Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Agricultural Subsidies Behind 99-Cent Chips

Government assistance keeps the cost of farming low and supply up, but there is a darker side

If farmers were to sell corn at a profitable price, low-income families would be unable to afford corn products, such as high fructose corn syrup, often found in sweets and sodas.

The supermarket is a delightful place — chips for just 99 cents, sodas for only a dollar. The quantities of food are endless, and at the cash register, there’s still money left in your pocket. But what really causes those cookies, crackers and breads to be so cheap? Good economic times? Hardly. Rather, the agricultural subsidy system and resource subsidies behind U.S. agriculture allow farmers to profit while consumers pay less.

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