According to research done by the Environmental Working Group, the U.S. Government spends over 166 Billion dollars each year in subsidizing farms. The 166 Billion doesn’t tell the whole story though. Where does it all go? Which farmers receive the most subsidies? If you’re a believer in the idea that the rich get more breaks than the rest of us, you’ll find this statistic frustrating. Between 1995 and 2010, the top 10% of farmers collected 74% of subsidies. In other words, the bigger the farming operation, the more likely they were to receive money.
Problem #1 Monopoly
The first problem is monopoly’s. When the largest farms receive the most help from the government, they are virtually guaranteed to survive. Their costs of operation are significantly less than their smaller competitors and the gap keeps widening. A smaller “mom and pop” farm may produce high quality crops, but they’re costs are higher and as a result, they are less able to stay in business.
Problem #2 No Diversification
There are only a few major crops the U.S. produces. Corn is by far the biggest. Why is it that a country as rich in natural resources as the U.S. would limit itself to growing only a few varieties? The answer is obvious. Owners of farmland will use their land for the most cost effective crops per acre. In a world without subsidies, that would mean farmers would grow a large variety of crops, depending on demand. When subsidies are introduced, that all changes. Rather than produces crops that the natural demand requires, farmers produce the crops backed by a subsidy. Corn is the crop most subsidized by the federal government. Much of it is used to produce ethanol, the alternative fuel. As the government tries to manipulate the farming markets, they pick winners and losers with the end result that the U.S. produces a few select crops in mass quantities. In the event that those crops are destroyed or damaged, the U.S. becomes more and more dependent on other countries for survival. If we had a more diverse crop system, we would be more resilient against weather related events.
Problem #3 Jacked-up prices
Because of Monopolies driven by subsidies, they have the price controls. Those farms that do not receive subsidies slowly die, leaving less competition. When the supply of anything remains in the hands of a few, they can dictate prices. This is definitely a contributing factor to high food prices in the last several years.
As you can see, the people who get snubbed are those who don’t get subsidies. It’s a business of the government deciding who will be successful and who won’t. As with any government program, there are always unintended consequences that have far reaching effects for small businesses and everyday consumers. In order to offset the effects subsidies have, many people are turning to Survival Seed Kits. A Seed Kit gives the average person the ability to grow their own food without being subject to monopolies, limited choices, and higher prices. As more and more control over the food supply is dictated by the government and large corporations, being independent is the best way to avoid being SNUBsidized.