Hey Bruce, DeCoster
Your post about the DeCoster egg thing is back there somewhere but I can't find it. Meant to respond at the time.
My observation is that in super-competitive high scale, low cost ag enterprises is that there are many borderline sociopaths who rise to the top.
Probably true about many who rise to the top anywhere in a mature economy be it corporate, finance or government.
The Atlas Shrugged worldview doesn't do a very good job of addressing the broader implications of that, to say the least.
People in business love to complain about gubmint regulation but I'm guessing that before this particular event is over, DeCoster and most of the rest of the industry will wish that they'd had regulatory oversight that kept the worst from tarnishing all of them.
Re: Hey Bruce, DeCoster
These integrators are able to invert just about anything, calling up the American Gothic , workaday hayseed image to paint themselves as beleugered and unassuming salt of the earth family farmers:
Re: Hey Bruce, DeCoster
I've come across several articles on DeCoster recently and there are a couple of things that trouble me. One article talked about the Hispanic workers being paid $8.50 an hour and that they often work more then 40 hours a week but get no overtime because their jobs are classified as agricultural which is exempt from having to pay overtime after 40 hours a week. In my opinion working with animals crapped in large buildings that never see the light of day sounds more like an industrial job then what one would assume as "farming."
I also learned a little more on how DeCoster lied and pulled the wool over the government after he was labeled a habitual violator for repeated rules violations concerning the proper storing, handling and disposal of manure. The government declared a 4 year moratorium on DeCoster from building any new livestock buildings. DeCoster however kept right on building more large scale set ups putting them in his son's name and in the name of an employee named Glessner. DeCoster provided the capitol to build the buildings and then after the 4 year period was up the new buildings were switched over into his name. Officials said that payments for permits and other expenses for the buildings built during the moratorium were paid from the same checking account that DeCoster used for his other buildings. Yet nothing was ever done to punish or stop DeCoster for lying to get around the moratorium.
Even after the bad press I see some officials talking about the positive effect of having DeCoster in our county. They talked about the positive economical impact and jobs provided. I wondered how these officials could say that with a straight face when referring to jobs paying only $8.50 an hour. They also talked about how grain prices were higher as a result of all the chicken feed used for DeCosters chickens. I'm thinking that is a false claim as well. Our country's demand for eggs will be met no matter if DeCoster is in business or not. It will take the same amount of corn and bean meal to feed these chickens no matter if they are in Wright county Iowa or in some other state and no matter who owns the chickens. This supply and demand for feed stocks will have the same effect on our grain inventories either way. In fact DeCoster's mill which buys its corn through a local grain elevator because of local farmers distrust in the man only pays a couple of cents more then other area buyers and no where near the 25 cent premium that our county supervisors claimed we would see when they welcomed DeCoster into the county.