Dairy subsidies: Wards of Leviathan
The Pittsburgh talk radio host was outraged that Congress hadn't acted to renew the 2008 farm bill. He lamented the effect of higher milk prices, perhaps double or more, that would follow. Families could not afford such a thing, he wailed. It was proof positive yet again how out of touch Congress is, his bleat continued.
Sadly, he's far from alone in his ignorance, the exact kind of economic intellectual vapidity that's bankrupting this nation.
On Sunday, Congress agreed to a one-year extension of the farm bill; the specter of $8-a-gallon milk prices was averted.
But the fact is that the American dairy farmer has been suckling at the taxpayer teat for a century, the beneficiary of massive government price supports and subsidies and counterintuitive “marketing” restrictions that have only perverted the free market and made dairy farmers willing wards of Leviathan.
Government policies have only encouraged overproduction that depresses prices and creates a “need” for perpetual taxpayer subsidies. What a racket.
“(T)here is no need for federal intervention in dairy markets,” scholar James Bovard notes in The Wall Street Journal. “The supply and demand for the vast majority of food products made in America function just fine without government price controls.”
America is due a complete overhaul of a dairy policy: Out with the Soviet model, in with a return to the free market.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- The Brady affair: Contract law
- Regional growth
- The Thursday wrap
- So, where’s the I-70 ‘Welcome to Pennsylvania’ sign on the Pa.-W.Va. border?
- Medicare @ 50: Sick, getting sicker
- Mon-Yough Laurels & Lances
- The wind ruse: A failed policy
- Sunday pops