Two stories caught my eye today and I believe there is a correlation between the two. The stories about the rising cost of food and the problem small business has of finding labour.
In the Western world, families are having less and less children, which no doubt contributes to the lack of workers available to replace those retiring from the work place.
Higher wages also make it harder for small businesses to compete in the labour market against larger businesses.
Small businesses cannot offer things like pension plans, advancement, etc.
Many small businesses must remain small or go out of business due to the uncertainty of available labour, especially in peak seasons.
Often governments will interfere in business and offer subsidies to large businesses that small businesses cannot take advantage of. Take small farms, governments offer large farms subsidies to buy large equipment to keep their cost down, thus keeping food cost artificially low, but small farms cannot take advantage of those subsidies for a number of reasons.
This is one reason why many small farms are being forced out of business, they can't compete with these artificially kept low prices, the other main reason is lack of available labour, plus the rising cost of labour.
Once the many small farms are forced out of production, the large industrial food producers will have the market cornered and will be able to drive up the cost of food to make their returns on investment pay off handsomely.
This is not only happening in the food industry, have you noticed how many mergers and buyouts there are in all sorts of businesses.
Big fish eat small fish to grow even bigger and pretty soon you will have no choice but buy from the big fish and pay whatever price they demand.
People, support small business, they are the only ones keeping big business honest.
Competition is good, but only when it is fair competition.