Thursday, November 1, 2007

Please, Not Another Farm Bill

Ok, there's another farm bill coming through....cover your wallets and lock up your daughters.

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Please, Not Another Farm Bill

I'm a huge fan of Willie Nelson. Neil Young. John Mellencamp.

These guys supposedly met at the LiveAid concerts for Ethiopia, and decided that it would be good to do a similar fundraiser for American farmers. They eventually started the Farm Aid series of concerts. Here's an excerpt from the Farm Aid mission statement:

Taking Action to Change the System
Farm Aid works with and provides grants to local, regional and national organizations to promote fair farm policies and grassroots organizing campaigns. Farm Aid partners with family farm organizations fighting factory farming and industrial agriculture, while building opportunity for family farmers who produce our food, fiber, and energy. By strengthening the voices of family farmers themselves, Farm Aid stands up for the most resourceful, heroic Americans-the family farmers who work the land.

That's all good and fine. But I bet the phrase "Promote Fair Farm Policies" covers a lot of unfair territory. Some of the Farm Aid money goes to lobbyists. Those lobbyists agitate for things that wouldn't happen in a sane free market. Things like price supports. Trade barriers. Prohibitive Tariffs. Quotas. And all of the other terms for keeping the rest of the world's groceries out of here.

See the Real Clear Politics article above by Victor Davis Hanson above for yet another explanation of why our current price support system makes no sense, especially in relation to America's poor and the world's poor.

Willie, Neil, and Johnny Cougar do a good thing for some of America's small farmers, but not for America, when they put on the Farm Aid concerts. They help the mega Agribusinesses even more. As of today, if you put "Archer Daniels Midland" and "Willie Nelson" into a Google search, you'll get more than 2,300 hits. This number will increase, as ADM has to work harder and harder to keep out competing farm goods. Willie is promoting FarmAid and Biodiesel. His tour bus runs on Biodiesel.

Guess who makes biodiesel?

Guess what countries could make it a heck of a lot cheaper than us?
I know I'm starting to sound like a whackjob conspiracy theorist, but take a look at how much Public Television ADM is sponsoring. What could be more wholesome than Willie and Big Bird?

Ok, I forgot about Willie's weed problem. I can imagine Willie and Big Bird going backstage to roll up a fat one....

25 years ago, Willie and Neil went out of their way to help a lot of struggling people by appearing at LiveAid. Millions of people now wish that they had politely declined.

Photo from MSNBC

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