“Farmers create the wealth, everyone else does the laundry.” – Tina Owens’ (childhood friend) Great Grandfather
Four million people live in Melbourne Australia. Like most places, most are running around frantically trying to make a living (Doing the laundry). News commentators and politicians promote the misleading good news of the stock markets while lecturing about the need for more austerity, less borrowing, and more personal responsibility. Like in the U.S., people wonder, and hope for a government that works and better times.
And, as in most places, wealth has never been so concentrated in the hands of so few. Chinese money is coming in, evidenced by the many building cranes in the city center – now a major point of wealth extraction. Like in the U.S., there is much economic activity, with less and less real wealth creation.
The two biggest retailers, Coles and Woolworths, with their multinational accomplices, JBS and Cargill, continue to steal livestock, extracting valuable and critical resources from passive farmers, their farms, and their communities. Lacking market access, cattle have been shot or left to die in the remote and drought stricken northern Australia — an opinion poll in the local paper asks readers if Australia’s GrainCorp should sell to ADM (aka: A Dreadful Monster)?
“Big business stole our loaf of bread. We’re fighting over the crumbs.”
The one hundred thirty year old Queen Victoria Market is bustling with shoppers and merchants of many kinds. Small farmers, looking to make a simple living, are connecting with eaters searching for good food.
Unlike the century old city trollies (over 430 km of rails), which are still taking people where they want go, the old carcass rails that once brought meat from the farmer to the consumer, are present, but are idled and silent. Some of the meat shops, now selling boxed beef, remain. The abattoirs are gone, driven out of business by the market power of the big meat packer/retailer cartel. Perhaps with a little more awareness and help, things could change?
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM)’s A$2.2 billion ($2 billion) takeover of GrainCorp Ltd. (GNC) was blocked by Australia, prompting a record drop in shares of the east coast’s biggest crop handler and a slide in the local currency.
“This proposal has attracted a high level of concern from stakeholders and the broader community,” Treasurer Joe Hockey said today, ruling U.S.-based ADM’s A$12.20 a share bid isn’t in the national interest. “Now is not the right time for a 100 percent foreign acquisition of this key Australian business.” (MORE)