How U.S. farm policy makes us fatter and sicker

“For most of history, after all, the poor have typically suffered from a shortage of calories, not a surfeit. So how is it that today the people with the least amount of money to spend on food are the ones most likely to be overweight?”

A good article, except:

“The devil is in the details, no doubt. Simply eliminating support for farmers won’t solve these problems; overproduction has afflicted agriculture since long before modern subsidies.”

I wonder why we don’t have a plague of “overproduction” of iPods, staplers, or cars? Perhaps it’s because their prices are set by the market, not bureaucrats.

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One Response to How U.S. farm policy makes us fatter and sicker

  1. Rick Cendo

    My guess is that food production can be really volatile on account of weather. Plus, if there’s a shortfall in the production of iPods or cars, you can just jack up the price as a rationing mechanism and some people will just have to wait until next year. In the old days, I guess that would mean pricing poor people out of the food market. Nowadays, I guess it means McDonalds instead of Wendy’s.

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