Friday, February 15, 2008

Record Crop Prices, Increase Farm subsidies

Wall St Journal shows crop prices up 100% since 2006. Places like China and India have enough money to buy food overseas, and biofuels are sucking up plenty more. Farm income is as high as it was during WWII after adjusting for inflation. On a raw basis, farm income is five times what it was in WWII. Business in good in the farm belt, farmers are buying new machinery, pickup trucks, appliances and remodeling farmhouses. Things are the best they have been since who knows when.
Same page of the Journal describes how much money the federal government is planning to spend on farmers. A $6 billion increase on an unspecified, but much larger, farm bill is acceptable to the White House and the Republicans. The Democrats claim $6 billion is too small.
Question. Why should farmers get any federal subsidy at all. What makes farming worthy of my tax dollars? Why not subsidize my company instead. Or steel or oil or semiconductors or autos or motorcycles or .... we all need money too. Who doesn't? Why do farmers get a free ride on my tax money?
The Great Depression has been over for 60 years, but the farmers are still raking in subsidies that were laid on to cure said depression.

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