Farmers in Iowa don't put food on your table. They do pollute your streams, lakes and rivers. they also want you to pay them to help clean up their mess. I guess their farm subsidies aren't enough.
Des Moines Register, Letters To Editor, 9/24/16:
[Kinseth: Two-thirds reduction is a fantasy. The existing industrial tiled fields are not going to reduce nutrient flow, and farmland owners are not going to permanently take land now in production out of production for mitigating strips and wetlands on a permanent basis. Nor are they going to rotate crops differently, and to an unknown extent even cooperate with changes that are either irrelevant to them or cutting into profits in an ongoing variable $$ per bushel market.
While it likely is essential to have crop insurance in an industry where weather is unpredictable (to assure simple getting upfront loan $$$ to plant and produce a crop, crop insurance in Iowa can be a 3.4 billion $$$$ subsidy in Iowa (Cedar Rapids Gazette figure--1995-2011). While crop insurance can be a necessary subsidy, it does encourage more crop production with few demands such as a certain sustainable quality to land, without nutrient reduction, and without conservation strategies such as cover crops to protect soil. Thoughts here after Letter To Editor, Des Moines Register: John Norwood, "Crop insurance is a powerful economic tool."]
Des Moines Register, Letter To Editor:
Kurt Johnson, "Don't give farmers more credit than other producers," 10/13/16:
In a recent editorial, you warn against the unintended consequences of expecting Iowa's farmers to "feed the world" [Oct.10]. As you wrote, "...the most effective way to reduce world hunger is to help small farmers in Africa, Asia and elsewhere increase their productivity and income."
Some farmers and their supporters have a vested interest in making sure fellow citizens hold them in a special position because they produce the food we eat. They perpetuate that meme in order to get special treatment by our government, for example, by not having to either stop or pay for polluting our waters, and by receiving a 60 percent subsidy on their crop/revenue insurance premiums.
Every week, most of us buy food from all over the world at our local grocery stores. It may be wonderful to be able to buy local fresh food, but it is not a necessity. International voluntary free trade is what has allowed us, and much of the rest of the world, toad starvation when local producers fail for any reason.
Farmers should be given no more credit than other producers of all kinds of products. As Adam Smith wrote in 1776 in "The Wealth of Nations," "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker than we expect our dinner but form their regard to their own interest."