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Care about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Like exploring big ideas? John Riley interviews politicians, community leaders, athletes, coaches, authors and influencers covering a wide range of topics including free market economics, entrepreneurism, politics, leadership, current events, sports, history and philosophy. We discuss living your life on your own terms, having the political freedom to make your own choices, and a variety of topics that give life meaning and joy. We broa… Continue Reading >>
Care about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Like exploring big ideas? John Riley interviews politicians, community leaders, athletes, coaches, authors and influencers covering a wide range of topics including free market economics, entrepreneurism, politics, leadership, current events, sports, history and philosophy. We discuss living your life on your own terms, having the political freedom to make your own choices, and a variety of topics that give life meaning and joy. We broadcast from Poway CA in San Diego County. << Show Less
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MLB Trade Deadline as an Analogy for Life The MLB Trade Deadline wrapped up Tuesday afternoon and my head is still spinning. So much activity that I am just now starting to come back down to Earth.



Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres



We break down the big trades AJ Preller and the Padres made for Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and Josh Hader. The Soto/Bell deal may go down as the biggest trade in MLB history. Plus, we take a look at the Eric Hosmer situation and how that ultimately impacted Luke Voit.



MLB Trade Deadline Life Lessons



I was doing some thinking and realized the MLB Trade Deadline is much more than simply teams making deals. It’s about organizations getting better. It’s about teams making an honest self-evaluation, and then re-allocating assets and re-prioritizing initiatives. It’s about calculated risk taking and knowing when to go all in. It’s also about profitability, brand building, franchise valuation, and Legacy. So many great life lessons here about how we can take charge of our own lives and make disciplined self-improvement decisions.



Lee Hacksaw Hamilton Podcast



Plus, I re-share my story about connecting with legendary sports talk host and NFL play-by-play caller Lee Hacksaw Hamilton. A podcast episode from 3 years ago leads to an email, a breakfast with Hacksaw at IHOP, and now helping Hacksaw launch his own podcast. Tune in Thursdays at 2pm on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for the livestream. Or download “Lee Hacksaw Hamilton” wherever you get your podcasts.



#MLBTradeDeadline #Padres #SotoShuffle #Hacksaw



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MLB Trade Deadline as an Analogy for Life The MLB Trade Deadline wrapped up Tuesday afternoon and my head is still spinning. So much activity that I am just now starting to come back down to Earth.



Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres



We break down the big trades AJ Preller and the Padres made for Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and Josh Hader. The Soto/Bell deal may go down as the biggest trade in MLB history. Plus, we take a look at the Eric Hosmer situation and how that ultimately impacted Luke Voit.



MLB Trade Deadline Life Lessons



I was doing some thinking and realized the MLB Trade Deadline is much more than simply teams making deals. It’s about organizations getting better. It’s about teams making an honest self-evaluation, and then re-allocating assets and re-prioritizing initiatives. It’s about calculated risk taking and knowing when to go all in. It’s also about profitability, brand building, franchise valuation, and Legacy. So many great life lessons here about how we can take charge of our own lives and make disciplined self-improvement decisions.



Lee Hacksaw Hamilton Podcast



Plus, I re-share my story about connecting with legendary sports talk host and NFL play-by-play caller Lee Hacksaw Hamilton. A podcast episode from 3 years ago leads to an email, a breakfast with Hacksaw at IHOP, and now helping Hacksaw launch his own podcast. Tune in Thursdays at 2pm on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for the livestream. Or download “Lee Hacksaw Hamilton” wherever you get your podcasts.



#MLBTradeDeadline #Padres #SotoShuffle #Hacksaw



Thank you!



