Posted by Neal Lipschutz
on January 27, 2010
, European Union
, World Economic Forum
Neal Lipschutz is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In a debate at the World Economic Forum about the threat of global protectionism, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, managed to take on Thomas Jefferson.
He said the Jeffersonian notion that farming was a superior form of life has led to subsidies and protectionism in the U.S.
Similar problems exist in the European Union. Saying EU agricultural policy is “ridiculous,” Frank claimed European farmers should be bought out.
The idea that the “noble yeoman” must be protected at all costs leads to protectionism, Frank said.
Posted by Gabriella Stern
on August 07, 2009
DJN has just reported that the Obama administration is looking into supposed anti-competitive issues in the agribusiness industry. Government officials will hold “listening” sessions across the countryside as they examine whether purported concentrations of farm-related businesses violate antitrust laws. ” The WSJ’s Scott Kilman reports on our wires: “Philip J. Weiser, a telecommunications law expert who was recently named deputy assistant attorney general, told a farmer gathering here that federal antitrust regulators are ‘committed to examining’ the level of competition in several agribusiness sectors, such as marketing of genetically modified seeds, dairy processing and meatpacking.” This is the latest in a litany of business practices and alliances Obama’s Department of Justice is reviewing. Some are less spurious-sounding than others; or to put it another way, some issues cry out for antitrust probes; some don’t. Take agribusiness. Exactly who’s getting hurt by the structure and composition of U.S. agribusiness? Not consumers. Americans have enjoyed gloriously low food prices for years. But of course it’s not supermarket patrons the DOJ’s worried about. It’s family farmers – moms, pops and kids living on farms in the midwest, Great Plains and South who have trouble making a living while seed, grain, dairy and livestock distributors and processors rake in all the dough. The Jeffersonian strain in our country’s collective consciousness means every few years we wring our hands over the plight of the family farmer. We need to get over it. The U.S. (and European) contemporary economy just can’t support and sustain small farms without massive taxpayer subsidies. This has been the case for at least 25 years. Continue reading…