the wheat board as we know it will soon be gone



December 22, 1999,
By: Edwin Wallace
The latest attack on the Canadian Wheat Board comes from a current Board member; one of the two 'dual' AKA 'open' marketers elected. It is in the form of a request; that a plebiscite be held; to find out who is for and who is against the CWB.
The reason given for the request is that young farmers don't want the board. At that point I like to apply the old adage that goes something like this: If you don't know your history you don't have a future!
The other open marketer, Ken Ritter, has said, "not for now at least". He is the chairman of the Board and one would like to assume and hope that enlightenment for him, CWB style - has occurred. I doubt it.
  I believe Mr. Ritter is a very intelligent person and as an open marketer (I sometimes have difficulty juxtaposing those two characteristics!) has decided the best way to destroy the Wheat Board is to work at it from the inside. He says the plebiscite idea is not necessary because many changes have been made and will be made in the CWB.
  I bet!
  However, which ever way the Board and it's 'Single Desk Selling' concept is destroyed; by a vote or by 'Adjustment', the wheat board as we know it will soon be gone.
  And that brings me to my main point. The genius of the capitalist system is comprised of two main parts: 1./ To keep nearly all it's people poor or at least severely threatened with poverty. 2./ To allow the odd person to succeed - in a spectacular manner.
  We find examples of this all the time. Somebody gets lucky on the stock market. Somebody cashed in at the grain exchange. Somebody else comes out of the blue and succeeds beyond anybody's wildest dreams in business.
  I admit that these successes seem very random to me. Like, how the hell did that happen? However, that 'random' Capitalist System has always had its stable major players - call them the "Viuex Rich"; and those players have and always have had the opportunity to manipulate.
  In case I have confused you, let me drag this back to 'open' marketing of grain. It goes like this: In the future when the CWB is gone and farmers are in deadly competition with each other; scrambling to find markets and desperate to sell their own grain; very occasional, short duration, 'windows' of opportunity to sell at very high prices will be created. Some of these windows of opportunity will only be a few hours in duration. Prior to and during that short time 'the word' will miraculously get out to a very few people. Some of them will take advantage of the opportunity.
  Shazzaam! The word goes forth that the system really does work and "anybody can do it!". 99 percent of the farmers may sell at break-the-bank prices, but "Boy, if I can just get lucky . . ."

  That is the brave old world we are headed for. If you believe in the tooth fairy, and that the 'Market' works for you, then no doubt you will welcome the demise of the Canadian Wheat Board. However, there is that other way. It has worked well for us and only calls on us to co-operate together for our own best self interest.
  I choose the latter.
  I'm Edwin