Skip to comments.Harvesting Money in a Hungry World (VICTOR DAVIS HANSON)
Posted on 08/03/2008 1:24:59 PM PDT by neverdem
THE latest round of global agricultural trade negotiations that began seven years ago in Doha, Qatar, collapsed in acrimony this week in Geneva. While India and China are getting the blame for refusing to reduce import tariffs and farm subsidies, you can assume that trade officials in Europe and the United States are breathing a sigh of relief that they arent going to have to limit their own protectionism...
First, they are transparent election-cycle harvests for farm-state politicians, who have small constituencies but exercise outsized national political clout.
Second, because such special-interest legislation wins little broad public support, its supporters rely on phony rationalizations if not outright deception. In 1996 the trick was to call billion-dollar subsides the Freedom to Farm Act and vow a phase-out in seven years, a promise that was quickly forgotten.
In 2002, the next farm bill piggybacked onto fears following Sept. 11. So the gimmick was to name it the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act as if giving millions to corporate wheat farmers might protect us from Al Qaeda. Now with the public worried about gas prices, the latest bill was pushed as the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act.
Third, all the rationalizations of this Depression-era legislation have become risible. Family farmers now less than 1 percent of the population disappeared as the farm subsidy industry grew. Indeed the wealthiest corporations now receive the most federal largess. Political considerations, not scarcities or nutrition, explain why crops like sugar and rice are subsidized and lettuce and fresh fruit are not...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
It's too bad that link is Greek to most people.
Gives a whole new meaning to having Congress pass pork. ;-)
“Family farmers now less than 1 percent of the population disappeared as the farm subsidy industry grew. Indeed the wealthiest corporations now receive the most federal largess.”
And as more and more family farms are replaced by giant corporate farms, just where do these corporate farms get the needed labor? Are they offering attractive and competitive pay in the areas where they locate so as to recruit citizens with farm experience? I doubt it. I just wonder how much of the labor once done by farm family members is now done by illegal aliens?
The trend to corporate farms is nothing to celebrate, and ALL subsidies to these types of businesses should be ended.