During the past weeks, a battle over milk prices in California turned ugly, pitting dairy farmers against cheese makers, with consumers caught in the middle. The confrontation exposed the utter insanity of a price-fixing system that would make Soviet central planners blush. But not even Californians could come up with the silliness that passes for American dairy regulations all on their own. The federal program dates to the 1930s and has only grown more complex through the years.
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