Red State Welfare


Drive across the empty reaches of the Great Plains, from the lost promise of Valentine, Neb., to the shadowless side roads into Sunray, Tex., and what you see is a land that has lost its purpose. Many of the towns set in this infinity of flat have a listless look, with shuttered main streets and schools given over to the grave. With upwards of $20 billion a year in federal payments going to a select few in farm country, you would think that these troubled counties would have a more vigorous pulse.

So starts an op-ed article in the New York Times about the current state of farming in America (behind the fence but we found a copy here). he calls it "the Red State Welfare Program"- a farm subsidy system that showers tax dollars on the richest farmers, with subsidies going to those who can work the system- farming the government, as they call it around the diner.Now it is farm bill time, a "spoils system where the congressmen-turned-lobbyists make sure that their clients get triple-figure checks for growing things that the nation already has in surplus."

This year it is time for reform and action. "The reformists, by and large, are not trying to get in on the gravy train. They want to revitalize rural America, to encourage farmers’ markets, contribute to environmental health and to make it easier for poor people to buy fresh fruits and vegetables." -Goals that we all should get behind::New York Times via ::Chefann