Friday, August 03, 2007

Reasons To Be A Libertarian, Not Number 420

The Cato blog has had some real good posts on the new farm subsidy bill just passed by Congress - Meet the New Farm Bill - Parliament of Whores Indeed - Parliament of Windbags - House Farm Bill a Major Achievement - If You're Not A Farmer Then Shut Up!

This is the sort of business our government does where nearly everyone loses. Remember, very little of this farm subsidy money goes to honest-to-goodness ma and pa farms. Most of it goes to big industrial farmers and large scale agribusinesses. Meanwhile, consumers continue to pay more for food than we should have to, a fact that's obscured by a food supply that's already cheap and abundant.

Oh yeah, and for those of you who care about poverty in other parts of the world, farm subsidies and farm tariffs serve to protect the farming industries of the developed world at the expense of poor farmers in the third world. Even in dramatically underdeveloped countries, poor people are capable of farming and exporting surplus agricultural products. Unfortunately, tariffs and subsidies make it all the more difficult for poor farmers to be competitive with the farmers of the developed world.

Who likes agricultural subsidies? Plenty of Democrats and Republicans. Who doesn't like subsidies? Libertarians.


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