Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Bush whacks sustainable ag

Evidently, when you blow on $5 billion a month waging war and "nation-building", boost non-war defense spending 5 percent, and slash taxes, you have to cut spending elsewhere.

Election's over; time to start lecturing the special interests about deficits. Reagan tried something like that in the 1980s, although he was lecturing about deficits even before he began his tax-cut and military-spending binge. (He ended up creating huge deficits anyway.) Now Bush II is having his go at transforming the federal government into an essentially pure military machine.

Predictibly, farm spending sustains a heavy blow from Bush's proposed 2005 budget.

The major media have all focused on the plan to cut agriculture subsidies by $5.74 billion (more than a month's mayhem in Iraq) over the next 10 years. I don't much care about that. The subsidy system is geared toward large-scale industrial farming; much of that cash gets recycled into the coffers of agribusiness giants like John Deere, and into banks in the form of interest payments from farmers trying to scale up. And the subsidies give U.S. farmers a price advantage in global commodities markets, wreaking havoc, for example, on domestic Mexican corn production. Also, the IMF, et al, hector farmers in Africa to gear production toward export, even when they can't compete on price with vast-scale U.S. farmers.

But there's no reason not to reform the subsidy system to favor small farmers looking to feed their local areas. Economies of scale, lack of local food-processing infrastructure, consolidation of wholesale buying into a few hands, rising land prices near urban areas, scarcity of markets away from the yuppie havens--all of these conspire to give factory farms an advantage over small farms.

And here's where we get to the real scandal of Bush's budget viz. farming. The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has produced a concise list of complaints regarding the proposed budget. Essentially, the president is gutting every small-farm program activists managed to squeeze into the 2002 Farm Bill.

Big-scale farmers and agribusiness interests have powerful allies in Congress, including some Republican senators in the south, who will battle to preserve their flow of D.C. cash. Who will stick up for the small farmers? Democrats?

6 Comments:

Blogger Gritsforbreakfast said...

Where is our Gorbachev?

2/12/2005 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Philpott said...

Perhaps rotting away somewhere in the Texas criminal-justice system that's so rigrously chronicled in Grits for Breakfast.

2/17/2005 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Philpott said...

Oops. Can't figure out how to edit within a comment. Try this link for Grits for Breakfast; the above one is bad.

2/17/2005 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger hanly said...

Blu Ray Converter

Convert Blu Ray Mac
Convert Blu Ray to AVI
Convert Blu Ray to DivX
Convert Blu Ray to MKV
Convert Blu Ray to MOV
Convert Blu Ray to MP4
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG2
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG4
Convert Blu Ray to VOB
Convert Blu Ray to WMV
Convert Blu Ray to Xvid
Convert Blu Ray to HD
Convert Blu Ray to HD WMV
Convert Blu Ray to iPod
Convert Blu Ray to PS3
Convert Blu Ray to PSP
Convert Blu Ray to Xbox360

7/29/2010 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jiang Top 5 Online Jewelry Stores
Having going into christian louboutin sales a jewelry shop and purchasing is always cute. But Christian Louboutin London time has changed; now it's time to choose your favorite jewelry from home. It is convenient and you can christian louboutin astraqueen boots choose among from various models and stores. So to help you choose from the best here is a little about the top 5 online jewelry stores. Make sure you get the best out of the every single where can i buy nude peep toe louboutin shoes penny you pay, in terms of beauty and quality.To start with 'Shopadf' online store you have to check in their site.Now there are these various diamond jewelry christian louboutin maggie pumps products waiting for you. Anniversary christian louboutin strappy sandals rings, engagement rings, wedding rings, eternity rings etc. the shop also christian louboutin gladiator sandals offers diamond pendants, diamond christian louboutin ivory sandals bracelets and diamond earrings. There is a special section for men in the website where men's jewelry can be seen. There is also an christian louboutin wedge sandals educating section and a gifting section which christian louboutin nude sandals makes this store adorable. For people who want affiliates the store has an option for that too.

8/28/2010 01:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I am happy for having had the new science of your article. Thanks for sharing their knowledge.
game poker || poker online

10/11/2016 02:29:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home