Get proven and easy-to-implement strategies to build your business and pursue your happiness. Sign up now. It's FREE! https://johnrileyproject.com/



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Lee Hacksaw Hamilton, History of Sports Talk Radio Legendary sports radio and NFL play-by-play icon, Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton joined for a wide conversation about his career, the San Diego sports media market, the San Diego Chargers and more.
Hacksaw and the History of Sports Talk Radio
Lee shared his Long Island roots and the start of his radio news/DJ career in his college days on a radio station in Appalachia. After a great run broadcasting pro hockey in Cleveland, he took his talents to the desert to announce Arizona State football and basketball. Hacksaw also hosted a sports talk show on KTAR in Phoenix shocking the locals with critical comments of ASU’s football suspension, the Suns getting blown out in the first round of the 1981 NBA playoffs, and the ineptitude of Bowie Kuhn during the 1981 MLB strike.
This was the start of the “Best 15 Minutes in Radio.” This was the start of “Putting Topics on the Table.” “React!” Lee was determined to grab his listeners by the throat and hold them for 4 hours of compelling sports talk radio.
Hacksaw’s reputation in Arizona led to a 1986 phone call from the Noble Broadcast Group in San Diego to be the San Diego Chargers play by play guy and start a sports talk show on the Mighty 690. At the time the station was broadcasting rock n roll and Wolfman Jack. Little did they know that things were going to radically change in the next few years.
Lee was the only sports guy in the entire station, and he started with a blank slate. How in the hell was he going to pull this off? He started by creating a 9-hour NFL Sunday broadcast with a 2-hour Countdown to Kickoff pre-game show, the live game, and then a post-game show with caller participation.
The Mighty 690 Sports Talk Radio
Meanwhile, every afternoon drivetime Hacksaw hosted his talk radio show using many of his provocative techniques to drive listenership. Lee was a sensation bringing sports facts, stats, and opinions in the late 1980s. He was the internet before the internet was a thing.
After a brief transition to sports and news talk, the station went 100% sports starting in 1989. The Mighty 690 was the 3rd radio station in America to go all sports, and the first on the west coast. 690 had a “blowtorch signal” that carried Lee’s show from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies”
As 690 went all sports, many new voices took the microphone to create a wide variety of opinions and styles on sports talk:
Jim Rome came on board to start his Scrub Saturday show. He later got the night shift right after Hacksaw’s show, working on developing his style, his smack, and his clones. Rome later went on to national fame, but did you know Hacksaw was first offered the national gig prior to Rome but he turned it down.
Steve Hartman joins the station and with Lee’s recommendation he was paired up with former Monday Night Football producer Chet Forte. Two loudmouth guys: one young, one old, one west coast, one east coast. It was perfect.
Steve Mason and John Ireland took on the morning show and later saw their careers take them to new places.
Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith joined the station creating a strong show and a loyal listening audience of Great Friends.
The Coach John Kentera joins the station sharing his wealth of knowledge of local high school sports, plus offering his commentary on the San Diego pro and collegiate sports teams.
Hacksaw on the Chargers: I root for Herbert to Win, but Spanos to Lose
As a long time voice of the San Diego Chargers play-by-play, and as an NFL junkie, Hacksaw was right at home broadcasting the Chargers every Sunday.
We retrace some of the magical moments of the Chargers Super Bowl season including stories about Bobby Ross, Stan Humphries, Stan Brock, Tony Martin, Dennis Gibson, and the playoff run against the Dolphins in Steelers. We reminisce about the good vibes as both the team and the community both came together in a very special way.
After the 1997 season The Mighty 690 lost its broadcast rights to the team, breaking promises made to the station and to Lee personally to stay on as the play-by-play guy. Hacksaw was very disappointed with the decision, but he bounced back and was the play-by-play guy for the Seattle Seahawks for 3 seasons.
So, how does Hacksaw feel about the Chargers now? He says he wants the kid quarterback Justin Herbert to go 17-0 and the owner Dean Spanos to go 0-17.
San Diego State Aztecs and the PAC-12
In the podcast episode we get into the new Snapdragon Stadium, Lee’s disappointment that the Soccer City proposal did not win thus guaranteeing an NFL stadium option, and the possibilities of the Aztecs joining the PAC-12.
Could this be the start of a new podcast platform for Lee Hacksaw Hamilton? “Agree or d
Corporate Greed!, JRP0280 We are hearing shrieks of “Corporate Greed!” as inflation surges. But is it really Corporate Greed?
Corporations are Price Gouging! Really?
Prices are up most everywhere: gas, food, labor. Inflation is now at 9.1%. I haven’t seen it this high since I was in high school over 40 years ago.
Some are calling this price gouging or corporate greed, but is it?
Businesses are always seeking to maximize profit. That’s what they do. That’s their fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers.
