Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Food Policy and the 2016 Presidential Election

Farm subsides, GMO responses, and regulatory overreach should prompt some discussion.

FarmCredit: Nicholas_T via Foter.com / CC BYWith the Libertarian Party picking its nominee this weekend, and with Democrats and Republicans having all but chosen their respective nominees already, it's as good a time as any to chew on some of the key food-policy issues candidates should be discussing as we inch toward the general election in November. In that spirit, here are nine key issues I'd like to see the presidential candidates discuss this year.

1) Ending farm subsidies and other protection/promotion of food crops. Farm subsidies waste billions of taxpayer dollars every year; promote growing a handful of crops (like corn and soy) that are more likely to become sweeteners, ethanol, or animal feed than they are to become food for people; and likely play a role in America's high rates of obesity. Sugar tariffs, USDA marketing programs (for dairy, nuts, fruits, and vegetables), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) checkoff programs (for dairy, beef, pork, and other foods) waste billions more dollars to promote and protect wealthy incumbents that deserve neither support nor protection.

2) Embracing GMO neutrality. The government should neither disparage nor favor farmers who raise GMO (genetically modified) crops. Mandatory labeling and bans would do the former, while subsidies and other laws, including the lapsed Farmer Assurance Provision (dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act" by its detractors), have unfairly promoted GMO crops and protected GMO farmers. Farmers and consumers—not government—should be the only ones choosing whether they prefer GMO crops, organic crops, conventional crops, or some combination thereof.

3) Ending federal support for state unpasteurized (raw) milk bans. The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) ban of interstate raw milk sales only came about in 1987 in the wake of a federal court ruling that forced the agency's hand. Whether you believe that court ruling makes sense, the federal government should not encourage states to ban raw milk sales (as the agency does today).

4) Reining in the FDA. The FDA's crackdowns on salt, sugar, caffeine and trans fats; its overreaching food-safety schemes that have targeted farmers markets, organic farmers, beer brewers, startup food entrepreneurs, and artisanal cheesemakers alike; and its misbegotten food-labeling rules have made the FDA under President Barack Obama the most activist in history. The FDA has a role to play in ensuring the safety of our food supply. Reining in an unfocused and misadventurous FDA can help the agency to refocus on its core mission.

5) Ending the federal ban on sales of locally slaughtered meat. In 1967, Congress delegated to the USDA a power it did not have: to require that all meat sold commercially in this country—even meat that is (or could be, were it not for the law) raised, slaughtered, processed, and sold in just one state—be slaughtered and processed at a USDA-inspected facility or equivalent state facility. The result? Massive industry consolidation, a depressed supply of locally raised beef (at a time of rising demand), costly food recalls, and dangerous lapses in food-safety oversight.

6) Ending federal policies that promote food waste. Food waste is a costly and largely preventable problem that is often the unintended consequence of bad lawmaking. For example, the USDA's behemoth National School Lunch Program hemorrhages money, has seen participation plummet, fails to feed schoolkids adequately, and promotes more than $1 billion of food waste each year. Let's end the National School Lunch Program. In its place, encourage states to combat food waste locally by having families who can afford to do so pack brown-bag meals for kids (which reduces food waste at home and at school), and encourage businesses to prepare and donate food to kids whose families cannot afford to pack a brown-bag lunch (which reduces commercial food waste and school food waste). Abolish, too, other federal policies and programs that promote food waste (i.e., those that needlessly force fishermen to discard their catch, or those that favor uniform foods over irregularly shaped ones).

7) Improving food safety and choice by requiring good outcomes, rather than mandating specific processes. A preventative food-safety approach that works well for a large company may not work for a small company—and vice versa. The smaller company also may not be able to afford the costs of adopting the approach that works well for the larger company. Yet USDA and FDA rules often mandate the one-size-fits-all approach to food safety. These rules don't make us or our food demonstrably safer. But they do limit the participation of smaller entrepreneurs in the marketplace. Requiring good outcomes (e.g., that food doesn't contain pathogens), rather than requiring food makers to follow a rigid, mandatory process, will ensure consumers have both the rich choices and safe food they deserve.

8) Ending the federal ban on distilling spirits at home. America's unparalleled craft beer movement took shape only after President Jimmy Carter signed a law lifting a federal ban on homebrewing that had existed since Prohibition. But the federal ban on home distilling continues to this day. In order for craft distilling to truly take flight in this country, the federal government should lift the ban on making liquor at home.

9) Deregulating the cultivation of hemp. Recent changes have made hemp easier to grow in this country. But existing restrictions are still both foolish and onerous. Deregulate the cultivation of hemp so that growing hemp is regulated the same as growing other non-psychoactive foods like tomatoes, carrots, and kale.

