Thursday, June 03, 2010

True Dat

The hypocritical absurdity of how we run our farm subsidies:
One thing that everyone except the relevant politicians agrees on is the misguided nature of America’s agricultural subsidies. Either food products should be unsubsidized or else healthy foods should get special subsidies, but simply plowing money into subsidized corn production is a bad idea.

To say that Americans benefit from farm subsidies because they make food cheaper might make sense if not for the fact that Americans also have to pay for the subsidies.
If farm subsidies were making fresh fruit and vegetables cheaper, that would be a mild economic distortion designed to produce good public health. The improved public health outcomes might well compensate in purely GDP terms. And even if they didn’t, promoting longer healthier lives is a good idea. But fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t getting subsidized. Instead, via corn we’re subsidizing soda (high fructose corn syrup) and meat (corn-based feed) and nudging people toward unhealthy lifestyles.
I'm just surprised that big, bad, self-reliant pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps "frontiersmen" like Clint Didier for instance even let the evil gub'ment tell them what to grow in the first place. I mean, I think we can all agree that agricultural socialism doesn't actually exist as long as you can explain to stupid people that what you're actually doing is taking handouts in order to keep up with the Joneses in a competetive, free market system. THAT'S different. Of course.

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