The decades-old benefit concert called Farm Aid came to New York City for the first time ever in September. And fittingly so: Willie Nelson’s crusade to save the family farm has never been so relevant to Park Avenue. In the map below, the red dots represent Manhattan residents raking in federal agricultural subsidies. The larger dots represent those collecting the largest payments, including such struggling agrarians as Mark and David Rockefeller.
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce environmentally harmful federal subsidies, estimates that between 2003 and 2005, $9.4 billion in taxpayer-funded crop subsidies went to individuals who claimed them through “partnerships, joint ventures, corporations, or other business entities.” Payments to New York City residents totaled $4.2 million during the same period. That’s a tiny slice of the subsidy pie, but it’s indicative of the level of waste and fraud in the system.