Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quote of the day

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) explains his opposition to elimination of farm subsidies:
"We're not smart enough to decide how big a farm should be, even on the ag committee. And that's really not our job. Our job is to make sure we have an affordable, abundant food supply in this country."
This is absolutely nonsensical. On the one hand Peterson admits politicians are not intelligent enough to understand the vagaries of the agricultural market, but then implicitly says agricultural subsidies -- a massive government intervention in the market -- is necessary to ensure an adequate food supply. So which is it? If politicians aren't particularly knowledgeable about agriculture -- a proposition I readily agree with -- then why are they busy throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at a sector of the economy they do not comprehend?

Like so many government programs, agriculture subsidies are rooted far deeper in pleasing certain constituencies and obtaining votes than serving the public interest.

No comments: