Sunday, July 18, 2004

Big Agro

From Jim Hightower:

[. . .]

Bush’s ag policy reads like it could’ve been written in the lobbying offices of the corporatizers, because—surprise!—it was. Bush and the people in his inner circle (as well as those in his near-outer circle) know as much about agriculture as a hog knows about Mozart. For policy direction, they naturally turned to those they know and trust—not the dirt farmers and hardscrabble ranchers of America (and damned sure not consumers and environmentalists), but the brand names of agbiz—Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Tyson, and others who—surprise again!—happen to be big money backers of the prez.

Take his policy toward the heartland’s amber waves of grain. Our country’s incredibly efficient family farmers, blessed with rich soil and good climate, produce not just an abundance of corn, wheat, and other grains, but in most years, such massive overabundance that our storage facilities floweth over. Farmers need a policy that allows them as a group to control their overproduction (something that no individual farmer can do). By matching their production to what the world market actually needs, farmers could then get a fair price in the marketplace for their crops.

Did George, who boasts of having an MBA from Harvard, apply this basic lesson one learns in Supply & Demand 101? Of course not! He’s no dummy. Well, he’s no Mensa, either, but one lesson George learned early in life is: Always go with those who put the butter on your biscuits. In this case, that’s the ADMs and Cargills—the giant grain traders who buy the farmers’ crops and appreciate presidents who keep the price of those commodities low, low, low.

[. . .]

Like everything else he does, President Political Favors looks after his friends first, and his friends are those who contribute big bucks to his campaign. Asshole.

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