Tuesday, March 29, 2005

U.S. farmers like their cheap food policy

I enjoyed this report from a road-trip Michigan farmers recently took to Australia, to survey the agricultural system there. The American farmers took one look at a REAL market economy and got a palpable case of culture shock.

Learning how Australian farmers have reportedly transitioned from being government subsidized to relying solely on the marketplace for income was one of the missions of the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) trip. But the 20 tour-goers could not substantiate this claim, and they found several incidences where Australian farmers appeared to receive indirect assistance and where the nation's transition away from government supports seemed to come at the expense of consumers.... As a result, Australian consumers, in essence, have assumed a "farm aid" role by paying significantly higher prices for their food....

"The government philosophy there is not for Australian farms to produce for the domestic market but for the export market, and for the domestic market to pay the cost," said Wood, a Sanilac County dairy farmer. "So instead of taking tax dollars like the United States does to support agriculture, money is taken from consumers directly via food processors and retailers...."

While the Australian philosophy runs counter to the U.S. farm bill purpose of providing "farm security and rural investment," it's not illegal. "Right or wrong, the philosophy is compliant with the World Trade Organization (WTO)," said Wood.

The Australians earn their keep directly via food processors and retailers! And this isn't even illegal! You may also enjoy the American farmers' comments about Australian health and food safety:
Tour-goers also discovered that Australian farmers indirectly benefit from a national health care system, so they save on insurance expenses for their families and their farm employees. In addition, the group found several incidences where the island country's phytosanitary standards were more stringent than WTO minimums, allowing the country to legally ban imports under the guise of "health concerns."
What a discovery! Those Australians save on insurance expenses for their families. Oh, no! Not their farm employees, too! And that's pretty sneaky of them to maintain sanitary standards above the minimum. We wouldn't permit it here.

6 comments:

stunned said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Judy Farrell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
group health insurance plans said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.