In the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt recognized that farmers were going broke because the cost to produce their farm products exceeded the prices paid by the consumer. One of his solutions enacted was to reduce the supply of farm product, and the intended result would be higher farm prices.
In September 1933 six million piglets were killed on orders of the government of the United States. Some of the meat was fed to hungry poor people. Some of it became fertilizer. According to Henry A. Wallace, then Secretary of Agriculture, this pig killing program successfully raised the price of pork helping the pig farmers and everyone in America by providing a balanced supply of pork to the market. He called it “Agricultural Adjustment.”
FDR’s New Deal programs were established to give the government more control over markets. Killing piglets was a market control device followed by many other government programs, some successful, others not.
In periods of a paradigm shift, like the Great Depression, people and their governments do strange things. We are in such a period of paradigm shift now, and as a result, strangeness abounds. In the 1930s Franklin Roosevelt was in charge. He was praised and attacked for his activities. Today, Donald Trump is the President of the United States. His efforts to deal with the unknown are subject to the same kind of attacks as those experienced by FDR, but unlike FDR he is unable to manipulate and cajole the news media. Today, instead of hearing the squeal of slaughtered piglets, we are witnessing the anguished cries of propagandist news critics skewered by Donald Trump. Strange change marches on.