Government cheese or… queso from the big cheese?

Going back at least almost 100 years the U.S. government has been buying commodities that were made in excess quantities and distributing them to charities and low-income groups. For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been buying foods since at least after the Agricultural Act of 1935 was passed. Surplus dairy products were bought and used for relief programs during the Great Depression. But what caused the government to store billions of pounds of cheese back in the 1980s? Some history first. Just like today, the 1970s and 1980s saw inflation rates spike. High food prices meant millions of poor Americans were left hungry. In particular, there was a shortage of dairy products. A low supply coupled with high demand meant higher prices than just a few years ago. By some accounts, dairy prices were 30% higher in late 1973 than just a few months before.  To reduce price levels, President Nixon removed some import quotas. These lower prices impacted farmers’ incomes, to

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