Wednesday, July 18

Should the U.S. Follow New Zealand's Example and End Farm Subsidies?

"Faced with a budget crisis, New Zealand's government decided to eliminate nearly all farm subsidies. That was a dramatic reform because New Zealand farmers had enjoyed high levels of aid and the country's economy is more dependent on agriculture than is the U.S. economy.
"Despite initial protests, farm subsidies were repealed in 1984. Almost 30 different production subsidies and export incentives were ended. Did that cause a mass exodus from agriculture and an end to family farms? Not at all. It did create a tough transition period for some farmers, but large numbers of them did not walk off their land as had been predicted. Just one percent of the country's farmers could not adjust and were forced out. 
"The vast majority of New Zealand farmers proved to be skilled entrepreneurs — they restructured their operations, explored new markets, and returned to profitability."
In New Zealand, Farmers Don't Want Subsidies (Cato)

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