So why are prices up now?
There is High Demand. $6T of freshly printed stimulus money is still flooding the market driving demand ($4T Trump, $2T Biden). People are returning to “normalcy” after the pandemic and traveling on vacation. There has been pent up demand for travel and leisure as people hunkered down during the pandemic. Plus, interest rates have been artificially low for decades driving further demand.
At the same time there is Limited Supply. The Supply Chain is still sputtering. There are shortages of goods and key parts required in manufacturing. There continues to be a worker shortage as workers make positive, strategic changes to their career plan. But still the labor participation rate is far too low. Then there are cases where there is a shockingly low amount of competition (spoiler alert: typically due to government regulations). Oh, and did we forget the massive government shutdowns of the economy which reduced production?
We all know from Economics 101 that when demand is high and supply is low, then prices go up.
So, are corporations actually greedy? Or are they just responding to market conditions and incentives.
Today is a great time to sell a home. Demand is high and inventory is limited (albeit things have relaxed a bit in the last few months). In a market like this sellers can get top dollar when they sell their home. If you were selling your home, would you take the highest bid for your home? Does this make you greedy? Or are you just responding to market conditions and incentives?
Gasoline is over $6 per Gallon in California
I normally don’t pay much attention to gas prices since I drive an EV. But with so much complaining about gas prices I have started paying attention. Wow!
Prices are high. Really high. Premium gas is often over $6.50 per gallon in my community. This must be those greedy oil companies price gouging, right? After all, corporate profits for oil companies are at an all-time high.
Let’s break it down.
There is high demand for gas. We are coming out of the pandemic and there is pent up demand for travel. More people are commuting to work as companies ask employees to work in the office. Plus, it is summertime when prices always go up due to higher demand and the requirement here in California for the summer blend gasoline due to environmentalism.
At the same time supply is low. Refineries are still not operating at full production. Surely this must be some sinister plot by oil companies to limit supply, right?
During the pandemic gas prices plummeted due to low demand. Oil companies were losing money. So, they shut down refineries and slowed down production. After all, why produce more product when you are losing money doing it?
Now suddenly the economy opens back up and it is taking a while for these refineries to catch back up. It’s difficult to find workers. We still have that trucker shortage problem. Plus, never mind the fact that California is making it illegal for owner operators to do trucking.
Then ask yourself, why are there few if any new refineries? Surely when demand for gas is so high and profit opportunity is so great, you would expect entrepreneurs to enter the market to produce more gasoline, right? Or less competitive oil companies would see this as an opportunity to produce more supply at a slightly lower price to grab more market share.
But that’s not happening. Why? Never mind the fact that the regulatory code makes building new oil refineries incredibly difficult and expensive. At the same time President Biden has said “I promise you, we are going to end fossil fuels”. California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Sacramento legislatures have made it illegal to sell brand new, gas-powered cars starting in 2035. Given these regulatory realities, do think oil companies would want to invest in a new refinery?
These oil companies are just responding to market dynamics and incentives.
Gavin Newsom Announces that California will Produce Insulin.
The high cost of insulin is well known. Insulin can cost $25-$300 per vial (without insurance). Patients need up to 6 vials a month. That can add up quickly.
Meanwhile, prices for
Roe vs Wade Overturned, What is a Right?, Billy the Kid, JRP0279 Roe vs Wade has been overturned. What does this mean about individual rights?
The End of Roe vs Wade
The most divisive issue in our culture has been flipped on its ear thanks to SCOTUS overturning Roe vs Wade. Now individual states can establish their own rules. States have been preparing for this outcome with some states reinforcing the right to choose and other states doing the opposite. Huge demonstrations are happening across America. I thought this would never happen. I was wrong.
As a student at UC San Diego, the abortion issue was the first political topic I wrestled with. I saw the logic and righteousness in the idea of being in charge of your own life, particularly the idea of body sovereignty. It has shaped how I see a range of issues today. Your right to manage your life is fundamental.
The World’s Smallest Political Quiz
Are we going backwards? If so, in which dimensions. We discuss the Nolan Chart invented by David Nolan in 1969. This chart abandons the traditional left wing vs right wing spectrum. Instead, it introduces a paradigm of looking at individual freedom in 2 dimensions: your personal life and your economic life. This chart is captured in The World’s Smallest Political Quiz. I invite you to try it to see where you line up. You might be surprised. I certainly was!


