's not doing cartwheels. Check his site for updates.
For what it's worth, the market shot up as soon as this information came out.
October 20, 2005
Here our earnest tour guide raises his chin a bit and proudly declares that the first ads are dedicated to saving the family farm. When I burst out laughing, 22 sets of angry eyes glared at me. For the past 100 years, as the productivity of the American farmer has surged to unprecedented heights, the number of Americans working in agriculture to feed the world has fallen from 35 workers per 100 to two.Now let's remember that Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield make a tidy fortune when they sold out to Unilever about five years ago. Hey, good for them. It was their idea, their product and their marketing strategy. They deserve the spoils. But it's kind of hypocritical for Liberals to attack free-market economics and give these particular "capitalist pigs" a pass simply because "they care, man".
This is called progress. What is Ben & Jerry's proposed solution, anyway? To turn back the clock and abolish the tractor? Many Americans seem to be under the illusion that the small family farmer has lived a carefree idyllic lifestyle. In truth, this livelihood has traditionally involved backbreaking toil, work-days that last from sun-up to sundown, and monotony--which is why sons and daughters have been fleeing the farm for five generations. The only people who actually want to save small farms are people who've never worked on a farm.
The Ben & Jerry's ads moan that the corporatization of farming is a horrid trend. I couldn't help asking our tour guide during the Q-&-A why, if corporatization of farming is such a bad thing, that isn't also true of the corporatization of ice cream. Those same 22 pairs of eyes glare back at me.
It's hard to feel sorry for the allegedly aggrieved farmers who have "lost their land" to corporate greed. In Northern Virginia, where I live (and in many other areas), the farmers have sold their acreage for about 20 times what they paid and now they own million-dollar bungalows in Palm Beach, while the rest of us get to shop at glorious-though-crowded strip malls. It's a win-win.
At the end of the tour--which I highly recommend for the free scoops along the way--it's a relief to know that of all the dimwitted, touchy-feely, left-wing social causes Ben & Jerry's could waste $5 million on, this one will probably do society and our beloved capitalistic system the least damage. So as a lover of freedom, I can, in good conscience, shell out $4 a pint for Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, eat it out of the carton in one sitting--my arteries be damned--and still feel good about myself in the morning.
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