Hoisted from comments, Brad deLong style… On a recent thread, Walter Jeffries wrote:
Realize that the vast majority of farmers do not get subsidies. The subsidies go to the big guys who have the hired guns that jump their paperwork through the hoops that were specifically designed for them.
We also don’t need farm subsidies. We need a reasonable environment and economy that encourages farming and individual self-sufficiency. I’m not talking about “survivalism”, I’m talking about people having gardens, chickens, a summer pig, etc. What has happened with urbanization is that people have become too disconnected from their sources of food.
One problem with the subsidies is the hurt the unsubsidized farmers like myself. Big-ag can devote the dollars and hired guns to get their “share” of the subsidies racking up big profits from them. Small and Micro-farmers, who are your local producers selling at farmers market and direct to consumers, are then faced with fighting against a subsidized product in the market place. I say eliminate all of the subsidies.
However, there is another issue that hurts small farmers even more and that is the real estate valuation and over taxation. That’s turning cropland into condos at an ever increasing rate. Pretty soon you’ll have plentiful places to live but nothing to eat.
cactus here again… I’m completely ignorant of agricultural policy. Acknowledging that upfront, what little I know biases me toward agreeing with paragraph 1, the first half paragraph 2, and pragraph 3. I’d be interested in knowing more about the taxes on farms – what makes them onerous (or not)? I as also wondering about who gets the subsidies. Is there something else those of us with zero knowledge should know to form a reasonable opinion?