Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lawmakers Are Chided Over Farm Bill

When's the last time you used the word "chided" in a sentence? I don't remember either. Anyway, the WSJ has published in their weekend edition an article on the continuing inability of the Congress to agree on legislation aimed at making farmers more wealthy. Aw, gee. Corn prices are higher than the elephant's eye described in Curley's song "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" from the hit Rogers and Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma". Of course, what's good for some, might be not so good for others. High feed grain prices put the squeeze on beef feed lots, pork producers and chicken coopers. And let's not forget ethanol. If there was ever an indictment of the democratic process the mandatory addition of a corn-derived additive to motor fuel is it. Politicians pandering to a lobby made up of the unlikely alliance of farmers, ag corporations, small town boosters and environmentalists has created a monster likely to outlive all of us and, according to a reliable source quoted in the article, its 40% consumption of the American corn crop won't have much of an effect on prices. Does that fit the definition of a lie?

 Still, with corn prices escalating, the midwestern drought continuing and no farm bill to send to the Oval Office for five weeks or more, life in the bucolic countryside seems to be going on as usual. Isn't this some small clue that perhaps NO farm bill is required? How about the feds yank the government teat out of the farmer's mouths and put them on their own or in collaboration with their fellow agriculturists and leave us widget winders and gizmo grinders out of the picture? While they're at it, the congress can change the locks on the doors of the USDA, too.

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