State should act

It’s not only oil companies experiencing a crisis of falling prices but also the dairy farmers (Farming, 13 January).

Both milk and oil prices have fallen precipitously by between 30 and 50 per cent respectively.

Seemingly they face markets characterised by a “global glut” and reduced demand for what they produce.

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Yet again there are “strident calls” for governments (or the state) to intervene to alleviate their problems. What if there is little or perhaps nothing effectively governments can do about global economic forces?

One point of view is that over the years markets have got stronger and states weaker.

Bearing in mind a belief in “open economies” has become a shibboleth of the globalisation process. It seems governments, beleaguered for instance by terrorism, are reluctant to intervene politically in global markets.

Arguably, of course, there is a political choice: “Ought the state to intervene or should businesses operate free from government interference”? 

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk