The family farm
Some of the comments over on that post Stace wrote about the “Congress-created Dust Bowl” signs have made me think about the government handing out subsidies — whether water-related or otherwise – to farmers, ranchers, loggers and well really everybody. I don’t agree at all with subsidies.
I think it’s a damned shame if you can’t make a living off the farm or whatever, but I don’t for the life of me understand why I should be handing you cash through government hand-outs to help out. If you can’t make a living at what you’re doing you should probably look around for something else to do.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m born and bred in the Ozarks and farming is definitely a part of my family. I have nothing but respect for the job they do as I would rather do just about anything than farm. I like living in a rural setting, but actually farming for a living strikes me as only slightly less mind-numbingly boring than say… watching paint dry for a living.
First you have to look at the fact that most farming subsidies are rammed through the government by the clever use of the “American Family Farm” crisis and fashioned as the only way to save our historic way of life. The fact that most of the cash made available seems to be handed out to big corporate farms is almost never mentioned. Because really who wants to go out of their way to save big corporate farms, anyway? Well except for the big corporate farmers and the politicians they buy that is.
Second you have to really think about this save-the-family-farm business. I suppose I could quote a line from Pride and Prejudice here when I admit that, “I’m not romantic, you know. I never was.” But frankly, I don’t know why we need to go out of our way to save the family farm. If the family farm isn’t capable of making it then maybe its time has passed. And, while I like farmers just fine, I don’t know what makes them any more worthy of being saved than say the family buggy-whip makers or the family candle makers that we as a society allowed to fade into history years ago.
I understand that the farmers think they should be saved and that a subsidy is a good idea. Why wouldn’t they? They desperately want to hang onto their way of life. But that way of life doesn’t seem to be working out. I would desperately like to sit at home in my boxers and live off writing blog posts every day. But since the BlogHer ads are only bringing in about $12.38 per month and Congress has yet to enact a Blathery-Blog-Post-Writer’s subsidy… I have to subsidize my dream of living off my blathery wits on my own… with a job. Surely the farmer can get an outside job if needed to make ends meet if they are really committed to staying on the farm.
The whole thing smacks of socialism to me. I thought we were all worked up and scared to death that President Obama was going to make us a socialist state… have any of those people who were so horrified at the idea looked around at what has been going on in this country for years and years? It’s certainly not just farmers getting subsidies. Trucking companies get them if they will provide schooling to disadvantaged newbies. I know there for a while the scuttlebutt about a couple of the biggest newbie trucking companies who had schools was that they made as much from government handouts related to the schools as they did hauling freight. Seriously? What the hell? No wonder they can bid to haul freight for rates so low that owner operators can’t compete.
What do you all think? Am I wrong on this idea? Do I have things turned around in my head? I just think all subsidies should end immediately. To big and small alike. Quit giving the big corporations federal handouts of any kind. That would go a long way toward leveling the playing field. Then let everyone compete as best they can. If whatever you’re doing doesn’t work out then you need to look into something else. Sorry.
Unless they want to enact a Blathery-Blogger subsidy of some sort. That would be ok I guess.