Monday, September 26, 2005

Simpson on the Drug War

Not much to add to my usual rant against the drug laws except that BBC's John Simpson notes that, not only do we sponsor price supports for "controlled" substances, but we also subsidize agriculture, forcing the prices of American farm products so low that even third world economies can't compete. So, essentially, we make it impossible for these poor bastards to grow anything except illegal drugs. How can this happen without Americans being generally aware of the inconsistency?

9/26/2005 9:38 AM

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At Wednesday, September 28, 2005 12:09:00 AM, Blogger Frank Warner said...

This U.S.-farm-subsidies-ruin-the-Third-World conspiracy theory is big in Old Europe's fantasty news media.

I'd like to end the agricultural subsidies, if only to prove they made no difference to the Third World. We might find out the American farmers are right when they claim they need a modest safety net to grow cheap food the whole world depends on.

No legal crop is going to beat the profits of crops for illegal drugs. Why do we dream it would?

At Wednesday, September 28, 2005 10:23:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

Hey, it's not just us. The Heritage Foundation says that the Europeans are responsible for 85% of the world's agricultural subsidies themselves. You may be right that the price differential would still be sufficient to sustain a black market. The farm subsidies, however, are costing a lost of money and IMO not accomplishing much except for supporting corporate farmers, promoting illegal immigration and depressing rural wage scales in the US.

The Economist is also down on subsidies. I guess my point is that we are asking third world farmers, sometimes at the point of a gun, to stop growing stuff that we import like crazy, yet at the same time we are preventing them from taking any alternative course as a result of our economic policies. It's not just stupid. It's unfair.


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