But some conservatives, particularly in rural America, seem to have no problem with the current Washington based system of crony capitalism that is anti-market and hurts taxpayers but benefits big agriculture. Socialism for the connected and the rest of us, well, we aren’t connected. We just get to pay.
Farms should be more subject to market forces. We’d have better food as a result. The fluctuations in prices would force producers to be more nimble and to run tighter ships. If a (factory) farm overleverages for the year or chooses the wrong crop, they pay at the market, and the consumer benefits. That is the way things are supposed to go.
But that isn’t the way things are. Ag policy in this country, driven largely by “conservative Republicans” these days, is deeply crony and anti-market and anti-consumer.
(From The Daily Signal)
The taxpayer-subsidized “safety net” for agricultural producers represents a long-standing policy failure that would make a Soviet central planner blush.
The current “safety net” doesn’t just protect farmers from major crop losses, such as from recent snowstorms in the Midwest. Instead, it’s a system to ensure agricultural producers, primarily large agribusinesses, are given handouts when they merely don’t do as well as they had hoped.
Legislators, including self-proclaimed conservatives, have allowed insiders to maintain a web of handouts that are inconsistent with conservatism. That understates the case though. The system is inconsistent with any remote belief in capitalism; it is consistent with a strong belief in central planning and cronyism.