The Biggest Hog In the World

Time for today's Hog Report!

Where does the biggest hog in the world live? Not in some hog pen on a farm in Iowa, or North Carolina. No, he lives in a swank apartment above Park Avenue in New York City -- except when he's wallowing in his other home in Aspen, Colorado.

Joseph W. Luter III is his name, and he's boss hog at Smithfield Foods, which is the nation's biggest hog producer, as well as the biggest pork processor, accounting for more than a fifth of the pork in the USA. Mr. Luter believes in controlling the pork market from "birth to bacon," and he's proceeding to do that by buying out his competitors, squeezing out the family farmers who raise hogs, and feeling free to contaminate the air and water for miles around. Of course, Mr. Joe doesn't have to breathe or drink the hog waste from his polluting factories, because -- remember? -- he's living in a Park Avenue high rise and enjoying the pure mountain air of Aspen.

The Big Hog is unapologetic for the putrid smells and polluted waters he creates, noting simply that they're the price of progress ... and of profits for Smithfield. Yes, he's locking up the market, but, he says, "What we did in the pork industry is what Perdue and Tyson did in the poultry business." Oh, good -- one bullying monopoly excuses another.

As for using his market power to crush family farmers, Luter is colder than a frozen pork chop: "The bottom line is that small farmers have been disappearing for 100 years," he says, impatient to complete the process. Meanwhile, Luter is outraged that farmers, environmentalists, and other citizens are rebelling against his hoggishness and passing laws to reign in his greed. So, he's buying pork factories in places like Poland, saying "The current hostility from interest groups in this country has made other parts of the world look good to us."

This is Jim Hightower saying ... Adios, Joe ... we hope you enjoy those Polish winters!

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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