Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The new 'third rail'

Ok,this is just frustrating

Possibly the most absurd and obviously unfair pork barrel spending in the entire federal budget is the federal farm subsidy. Americans in polls are clearly dead-set against any form of business subsidies, so how do farmers get an unquestioned free lunch? Let us be clear that these are subsidies for business, mostly large farming conglomerates. There is no motivation to reduce prices for American consumers, most of the subsidized products grown are exported at global market prices. Yes, American farming may no longer be competitive on the world market, but this should have been obvious by now, and is arguably a situation caused in part by regulation such as minimum wage laws. If our farmers cannot support themselves, perhaps we should not encourage such an inefficient use of manpower and capital. What is worse is that as we are rembers of the WTO, large fines are leveraged against the US on a yearly basis because of our farm subsidies. For some reason, fines which we are quite happy to pay in order to maintain our misguided and inefficient policies. This is one of those issues that doesn't get any less absurd the
more you look at it. This utterly ridiculous Jeffersonian legacy must come to an end.

Chris Scotton


Allen said...

I'm glad you recognized that markets in the U.S. might superficially appear uncompetitive when it is actually a result of domestic regulation. This is an argument free-traders often miss when they blindly argue for free trade no matter what the circumstances. If you want to argue for free trade, why don't you deregulate the industries in your own country before destroying them against foreign competition that might not actually be more efficient!

I would not use fines paid to the WTO as an argument against the use of subsidies. We should not be part of the WTO in the first place. Since the vote for whether or not to remain a member (of the WTO) is coming up this year, Congressman Ron Paul has honorably (as always) drafted legislation to get out of the unconstitutional, sovereignty-destroying body.

Clara said...

That's a good name for someone writing about agricultural subsidies. Scotton . . . heh heh.