That Brexit is just going to cause food prices to soar of course. For Britain imports 40% of its food, the pound has tumbled and we're all doomed:
Prices in British shops dropped by another 1.8pc in the 12 months to September, as fierce competition between supermarkets outweighed the impact of the fall in the pound to drag down groceries prices, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Food price deflation accelerated with prices down 1.3pc on the year, a faster fall than the 1.1pc dip recorded in August.
“We are now in the fourth year of falling shop prices, so the record-setting run of shop price deflation continues, which is great news for consumers,” said the BRC’s chief executive Helen Dickinson.
It is indeed great news for consumers which makes this headline a little off:
UK food prices suffer biggest ever drop in September
Food prices fall 1.3% year-on-year despite a recent uptick in global commodity prices.
Suffer? Who? The cause of all of this is:
In a startling development, almost unheard of outside a recession, food prices have fallen for nine straight months in the U.S. It’s the longest streak of food deflation since 1960 -- with the exception of 2009, when the financial crisis was winding down. Analysts credit low oil and grain prices, as well as cutthroat competition from discounters. Consumers are winning out; grocery chains, not so much. Their margins and, in some cases, their stock prices, are taking a hit.
Yes, in both the US and the UK the fall in food prices is being driven by that market competition. Or as we can also put it, that lust for pilf and gelt of the few German billionaire families that own and run Aldi and Lidl.
All of which tells us what one of the major jobs of government is. That major job being to allow that lust for gilt and pelf to run rampant throughout the economy - but with care. We must not let market incumbents prevent market entry in order to protect their gains. But we must allow market entry for the entrants to pursue their own dreams of mountains of cash. Precisely and exactly because it is the competition in search of those piles of wonga that so enriches consumers.
We do not want government to prevent, limit or even manage competition - we just want them to make sure there is room for it to happen. Once that is true we can leave human greed to deal with the rest of it.