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Americans have been spending substantially more for steak dinners, fried chicken, and other American gastronomic staples during Biden’s first year in office. Why? Because, according to CNBC, meat costs have grown dramatically in the last year, with chicken prices rising 8.8%, pig prices rising 14%, and beef prices rising 20%.

The Biden administration proposed an aggressive $1 billion effort to address rising prices on Jan. 3 in order to combat the problem. The idea appears to lay the responsibility for high pricing on big business and free-market capitalism’s shortcomings.

However, a number of economists, specialists, and even one current member of Congress disagree with this judgment. The blame for increasing meat prices, they believe, can be laid entirely on Biden’s government’s shoulders.

A handful of huge meat and poultry producers control the majority of their markets, as the White House proposal accurately points out. The administration goes on to call these businesses “dominant middlemen” that are solely interested in “increasing their own profits” at the expense of farmers and consumers.

To address this, the White House plans to invest $1 billion in government money on “independent processing projects” and other resources aimed at increasing competition in the meatpacking industry.

According to one economist, claiming that a lack of competition is to blame for rising prices is ludicrous, given that the existing degree of rivalry has existed for decades.

That economist, James Mitchell, an assistant professor in the University of Arkansas’ Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, spoke with CNN Business about the problem and Biden’s proposed solution.

The underlying reasons for the price hikes, according to Mitchell, are labor shortages, supply chain challenges, and expensive regulations, all of which have become trademarks of the Biden administration.

Furthermore, the administration’s explanation for why there is an apparent “lack of competition” in the meatpacking industry is at best erroneous.

“Concentration ratios are being exploited as competition,” according to economist Walter Block. To put it another way, just because four businesses control 85 percent of the beef processing market doesn’t mean there isn’t competition, as Biden says.

Block is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans and the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar.

“If there is only one grocer in a small town, he has control over 100% of the grocery industry,” Block told The Western Journal via email. “Mainstream economists would unduly deduce from that fact that there is lack of competition.”

However, Block did point out that “to the extent that there is any lack of competitiveness in the meatpacking industry,” it is owing to government regulation established by Biden’s administration. According to Block, these laws make it “more difficult for new enterprises to enter this industry.”

According to the Acton Institute, a pro-free-market think tank, the cost of complying with federal USDA guidelines and other federal rules is so high that only the most powerful processors can stay in business, effectively creating a “artificial oligopoly” – a market structure in which only a few firms dominate.

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