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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 3, 2005 / 1 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Taking the high ground on food subsidies

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The European Union says it's now considering reducing agricultural subsidies for farmers (if the United States does as well), and our government, to its credit, is calling the E.U.'s bluff. The U.S. has proposed cutting farm subsidies here by 60 percent if Europe makes its own significant cuts.

It is an embarrassing issue for the E.U. Usually idealistic Europeans may lobby for the poor of the Third World, chastising the United States for its insensitivity to the "other" on issues ranging from global warming to the use of military force in Iraq.

Yet Europe's state-subsidized agriculture makes the exporting of targeted Western food to poorer nations easy — and the importing of produce from these countries hard. Since agriculture is the most basic of industries in developing nations, the barriers caused by state subsidies are especially ruinous to these countries' fragile economies. Europe spends more public tax money on the daily feeding of its cows than Third World nations do on their own people.

Even if Europe backs down and chooses not to trim its bloated farm subsidies, as originally agreed upon, in principle, four years ago, the United States should nevertheless end our own altogether for a variety of reasons.

First, at a time of record budget deficits, we are borrowing money to subsidize agribusinesses that are not poor. Current market prices for cotton, grains and other targeted crops are improving. They will probably only get better as the dynamic new economies of India and China continue to create hundreds of millions of affluent consumers. The future of food — like oil and other key minerals — is radically changing, as a growing global population becomes ever more voracious and capitalist.

Second, there is no logic to the present support system. Wheat, for example, is subsidized, but fresh vegetables are not. Soybeans get federal money, but not peaches. Sugar is richly endowed, but why not nuts or grapes?

It gets more ludicrous: Federal water projects in the West often supply irrigation for agribusiness at well below the real cost. When the resulting harvests are additionally subsidized, the result is Orwellian: The public provides money to water crops that it must pay out even more government cash to harvest.

Third, subsidies have not succeeded in their two prime goals: preserving the family farmer and ensuring American self-sufficiency in food production. Less than 1 percent of the population are now genuine family farmers — a romantic label that's also extended, disingenuously, to original family businesses that long ago evolved into multimillion-dollar consortia.

And in lean years, true family farmers usually must subsidize their money-losing crops by working for wages in town. Meanwhile, next year, the United States will likely become a net food importer for the first time in our history.

Fourth, there is the issue of hypocrisy. Conservatives believe entitlements have an enervating effect on the self-reliance and responsibility of the individual: The more the government gives you, the less you are likely to be self-supporting. If businessmen often argue that ill-conceived welfare programs hurt the poor, what can they say about largesse for the mostly wealthy? Why did David Rockefeller, Ken Lay and Ted Turner need our tax dollars to farm?

In 1996, the so-called "Freedom to Farm" legislation was supposed to phase out gradually all farm subsidies in exchange for giving more direct cash to farmers without government telling them what to plant or when to sell. Instead, the deal was quickly reneged on, as both Republican and Democratic legislators pandered to a small but influential population in a few key swing farm states.

Fifth, we forget the history of farm subsidies. They began in earnest as a New Deal program aimed at artificially controlling the market, insulating our farmers from imports and creating foreign markets in hopes of keeping alive millions of Americans suffering from the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. But we should have learned that subsidies and distorting the market usually result in the opposite of what is intended — in this case large corporations on welfare masquerading as family farmers.

After an initial shock, the United States would thrive without subsidies. The Treasury would curtail the federal deficit by $20 billion per year. We would once again show the Europeans that morality consists of action, not utopian rhetoric. Our current dwindling number of actual family farmers who don't receive government money at last might compete on a more level playing field with those who do. Meanwhile the market could determine, far better than the government, what, how and why particular crops are grown.

We should learn the lesson of the 1990s when globalization threatened to undermine the American economy. Despite real discomfort, we kept our markets open and stressed fluidity, as businesses and jobs disappeared and reappeared in a constantly changing market-driven cycle. The result was that American business leaders learned to be sensitive to fluctuations in taste and demand — and thrived in a tough global market.

Today, unlike a stagnant, protected Europe of high joblessness, the United States enjoys real growth, low inflation, low interest rates and low unemployment. If the government gets out of the food business, farmers themselves will prove far more adept at market decisions. Indeed, we may end up with more family farmers and once again become a net-food exporting nation — ironically the original purposes of the now-failed federal program of agricultural subsidies.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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