On May 14, 2017, Politicano’s Facebook page published a photo, which, as the editorial board claimed, showed the evidence of destruction of excess products by capitalists during the Great Depression in the United States.
Politicano: According to the capitalist logic, distributing the products to those in need would be incorrect, as the product would lose its value. For instance, during the Great Depression in the United States (1929 – 1933), plenty of products were being destroyed (6 million pigs, tons of vegetables, milk etc.) and all of this happened when the half of the country was suffering from hunger and 7 million people even died of it.
Politicano’s post has a manipulative nature, as the photo shows the Wisconsin milk producers’ strike, with the reason it being the fall of the prices on milk due to the state policy. It was not a deliberate attempt to destroy the excess products.
The photo shows the 1933 Wisconsin milk strike. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the prices on the local products in the US fell drastically, including the 30% fall in the milk prices, due to the state policy. This had especially adverse effect on those small entrepreneurs that produced milk for milk products. The price change affected those who produced bottled milk to a lesser extent. It is noteworthy that Wisconsin was the largest milk producer state in the US in that period. Out of the 63% of the lands in Wisconsin that were agricultural, 71% were used for the milk industry. The fall in the prices on milk in the 1930s caused strikes of the farmers, as their income depended on the realization of milk.
The members of the strike demanded an increase in the prices on milk. Farmers blocked a railway, where they dumped milk as a sign of protest. The railway was blocked with the empty cans of milk for quite a long time.
Therefore, the “milk strike” due to the fall in the prices on milk was a protest of the local entrepreneurs and the event had no connection with the deliberate destruction of excess products.
Prepared by Maia Jorjoliani
Myth Detector Lab