Sticky Rice Growers Lard On The Pork
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  • wigwag

    Don’t forget sugar subsidies which come in two forms, subsidies to 5,000 sugar beet farms and 950 sugar cane farms. Most sugar beet production is in Minnesota, Idaho, North Dakota, Michigan and California. Most sugarcane production is in Florida and Louisiana.

    Sugar imports are limited to 15 percent of total consumption which drives up prices tremendously; Americans pay about double the world price for table sugar. To any individual it may not sound like a lot but just ask companies like Hershey or Hines how many jobs are lost because they have to pay twice as much for sugar as they would if the market were free.

    Sugar cane production in particular is an environmental disaster. Sugar cane producers have taken over and despoiled huge portions of the Florida Everglades; the environmental consequences have been ugly. But for the subsidies and the import limits, sugar cane production would not be financially feasible in the United States.

    Both parties are to blame for this massive give away to sugar beet farmers. The advocates for the sugar cane farms (which are almost all massive conglomerates) are virtually all Republicans including Republican conservatives and Tea Party types. One of the biggest villains is Senator Vitter from Louisiana who was happy to vote for amendments to reduce food stamps but loathe to vote for amendments that would reduce sugar subsidies. Another villain is Louisiana’s Republican Governor, Bobbie Jindal. Governor Jindal is a rising star in the GOP mostly on his reputation as a “can do” advocate for fiscal austerity. This hasn’t prevented him from lobbying Representatives and Senators to protect the subsidies enjoyed by Louisiana’s sugar cane farmers.

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