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Tomarken.com > Criticism > Farm Bill jest Ain’t No Good! (05-07-02)
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Farm Bill jest Ain’t No Good!

Daniel Paul Beckmann, Moderator of Letters
05.07.02-Georgetown, DC

The Farm Bill that is expected to be voted on today just ain’t no good bretheren-yep, the dude’s a real porker if ya ask me…

The Farm Bill that we have right now gives too many subsides to the larger farm industries in order to help keep their prices down. Sure that helps consumers, but most of those consumers pay taxes, which are then dolled out to the farming corporations. The larger corporations, in order to make the lower prices, over farm by creating a surplus of supply in order to flood the market. Yep, that can be good for other countries if we were to let them in on the deal, and in a lot of cases we do-but then again, we all as tax payers are paying for this to happen and one can’t help but notice that these huge corporate farm factories are making a great deal of money in the process.

With the farming corporations able to sell their goods at a cheaper price, it makes it impossible for the smaller, independent farmer to make a living at those lowers prices and so they are now paid not to farm. When these farmers are being paid not to farm, they aren’t really being paid all that much and the hand-outs are hard to live off of. Because of this, the average farmer is getting older and closer to retirement. The younger generations are finding it easier to make money in cities and even if they wanted to maintain the family farm, it is just not economically feasible.

If you take a thorough examination into the study of the recently conceived academic quorum of American Culture Studies…you may be exposed to something called the Pastoral Ideal. Much of American life and culture since our country’s birth has been tied to agriculture. Cities, of course, have only been extensively prominent in the last 100 years as the product of the industrial revolution.

Thomas Jefferson believed strongly in the concept of the American farmer and how the government shouldn’t bother with them. Without the farm, the pastoral ideal will still live on, but in the suburbs that will replace them-but if the way that these shallow and inefficient shell communities have replaced the interactions of the urban centers is any example, the concept of Main Street America will only be continued to be mocked in the form of the corporate mall food court.

A great deal of the values that George W. Bush likes to hang his coat on<-(if one is hopeful and optimistic) come out of the interactions that can only be had on Main Street America. The weekends of rumbling past the strip in your pick-up truck over and over again to see if anything's a cookin' down over their on Main Street and the conversations and situations that insue won't be as easily accessible during the regular Mall bisness hours of 9AM till 9PM-cause every high schooler knows that nothin' real interesting happens on Main St. until well after the parent's have gone to sleep. We can give this away, as we have given away our cities, but lets just make sure that this is what everybody wants to get with their tax money. As opposed to the cities that the white ran away from to get away from those people, most people have extensive generational ties to their rural communities if they found their way there and stayed all these years. They’ve been hanging on this way 100 years after the industrial revolution lured most others away.

Back in 1996, during the Clinton Administration, an attempt was made to start the process of getting rid of farm subsides all together. But, with this election year coming up and a split house and senate-both parties are desperately trying to buy as many votes as they can with this bill with promises of huge subsides. But the Farm Bill is a huge book to swallow and even though its true what the politicians say, in that there will be huge increases in subsides, arguably %70 of those increased funds will go directly to commodities/farming corporations. Left out of this bill is legitimate subsidies to those farmers in the northern plains that have been unable to farm for the last 3 seasons due to intense flood or drought caused by the Global Warming caused by industry. Many of these farmers and ranchers are past broke and will have to literally sell the farm this summer if they don’t receive some help with this legitimate disaster.

The farm bill has already handily passed the Republican controlled House Of Representatives…and what an honorable bunch of used car salesmen those folks are these days. The story may be a bit different as the bill reaches the senate for a vote today. The Senate, of course is narrowly controlled by the Democrats, who are as guilty as the Republicans in this porker. Many senators have raised serious doubts about the farm bill, especially with consideration to the damage that this bill will not only do to the budget, which is now smaller thanks to Bush’s tax cut, but has more demands thanks to Bush’s offense spending which implies that deficit spending is already upon us which makes the tax cut seem like a fart in the wind. But since the senate has been moving especially slowly lately because it is divided, there is a lot of preasure to get something passed so that farmers and ranchers are free to understand how much money they are going to get from the government so that they will know how much they will be able to plant.

With the way things are these days in the world and in our country, a slow legislature is probably good thing cause’ it keeps us from doing anything too rash.. But in this case, it would seem, that somehow, everybody wanted to debate to see how much horse shit they could shovel into this bill before the rest of the country would finally take notice and if it passes the senate today, we will see how long that takes.


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