Fixing Milk

Fraud cases in the United States
Civil Penalties of Fraud Assessed by the United States Internal Revenue Service against corporations
Source:TracIRS

Those crying out for food prices to be fixed should be careful what they wish for. In many countries, dozens of corporations are under investigation for price fixing. In South Africa, the Competition Commission is going after milk producers. In Spain, the National Competition Commission has gone after retailers selling milk, eggs and bread. In the UK, the Office of Fair Trading has gone after major retailers like Tesco and Asda/Wal*Mart in a widespread investigation into price fixing in milk, food and toiletries.

The United States seems peculiarly immune to this kind of behaviour, though, and stands as a beacon for corporations in other parts of the world. The trend from 1999 to 2004 is that civil penalties both for fraud and negligence have halved. This could mean that companies are now twice as well behaved as they were under Clinton , and corporations were almost a third better behaved under the first George Bush than under Clinton. Or it could mean that corporations have so completely purchased the government, that the authorities responsible for prosecuting corporate malfeasance in the US have been quietly euthanised.

Exactly what has transpired is left as a puzzle for the reader.