Friday, May 31, 2013

Return of the farm bill

I have a confession to make. I'm dreadfully behind in posting my work here. I must have flamed out after all that venting over the Rachel Shteir article. This week's piece in The Economist is about American farming legislation. This bill is a wonderful array of creative handouts for farmers in various industries. I must take no credit for the wonderful picture caption on this piece or the snippet of the Springstein song title, which comes thanks to our new US editor, Robert Guest. (My previous boss, Christopher Lockwood, having rather suddenly vanished after accepting a job to work for his old friend David Cameron.)


At the trough 

An awful farm bill faces opposition
Jun 1st 2013 | CHICAGO |From the print edition

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN once sang about “going on the town now looking for easy money”. As easy money goes, it is hard to beat farm subsidies. Handouts for American farmers were a tasty $256 billion between 1995 and 2012. The fattest subsidies went to the richest farmers. According to a study by Tom Coburn, a fiscally conservative senator, these have included Mr Springsteen himself, who leases land to an organic farmer. And Jon Bon Jovi, another rocker, paid property taxes of only $100 on an estate where he raises bees. Taxpayers will be glad to know he is no longer “livin’ on a prayer”.[More...]