Nowhere is the cycle of government intervention that begets intervention more apparent than in incessant sowing of farm subsidies from Washington. “More” never seems to be enough.
Citing a “depressed farm economy” (again?), farm lobbyists are pressing for subsidies, via price supports, because of a glut in corn, wheat and other commodities, The Daily Signal reports. Unchecked, this overabundance has “the potential to continue prolonged periods of depressed prices.” So goes the pitch.
But the very same government subsidies are what mangled the law of supply and demand and led to the glut in the first place. And when the sought-after price supports lead to more glut, taxpayers will get plowed for more farm subsidies.
Rather than signal to farmers to grow less next year to stabilize prices, the subsidies continue the cycle of overabundance and, subsequently, waste.
And nowhere is waste more evident than in the Department of Agriculture’s fruit and vegetable marketing orders, a New Deal throwback authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. With the force of government behind them, these volume orders inevitably lead to waste. In 2009, for example, 30 million pounds of cherries went to rot, not to market, according to The Daily Signal.
Whereas the marketing act can be amended, as it should be, the cycle of farm subsidies is an unending blight — and at a steep cost to consumers.
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