Blogging: it's not just for breakfast anymore

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Quick, while Paris is in jail and the politicians annointed as "official" candidates by CNN and Fox are poking each others' eyes out, let's take a moment to talk about the Farm Bill. (Yeah, right.) Seriously, because you are what you eat, you know. (Yeah, right.)


We've written about this before; the Farm Bill is one of the country's most important pieces of social engineering because it provides subsidies to crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, cotton), thus determining what gets grown where.

Agricultural policy is a classic MEGO topic, and that's what the corn lobby is counting on. But a guy named Earl Blumenauer is sending up some flares. He's a "Democrat" congressman from Oregon's 3rd District (encompassing Portland), and, more to the point, a savvy blogger. Although he represents a decidedly urban constituency, he wants to see a farm policy that makes sense, that supports family farmers, that ensures a healthy food supply.

Blumenauer's a guest columnist this week on, an online forum that grew out of the liberal Talking Points Memo. And he's got his own blog, where he's laying out a Food & Farmer Bill of Rights.

What harm has our government's official policy wrought? For a start, Blumenauer writes, "Fruits, vegetables, and row crops are largely bypassed in favor of lavish subsidies for a few commodities." Just one example: the well-intentioned but archaic policy to prop up the price of sugar during the Depression has backfired; today, it's doing nothing to help the domestic sugar industry while making it impossible for Third World cane farmers to survive.

While we're at it, think how silly it is for sugar grown in Hawaii to be refined in California, shipped to New York for packaging and shipped back to Hawaii in one-gram paper packets. Not just silly but wasteful.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on June 4, 2007 5:58 PM.

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