Same Old Prejudice

Robert Farley asks an interesting question on farm subsidies, namely, if the reason liberals are so quick to line up against them (in violation of our traditional affection for subsidies) because we don't like the rural farmers who vote against our candidates and perpetuate Republican rule. The question is fair, I think, but the answer is no. Liberals share the same mythology concerning the small-American farmer that everybody else does. Insofar as we have a stereotype of country hicks, they're not the salt-of-the-earth families tilling fields and sweating to feed the nation. Indeed, liberals dislike farm subsidies for precisely the opposite reason -- they benefit massive corporations. 80% of farm subsidy recipients get an average annual payout of $768. The top 4%, however, receive an average of $59,000 a year. Topping the list is Tyler Farms with an $8.1 million payout, and trust me, no small family farm are they.

Eve more galling, simple redistribution (which, to be clear, I don't support) would be more effective than this. For a mere $4 billion a year, the government could put every full time farmer in America at 150% of the poverty line (granted, there are many part time farmers in America), but we currently spend $20 billion annually aiding Big Ag. So when looking for liberal biases that account for our venom towards farm subsidies, you neither have to look far nor find new ones. It's still big corporations versus the rest of us.

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