A good article by George Will in today’s WP re the sugar Corpocracy. The article relates that sugar subsidies were created as a ‘temporary’ commodity support program during the Great Depression. Recently the Senate voted 54 to 45 to continue subsidizing sugar cane and sugar beets.
The article relates that 85% of the US sugar market is gov't guaranteed. Fifteen percent is allocated for imports from preferential countries with a preferential tariff. Minimum prices are guaranteed and what producers can't sell is bought by the gov't and sold at a loss to ethanol producers.
Folks pay something like $3.7B more for sugar in this country, running somewhere between 64-92% higher than the world price with profits accruing to something like 4700 beet and sugar farms.
The writer states that 'sugar protectionism is gov't planning'. Industrial policy with gov't picking the winners and losers, politics supplanting the market in allocating wealth and opportunity. Also states that some 20 of 45 Republican senators chose to vote to renew the subsidy, including Tea Party senators like Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Since 1995, 75% of ag subsidies have gone to the larges and wealthiest 10% of farms. The Ag dept has pressed gov't in putting 48M of us on the food stamp rolls.
The writer ends with some interesting stats. Near 6700 generations ago the human race got underway. About 400 generations ago agriculture began. Seven generations ago (1800), it took five farmers to feed one non-farmer. Up until four generations ago a majority of workers were in agriculture. Today, less than 2 percent of workers are farmers and one farmworkers feeds 300 people. But, he says, 6700 generations from now there will be today's web of policies woven for the sugar producers.
Another WP article relates that there are 15 gov't definitions for defining 'rural' by different agencies involved in passing out goodies to the folks.
Otherwise, we have the corpocracy we deserve.
Posted by Roy Ellis at June 9, 2013 4:17 PM
Should give pause to those ready and willing to give up some of their 4th amendment rights.
There are non-corpocratic ways to operate a gov’t. For example: rather than spend $B’s on counterterrorism we might consider reducing the number of muslim immigrants by say, one percent when terrorists take a shot at us. Gov’t tape recorders couldn’t keep up with the muslim population ratting out their ‘neighbor/terrorist associates, etc.
Alas, we shud die by the sword rather than give up on being PC.
Otherwise - -
Sounds like another corporate welfare program. But someone please explain to me how the renewal of such a program gets 54 votes in the Senate. I thought the Dems were against corporate welfare and only the evil republicans made laws for the corporate fat cats. An we are dealing with the evil commodity of sugar, which is making people fat and at higher risk for diabetes. How does that fit in with Obamacare and the likes of Bloomberg????
Discomboberated thinking, JWL. Schumer personifies too big to fail banking, and so on - - -
Note that we never get any debate on such issues. Not from George Will or congress. We just acknowledge the corpocratic octopus wrapping its tentacles ever more tightly around the legislators.
Like, could it be that Cuba will attack us if we don’t subsidize sugar? Will China be able to take over Wall Street, etc? Perhaps its part of the maze of foreign aid. We can’t know, just have to recognize the vote tally and get on with it.
Otherwise = = =
There is nothing as immortal as a “temporary” subsidy.
There are 32 states considered farm states. That’s 64 senators. The farmers are going to get paid whether it rains or not.
Growing up in Wisconsin, I recall the time when dairy farmers dumped their milk to get the higher prices they desired. It worked. I don’t see any sugar producers dumping their crop…but then, they have government.
Roy did the article mention any generation when the free market worked for farmers?
Or any of the conservatives like Cruz and Rubio whining about the cradle to grave nanny state corporate welfare from the federal government?
Did the article mention how the different processing companies may have beet growers planting for X amount of bushels of sugar beets and then buy only X- 15% if the crop is good that year?
Free market, j2? ‘Free market’ and ‘farmers’ in the same sentence, HUGE. Thru the tax code and commerce clause we pretty much lost states rights. And, a recent study concluded that the US ranked 38th, next to Romania re open markets. But, as the globalists say, ‘we are working on it’. Working on it, like, Obama is always going to ‘get to the bottom of it’, etc.
While immigration law remains in the federal camp we can debate whether the fed handles immigration issues according to that envisioned in the Constitution. There were and are good principles behind immigration. Like ‘the shining light on the hill’, give us your downtrodden, your poor’, etc. Like bringing in the Afghan soldiers who worked for the US as xlators during the war and stand to be persecuted as we pull out.
But, what do we have for an immigration policy? Open borders, get here any way you can and no questions will be asked. We will provide you all the necessities for sustaining life, come on, your gonna like it.
Wasn’t so long ago when the thrust was to educate foreigners and have them return to work on building their home country. We were against the so-called ‘brain-drain’. Now the hi-tech firms are ranting about having all these educated bright immigrants return to their home country rather than going to work for US hi-tech.
And, the hoteliers are complaining that there are not enough visas for the folks who will work thru the summer for $8-9/hr jobs that citizens won’t take.
Not so much ‘give me your poor, your struggling to be free’ etc. It’s all about business, Corpocracy, etc.
Otherwise - - -
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