Friday, July 25, 2008

One more reason to vote against Hope

He voted for the Farm Bill. You can't find something our legislature has passed that irks libertarian sensibilities more, and quite aside from irked sensibilities it just absolutely terrible policy. And, as i am a megalomaniac who loves independent validation I must direct attention to a Q&A with Daniel Sumner, and economist who specializes in agri-biz and policy. Key quote:

Q: Are there any good arguments that support farm subsidies? If so, to what extent and in what manner may they be justified?
A: No.
My longer answer is here.
I look at a dozen suggested rationales for farm programs and reject them all except the last one — which is we have farm programs because we have had them for 75 years and people are afraid of even thinking about a world without subsidies.

And if you want to how exactly this market distorting and price inflating policy keeps being renewed you have to get to the end but it pretty much sums things up:

Q: Why is there such a deep emotional attachment to growing cotton in the U.S.? Given the historical connection with slavery, I would have thought there would be no appetite to prop up an uneconomic industry.
A: The attachment is financial, not emotional. Cotton is a significant crop economically and politically in a few places and the cotton lobby has been very successful in explaining their case (and providing election assistance) to members of Congress.

Fantastic. On the bright side though I learned that Australia which has no farm subsidies recently passed the US as the worlds fattest nation. McCain voted against this malign behemouth now if only he weren't a senile ball of confusion I might have a candidate. At least this makes hash of the notion that we will all starve from high food prices without protectionism.