https://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/


What is a Right?
There are rights of free speech and freedom of the press. There are guns rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. There are rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Some think healthcare is a right.
So, what is a right?
A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right: a man’s right to his own life. All the other rights, like freedom of speech or property rights, are its consequences or corollaries.
This means that many things some declare as rights are not actually rights. For example, a right to healthcare can only be provided by violating the rights of other people to provide the service or fund it.
A lot of people think it can be anything they want, but here&#8217;s a test:
If someone else has to give you something, rather than just not harming you, it&#8217;s not a right.
Billy the Kid Review
I really enjoyed the Epix series Billy the Kid and recommend you consider it. His story as the son of Irish immigrants leaving New York City to risk a trip westward is similar to what my own Irish ancestors did. People traveled with little resources across treacherous terrain and dangerous circumstances for a better life. They bet on themselves. They believed in themselves.
Billy lived from 1859-1881. This is a transformational time in human history. The Industrial Revolution and Capitalism were producing innovative, life-improving technologies. Immigrants from all over the world flocked to America to seek opportunity. America expanded west and built a nation.
This series tackles many powerful values like justice, integrity, independence, trust, and honesty. These are all issues I enjoy discussing in my podcast.
I give it a big thumbs up but warn you it can move a bit slow at times. IMDB rates this series a 7.0. Rotten Tomatoes gives this an audience score of 82%.
https://www.epix.com/series/billy-the-kid
#RoeOverturned #Rights #BillytheKid
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Pursuing Happiness in a Housing Crisis, JRP0278 How can you pursue your happiness in a housing crisis? Or better yet, how can you not violate the right of others to do the same?
Housing Crisis
We examine the housing crisis and the unintended consequences of central planning. Despite do-gooders’ best efforts to make housing affordable, we have homelessness and insane housing prices. We explore the $1 million per unit “low income” housing units and the regulations that make them so expensive.
It’s nice to see open-minded people changing the rules in San Diego. A 443-unit apartment building is going up in downtown San Diego near Petco Park. This complex will only have fifty-two parking spots. Where will people park? Can this work? It sure can for renters that will be enjoying rental prices 20-25% less expensive than comparable units in the same area. This building with micro-units will serve as a quasi-affordable housing complex.
Then we take a closer look at the Oak Knoll housing project in Poway that is under review by the City Council. Local activists Chris Cruse and Hiram Soto have objections to this “sardine can” housing complex. Is Poway “governed by the whim of developers” or is allowing this construction consistent with property rights? Are property owners and developers allowed to pursue their happiness, or should their rights to do so be violated?
SCOTUS and School Choice
I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly pleased about the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow school vouchers at private religious schools. Unlocking government’s near monopoly on education will open up a wide range of innovative schools offering a range of specialized curricula.
If Pell Grants and the GI Bill can be used as a voucher at private, religious universities, then it seems consistent to allow school vouchers to do the same in K-12 education.
Netflix Series Dark
I really enjoyed series about four families in a small German town dealing with missing children, complicated relationships, a suspect nuclear power plant, and mysterious caves. This show took it all to a great sci-fi level by introducing a time travel plot line that made the story lines complex and enjoyable. Philosophically I was disappointed with their focus on fate and determinism, but free will wins at the end of the final season. I strongly recommend this series. Critics widely praise it: IMDB 8.7, Rotten Tomatoes 95%. English overdubs and subtitles work very well.
#housingcrisis #schoolchoice #dark
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Golden State Warriors, Social Security, Inflation, JRP0277 The Golden State Warriors are enjoying their 6th NBA Finals in 8 years and are on the cusp of their fourth championship in that timeframe. I share my early memories as a Golden State Warriors fan.
We then discuss financial planning for retirement and the shocking low savings rates in America. Is this due to a false sense of security that government will save the day? Is it a huge financial education deficit? Is it weak long-term thinking?
It&#8217;s time again to hear the Chicken Little rants of progressives that the Republicans are going to kill Social Security and Medicare. We hear this every election cycle when in reality Republicans have expanded both programs. The GOP are considering a bill to sunset all federal government programs every 5 years with the idea that they would be reaffirmed, optimized, or phased out. There is no way the GOP would cut these important programs that their senior citizen constituents depend on. It would be political suicide.
Then we discuss the Federal Reserve’s plan to increase interest rates in order to cool off the economy to fight inflation. This will lead to layoffs, bankruptcies, and further damage. Sadly, the inflation we are experiencing is a self-inflicted wound by printing and flooding the market with $6 trillion of new money. I present additional ideas that the government can enact to minimize the impact of inflation. I also offer personal recommendations for investors, businesses, and individual consumers to survive and thrive in an inflationary environment.
#inflation #socialsecurity #GoldenStateWarriors
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Gun Rights, Uvalde, and a New Approach, JRP0276 It’s time for America to come together to resolve gun violence and gun rights. I have been doing deep thinking in the wake of the Uvalde massacre. I have been exploring American history, American values, and the rights that should be protected in America.
