The Right Coast

April 27, 2004
Good news on cotton
By Tom Smith

Good on the WTO for ruling that US cotton subsidies violate trade agreements. Agricultural subsidies are the purest pork. They raise prices for US consumers, hurt agriculture in developing countries and do nothing but line the pockets of giant agri-business corporations that hardly need charity from single moms who just want to buy their kids some new underwear. Just remember, when ever you hear a sentence from the major media with the phrase "family farm" in it, it's a lie. Agriculture in the US is huge business, and is a bloated, socialistic mess, one of the many bloated messes that we inherit from St. FDR. (Electric power is another, but that's a rant for another day.) These giant corporations (it's fine to be a giant corporation, but not if you are a parasite) get subsidized water, doing grave harm to both wild critters and city dwellers, and get managed prices and public money for not producing. In the meantime, they stand in the way of anything that promises to give the hard working people in the fields anything like a fair break. I'm not pro-union, but I'm also not pro giveaways to Archer Daniel Midlands or Ore-Ida. Our agriculture subsidies have long been a disgrace, so deeply woven into our political economy that probably the only hope of getting rid of them is pressure from outside our borders.