The Farm Bill, a.k.a Hunger Games

At this point in our broader political discourse, I probably shouldn't surprised about the House's vote on the farm bill, which continues generous support for wealthy farmers and eliminates food stamps. 

I'm trying to keep my blogging more positive and analytical than normative.  I think the analysis of this is pretty clear, so not much to say here that others, like Paul Krugman, have already done much better than I can. (Incidentally, the 1400+ comments on that article, many of which look very thoughtful, looks like a record to my recollection).

One thing I might add:  In my career studying agricultural policy in the US, I have heard many, many economists of all political stripes lambast our agricultural subsidies.  Greg Mankiw pointed to them as one of the key areas where most economists generally agree.  But I rarely hear economists of any political stripe criticize our food stamp program.  About the harshest economic criticism I've seen as that we should give people cash rather than food stamps.

We live in truly bizarre times.


  1. Mike, this may not be all bad. I think farm subsidies are much more likely to be reduced or eliminated in the future if they are unbundled from food-assistance programs.


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