The Importance of Hog Futures

12 Nov 2011

Willy Staley, for The Awl:

Ultimately what the McRib says about us as a society is perhaps worse than any conspiracy theory about pork prices. The McRib, born at the end of the Volcker Recession, a child of Reagan’s Morning in America, has been with us on and off over the last three decades of underregulated corporate growth, erosion of organized labor, the shift to an “ideas” economy and skyrocketing obesity rates. The McRib is made of all these things, too.

I have never particularly understood the McRib or why McDonald’s would bring such a novelty item into their production chain. It seemed so out of line with the original company that Ray Kroc founded. Willy helps clarify the matter with economics.

The entire article is excellent, but it most staggering when you realize that there is such a concept as “hog futures” and that McDonald’s is, single-handedly, able to control them. There is nothing coincidental about there being a McDonald’s in every Walmart.

(Via The Morning News)