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Farm Bill's Roots in Old Laws Should Be Sustained

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: family, health, farming, organic, prevention, ecosystems, SNAP, history, habitat, healthconditions, Sustainabililty )

- 2064 days ago -
Farm policymakers and lobbyists have made careers out of understanding convoluted permanent agricultural laws for decades, but as a larger public has become interested in the farm bill this year, confusion has abounded about what is permanent and what...


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Bryna Pizzo (139)
Monday July 22, 2013, 6:49 pm
Thank you for the news.

Kit B (276)
Monday July 22, 2013, 7:06 pm

I don't think SNAP should be in the Farm Bill nor should it grant subsidies to Big Ag farming. AKA - Monsanto and friends.

Deborah W (6)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 7:50 am
Easy vs. Difficult ... given the track record of just about everything facing today, the answer seems clear enough as to choices being made.

Sara V (0)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 9:51 am
The only reason that large-scale GMO growth continues is because it is a subsidized activity. If the playing field were leveled, and the GMOs weren't artificially inexpensive, consumers would certainly purchase better quality food. Cut to the chase and do away with big ag entitlements.

Robert O (12)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 10:52 am
Thanks Nancy.

Alice C (1797)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 4:31 pm
Thank you for posting this information

Sara V (0)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 4:39 pm
Walter Williams on Good Intentions - how well intended programs fall short. A 5-minute interview with John Stossel:

A quote from one of his 1995 articles - " In Oregon, that welfare package for a single mother with two young children is worth $16,959. To net $16,959 by working, that mother would have to be able earn a $19,000 pre­tax yearly salary or $9.23 an hour. In Hawaii, that mother's welfare package would come to $27,736. That means she'd have to earn a $36,000 pre­tax salary or $17.50 per hour to break even with what she gets on welfare. The pre­tax hourly wage equivalent of welfare benefits in New York City is $14.75, Philadelphia $12.45, Baltimore $11.35, and Detroit $10.90.

Many welfare recipients don't have skills to earn those hourly wages. From a short run economic point of view, it may not make much sense to give up welfare benefits, worth $12 or $14 an hour, in exchange for a $5 or $6 an hour job, plus the drudgery of getting up in the morning, traveling, and taking orders all day. Surveys show that nearly 70 percent of welfare recipients are not looking for work. Not working may be a rational short run decision but it has devastating long run consequences. "


Dorothy N (63)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 9:24 pm
Totally agree with Kit B and Sara V.

Democratic government exists to serve the interests of the people, not corporations and giant, destructive factory farms, so that smaller/family farms, especially organic/sustainable ones, should be assisted in the interests of health and the country, as with individuals in need.

If huge corporations can't compete with smaller business without corporate welfare and leaching off the taxpayers without paying their fair share of taxes - and preventing their pollution from widely damaging human and environmental health, as they typically do, AND manage without animal cruelty, like REAL persons must - they should stand back and let the sustainable guys take over.

Sheila D (194)
Wednesday July 24, 2013, 9:53 pm
Complicated problems with no easy answers. The background info was very interesting; finally understand more of what the whole ag fight has been about. Noted and thank you.

Helen Porter (39)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 12:33 am
The people are involved.

We defend our own.

Syd H (48)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 12:58 am
The food stamp parts, the popular beneficial parts too such as sustainable farming, have always been held hostage by those voting for the business interests which back the subsidies to crops we shouldn't even be eating, let alone planting, but are "commodities" (see Koch brothers) because they are storable.

I wonder how well either side would do separately. I also think if food stamps were cut off entirely it would finally lead to a revolt which would be good for the country. The reason Egypt gave out free bread for so long is that hunger creates uprisings. But food, even poor quality, also makes for silent poor.

But, I doubt it would happen because food stamps are a huge subsidies of another kind for big corporate business. Just imagine how much it helps the bottom-line at Wal-Mart?

And what is often bought with food stamps? Well, commodity foods because they are the artificially cheap food [like] stuff.

Talk about cutting the nose off to spite the face. But that's politics.

Anyway, a great book to read to learn more about how the Farm Bill works is "FOOD FIGHT: A citizen's guide to the next Farm Bill" by Daniel Imhoff. Brilliantly done.


Sara V (0)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 8:53 am
"Democratic government exists to serve the interests of the people, not corporations and giant, destructive factory farms, so that smaller/family farms, especially organic/sustainable ones, should be assisted in the interests of health and the country, as with individuals in need. "

Well, Dorothy, the thing is - this is a republic, not a democracy. This is a republic in which our representatives are democratically elected. That was to be the only democratic part of it. Democracy is mob rule - whichever group is bigger decides the outcome. That is a nail-biting, cat-scratching uncivilized tug of war. In a republic, majorities don't matter. Each person's rights are assured. What matters is the rule of law - everyone is to be equal under it. The irony is that most of the trespasses we see and abhor these days are already against our laws, it's that they are not being applied. The government applies them selectively, to us, and not to themselves or their friends. We may be giving up our republic in favor of democracy, which is unfortunate, because then we all descend to their level - stealing from one another (new regulations/programs with enforced participation) and violating each others rights (deciding what others will/should do) in the name of improving all our lives.

Demand that the laws be applied, and stick to your principles - if we all refuse to purchase GMOs or patronize businesses which break the laws or are cruel to animals - they will disappear. We must simply say yes only to what we support and love.
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