"Politicks are now nothing more than means of rising in the world. With this sole view do men engage in politicks, and their whole conduct proceeds upon it."
little fanfair and almost negative column inches the US Senate
approved an extention of the Farm Bill with minor cuts. Despite the
horrendous weather conditions in the plains states (i.e Corn Belt)
and the failing harvest the proposed extention of the Farm Bill will
fortuitously include a lavish provision for crop insurance programs
that will protect farmers against both natural disaster and market
fluctuations. In the press recently the spin doctors are ominiouly
foretelling that the price of diary and meat will to go through the
roof in the last quarter of the year. That hits all of US consummers
hard in the wallet as we attempt to buy those government subsidised
groceries. It's apparent that the Farm Bill of 2008 needs to be
meaningfully overhauled AGAIN but when the US House of
Representatives finally drafts their version it is likely to be a
near carbon copy of the Senate's bill. The extention is slated to
dole out about $96 billion a year to subsidies on “specialty
crops” (read: primarily corn and soy) about $50 billion which will
be in direct payments to mostly large agribusinesses. The non profit
think tank, Environmental Working Group (EWG), has accumulated an
impressive database of information about farm subsidies. Curiously,
Nebraska comes in number 5 on the list of top recipients which is
above states like California and Ohio with vastly larger
populations. Offset that with more than $150 billion every year
spent on government sponsored dietary programs and the subsequent
medical costs of dealing with arthritis, diabetes and heart disease
because of the ubiquity of cheap corn and soy in processed food. The
subsidised corn is fed to live stock, used as supplement in refined
gasoline (i.e. Ethanol) as well as being omnipresent in the form
of high fructose syrup found in a mindboggling amount of processed
foods. Where are the government subsidies for fruit and vegetables?
They tout them as being cornerstones to a child's beneficial
nutritional plan. In actuality it's nothing more than a shell game
which highlights the collusion between government and big business.
At worst it is a form of disinformation which pays lipservice to a
glaringly false altruism. When will the smoke and mirror game
played on the American public by the insidious marriage between big
business and government finally be shut down?
Update (31 July 2012) on the aMAIZEing Farm Bill double dip. I tried contacting both US Senators from Nebraska, (D)Mike Johanns and (R)Ben Nelson, for an answer to the disproportional allocation of farm subsidies to their state. Neither was available for comment and I was politely yet resolutely encouraged to compile my questions for the Senators in an email. Strikingly, I was not told nor did I remember to ask if the Senators or someone from their staff will address my questions. Already chalked it up to a cub reporter mistake. If I ever receive a response I will post it asap.