We can’t remain in this Rinse and Repeat Cycle of mass shootings and refusing to do anything about it.
I have a different approach that can bring the right wing and the left wing together. It’s an approach that goes back to the themes of our nation’s founding. It’s an approach that can work.
Matthew McConaughey recently appeared at a White house Press Briefing calling for both sides to rise up above politics. He said we have a life preservation problem on our hands. We have a chance to reach for and grasp a higher ground. McConaughey said that we need to return to American Values. Say what you will of McConaughey’s politics, but he is right.
What are our American values? Let’s take a look at our nation’s founding document, The Declaration of Independence. America’s founding values are laid out clear as day:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…
There it is. Govt’s role is to protect our right of liberty, but also our right of life. This is the zone where the gun rights and gun violence issues run into conflict.
Let’s be objective for a moment. What is the purpose of a gun? A gun is a weapon. A gun is built to injure or kill another living being. A gun’s purpose is partly to violate our inalienable right to life.
So how can our rights of life and liberty be reconciled? It is important to differentiate offense and defense.
A gun for defense is consistent with our right to life. If you are about to be attacked, raped, robbed, or killed, a gun for self-defense will give you some form of protection. A gun for self-defense, like a handgun, is absolutely consistent with our inalienable rights.
On the other hand, if you buy a gun to go on offense with the intent to kill a single person, or a classroom of nineteen fourth graders, that action is a violation of their right to life.
I used to oppose gun control laws because they are an infringement of the second amendment. But how does it make sense to arm someone with a semi-automatic rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition without any questions or qualifications? This is a threat to our right to life.
Most everyone agrees mass shootings are partly a mental health problem. Why should it be legal to sell guns and ammo that can be used for a mass shooting without a background check or some other qualifier?
Gun control laws to address guns used on offense is absolutely consistent with our inalienable rights. Those gun owners still have the liberty to acquire the weapon if they meet those qualifications. Plus, they will always have the right to purchase a weapon for self-defense.
Plus, majorities in both support certain gun control laws. Preventing those with mental illnesses from purchasing guns has the support of 85% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats. Requiring background checks is supported by 70% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats.
But still gun control laws are not going to solve the entire problem of gun violence. But they can move the needle. They can make some difference.
At some point we are going to have to address gun rights and the Second Amendment. As long as there is language that says, “shall not be infringed,” there is always going to be an active and vocal gun rights group justified in their right to acquire an arsenal. If we don’t revise the Second Amendment, we are going to remain mired in this repeat pattern of mass shootings. This is a big ask and will require leadership.
The problem is not going to be solved at the political level. We need to go upstream to address culture and philosophy.
We need a leader that can articulate America’s founding values within the context of the 21st century. We need a leader that can properly explain the role of govt in a nation that values our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
By invoking our nation’s history and founding values, we will have a compelling message to bring American Patriots together. The right leader can America’s right, left and center.
Will we get a leader that can use the bully pulpit to address the gun violence problem? Is there a leader brave enough to be a champion on this issue?
Sadly, today our politicians are cowards that abdicate their responsibility. They are only interested in staying in office to protect their wealth, power, and influence.
Who is this charismatic and intelligent leader that can
Great Replacement Theory vs Pursuit of Happiness, JRP0275 The Great Replacement Theory has been in the news since it was mentioned in the Buffalo mass shooter’s manifesto. Let’s be real. This is a conspiracy theory based on racism and fear of “different” people coming to America to replace white voters. Different races, unfamiliar cultures, and diverse languages all coming to America. OMG.
Change is uncomfortable. For some people, change is a threat.
“Patriots” are fearful that immigrants are pursuing their happiness. This is the land of freedom, right?
We hear this white supremacy rhetoric from politicians that push border walls, travel bans, and referring immigrants as invaders.
It’s downright evil.
The right wingers fear it, but the left wingers often gleefully embrace it. They like the idea that whites are no longer the majority.
The Great Replacement Theory is foolish collectivist thinking.
It’s obsession over political identity groups rather than individuals.
Great Replacement Theory is a direct contradiction of our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
My family immigrated from Ireland in the latter part of the 19th century. Like so many immigrants of that time between the Civil War and World War 1, they came here seeking a better life for their family. They embraced America’s founding values of our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are for EVERYONE.
Now the children of immigrants are fearful of immigrants. The children of ancestors pursuing their happiness want to block immigrants desire to do the same thing.
It is only natural that future generations will replace current generations. It is only natural that a nation that prides itself as a “Shining City on a Hill” is going to attract immigrants from all over the globe.
America is a nation of immigrants. Let’s embrace this fact. It’s what makes America truly special.
Pay Your Fair Share to Fight Inflation
The “moderate” Democrat President Biden tweets that corporations must pay their fair share in taxes to fight inflation. I double checked to make sure this wasn’t a Bernie tweet.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos rightfully called out Biden for this disinformation and misdirection.


