Here's an idea: Don't pass a new farm bill. Repeal the laws we might revert to in the absence of a new farm bill.
Despite what we've been led to believe, it won't be the end of the world. Some important food products are actually not subsidized. ¡Qué horror!
Don't get me wrong, I like farmers. I'd prefer to live in a community of farmers than just about any other community. But handing them money because they happen to grow a certain crop, or milk cows, is just horribly misguided wealth redistribution (as most redistribution is, especially welfare for the not-poor).
When's the last time we tried a more or less market-based approach to setting the prices for our milk, corn, and various other subsidized agri-products? Sometime before WWI?
Now I'm no expert, but perhaps things have changed since then. I don't mean to sound facetious, and I do realize our farm subsidies are updated with some regularity. But they are based on a principle that was never economically sound to begin with, developed during a time very dissimilar to this one: protectionism.
|image credit: Michael Ramirez|