Skip to comments.Sweetening the Deal for Candymakers
Posted on 11/02/2013 8:35:11 AM PDT by Kaslin
It takes a lot to convince a company to move jobs out of the town that bears its name. But thats the step Hershey took a few years ago, driven in part by cronyism.
The company is based in central Pennsylvania because there are plenty of dairy farms around. But sugar is an even more important ingredient in chocolate than milk, and the price sugar users in the United States pay is far higher than the world market price.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2012, the price of raw sugar was 40 percent higher in the United States than in the rest of the world. And, while an international sugar glut is expected to send prices tumbling everywhere else later this year, U.S. prices will remain about the same. Thats because of a U.S. government program that guarantees sugar processors a minimum price.
That program costs American taxpayers about $1.4 billion each year. And the U.S. Commerce Departments International Trade Administration says that U.S. consumers pay an extra $826,000 for each sugar-production job saved.
Further, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission (yes, there are both an International Trade Administration and an International Trade Commission, both run by the federal government), the sugar program imposes a $49 million net cost on the economy. Thats enough to buy 8.8 million five-pound bags of sugar. A study commissioned by the Sweetener Users Association sets the direct price even higher: between $2.9 billion to $3.5 billion per year.
Of course, the sugar subsidies would have to be a sweet deal for somebody; thats why theyre maintained. They directly benefit fewer than 5,000 beet and sugar cane farmers. Most of them, like most big farmers, are fairly well off to begin with.
Meanwhile, according to a 2006 U.S. Department of Commerce report the U.S. has lost more than 10,000 candy-making jobs since 1997. The report adds that three candy-making jobs are lost for each sugar-growing and processing job saved by higher domestic sugar prices. Maybe sugar could be great for kick-starting the economy, if wed simply allow candy makers to buy it at international market prices.
But its difficult, because the sugar growers are well-organized while consumers, the real losers here, are diffused across the country.
As long as the government has the ability to hand out favors to some industries and punish others, resources will be diverted away from productive private-sector activities to fund lobbying campaigns in Washington, D.C., as Heritages Bryan Riley puts it.
Sugars not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. The country needs to throw off the yoke of ObamaCare, needs better tax policy, needs to reduce spending and reform entitlements. But a long journey involves both big steps and small ones.
Ending the sugar subsidy program would allow lawmakers to see that they can roll back a subsidy without the sky falling in on them. They could then take the next logical step and reform all farm subsidies. That would begin piling up savings, opening up markets and saving food shoppers money.
As another Halloween comes and goes, the one thing that just wont die is the sugar subsidy. This Depression-era program, which was supposed to end in 1940, has outlived its intended lifespan by 72 years, Heritages Riley concludes. It should be abolished. That would be a sweet deal for all of us.
I look for the USA label.....always!
I havent bought a candy bar for a while, the last time it was a little over a buck. I went in to a convenience store yesterday and I find they dont sell the normal size bar anymore. Just the huge double bar - $2.50 or a bag of the mini-bite size, also over two bucks. There is no way to compare how much you get in the mini-bite bag with the old standard sized one you used to get for $1. So I just guess they must be much more expensive and they are trying hard to hide the fact.
They’re bad for me anyway.
So, on the one hand you have government telling us that sugar is like a drug as addictive as heroin and that it ought to be regulated by the FDA.
On the other hand you have government subsidizing the sugar industry.
Therefore the government is obviously a drug cartel.
Yes, always look for products made out of taxpayer-subsidised ingredients. After all, someone has to support the scamsters.
Yes, my teeth DID rot out early, but no cared about that stuff back then except dentists ... and they HURT people
Not me ...I look for the union label....and then don’t buy it!!!
Not only were they just a nickel they were twice as big!!!
I thought Hershey moved its operations to Mexico years ago.
Uphill through the snow.
Not only do these sugar price subsidies benefit 5,000 sugar beet farmers, but also large manufacturers of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), like Archer Daniels Midland. High sugar prices mean makers of products like soda use cheaper HFCS to sweeten their products. HSCS has replaced sugar in most sweetened foods making billions for HFCS manufactures. Corn farmers are also benefiting from higher corn prices boosted even more by government subsidized corn ethanol.
The almonds increase metabolic action and do not allow the calories to stick to your waist and butt
..also Fig Newtons, graham crackers....etc.
On icy days we had to wrap our bare feet in barbed wire for traction...
At last some good news. I certainly need better metabolic action. Anything to get rid of those sticky calories.
You win .. I can NOT top bare footed, barbed wire cleats.
One day I got there late and the teacher wanted to know why.
I told her that the wind was so bad that every time a took a step forward it blew me two steps back.
She observed that at that rate I should have never gotten there.
I agreed, and told her I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t turned around to go home...
Now YOU owe me a keyboard.
Damn ... the more I think about that, the logic applies to DC.
Windows or Mac?
The government needs to get out of the sugar farmers protection racket... If they did we could all say bye bye to High Fructose Corn Syrup...and wouldn’t that be wonderful?
If we can’t end the sugar subsidy we won’t be able to reform anything.
My grandma raised me and she was hoarder. My grandpa worked on a farm. We used to have him roll us down the hill in a ball of barbed wire that grandma had saved. With enough momentum going down we could, utilizing the gripping power of barbed wire, climb the next hill and so on and so forth until we got to school seven hills away.
Once there our teacher would cut us out of the wire and stanch the bleeding with baking soda. To go home she’d lay us in a Saranwrap-lined pool and once frozen (it was always winter where I grew up) place us in her catapult and aim us for home. She didn’t need the ice for launching or weight (we were husky enough on just the saucer of skim milk and lone boysenberry we were allotted as our single daily meal), but it helped absorb our landings.
You’re welcome. ;-]