https://twitter.com/JeffBezos/status/1525846743278944256


Then we hear from the new White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre completely flail responding to a reporter calling out Biden for the same nonsense.


https://twitter.com/thejcoop/status/1526289490377158657


The fact is that this inflation is a monetary policy problem caused by the printing and distribution of $6 trillion in new cash. Getting out of the problem is going to be painful.
These politicians simply won’t address reality and will instead manipulate the people with this kind of messaging while claiming to fight against disinformation.
Kudos to Jeff Bezos for calling out this B.S.
Baby Formula Crisis
There are huge shortages of baby formula. 40% or more of supply is unavailable. How did we get into this mess?
Government COVID policy certainly played a role. Parents hoard baby formula like toilet paper. Then demand decreases and so does production. Then suddenly the economy opens up, but production has been downscaled and can’t meet the demand. Manufacturing plants and trucking companies cannot find workers.
Meanwhile, less adults are having babies during COVID. Then as the economy opens back up, there is a surge of new babies and even greater demand for formula.
Then a large plant gets shut down and we have total chaos.
But if we dig deeper, we realize there are many government policies that distort the market.

Tariffs of 14% or higher on imports to protect domestic dairy industry.
Restrictions on imports from Canada due to NAFTA.
FDA seizing baby formula like the DEA doing drug busts because baby formula is not properly labeled.
Government buying approximately 50% of product inventory at extremely low prices for the WIC welfare, thus creating a disincentive for entrepreneurs to enter the market to compete.

Government created the mess. Yet we hear politicians wagging fingers at corporate monopolies.
In a nation that believes in liberty, there would be many baby formula manufacturers and importers that can increase supply to meet demand.
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Scott Lincecome, Substack, Capitolism
https://capitolism.th
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