Photo Credit: Nicholas_T via Foter.com / CC BY

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

On select articles, Reason is testing a new comment promotion feature developed by SolidOpinion. Commenters can purchase points and bid to promote their comments and/or the comments of others. Winning comments are displayed at the top of the comment thread for each article, and are identified as “promoted comments.” Point purchases and bidding are handled SolidOpinion. Please send any questions and feedback to promoted-comments@reason.com.

  • Pompey (91% LOLLOLZ)||

    Sounds pretty good.....

  • Ted S.||

    The policy proposals or the promoted comment?

  • Rhywun||

    I have those Stylish'ed out - hadn't known it's devolved into a spam-promotion device.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Dang, that was spam? I was really hoping this GREAT ILLUOBE was going to help bring back my WIFE or HUSBAND that has left me as the case may be.

    If it is spam, this is the first one I've seen that promises to resurrect the dead.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't know why we can't have the Great Illuebe as president if he can do all that.

  • Libertarian||

    Why are libertarians so darn skeptical?

  • Robert||

    Yeah, Doc, can you do that? Then again, for some people (like Rip Van Winkle) bringing back their spouse from the dead could be a threat!

  • Pompey (91% LOLLOLZ)||

    Yes.

  • Michael Christopher||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    http://www.realcash44.com

  • Adans smith||

    All good ideas and all goring someone's oxen.Hell,they can't even get rid of ethanol subsidies and many of bot 'sides' agree they are a waste of money and do more harm then good.

  • Jerryskids||

    "Getting government out of the business of running our lives" pretty well sums up most of this - raw milk, marijuana, moonshine, cured meats and cheeses, roadkill stew are all a matter of "my body, my choice" and the Ag subsidies are a "stop paying people to do stupid stuff" subset of the micro-managing over-regulation you get when any agency fails to adopt a "set a goal and let the market decide how to get there" hands-off approach to management.

    And then there's the mission creep and the ever-receding goalposts - "making food safer" is a never-ending quest for perfection tilting at increasingly smaller windmills with increasingly expensive and cumbersome lances. Instead of trying for 100% reduction in harms, let's shoot for 90% and then call it a day. For all the good the FDA, the EPA, OSHA, et al have done, the vast majority of that good was done in the first decade or so of their existence and then the law of diminishing returns kicked in and everything they've done since has been too much work for too little return.

  • Adans smith||

    'We have to protect our phony baloney jobs!'

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The thing about government agencies is that if they aren't pushing exciting sounding new programs, but just doing their freaking jobs, Congress is likely to start cutting. Governments love paying for shine new toys, initiatives, and so on. They also hate paying for boring old upkeep. Not our government now, all governments ever.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    The local city council* has no money to fix the (regularly non-potable) water supply we're required to contract for services. It's very sad, how little towns have such a hard time finding funds for vital services such as water that is fit for human consumption.

    You know what they do have money for? $49,000 per year to drop on an independent lobbyist who sends a one-page report once a year about the meetings he attended which very well may one day possibly result in federal funding to replace/repair the water system.

    * I say city council, but "city" might be stretching generosity to the breaking point. No one ever got mad poontang for being on the village council, so city council it is.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    See, this is why I don't subscribe to any particular political philosophy, and descrbe myself as a political Crank. Conservatives, Liberals, Libertarians,,and so on would each have a complex explanation of why the village council's actions are in violation of their Political Truth, and what the village council SHOULD do. Me? I just want to say; "Look, we tried it that way, it clearly doesn't accomplsh anything useful, can we do something else, please?"

  • Sevo||

    Well, aren't you the pragmatist!
    I assume you wouldn't mind a dose of, oh, Marxism if we'd tried other methods and didn't get what you wanted?
    Sorry, that's not intelligence. That's a total lack of principle.

  • Sevo||

    CSP, I see when you're called on your bullshit, you tend to disappear. Why is that, CSP?

  • Ted S.||

    What good have the FDA, EPA, or OSHA done?

  • Hyperion||

    In the last 50 years? They've likely did more harm than good and they keep getting more expensive for tax payers.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What good have the FDA, EPA, or OSHA done?

    Why, they've gotten bigger. CLEARLY that's good.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you're a big company with political connections, those agencies have done a wonderful job at squashing competition and keeping prices high.

  • Hyperion||

    "making food safer" is a never-ending quest for perfection

    The FDA is a bureaucracy. 'making food safer' is the same as 'saving the planet' and everything else a bureaucracy does. It's all about getting a bigger budget and preserving the bureaucracy for the sake of preserving the bureaucracy. Sure most of these older agencies stated out with good intent and actually did some good things. But once everything that needed done was done, they had to invent more and more and more things that 'have' to be done so that they can remain useful and important, and expand their fiefdom.

  • Jerryskids||

    But once everything that needed done was done, they had to invent more and more and more things that 'have' to be done so that they can remain useful and important, and expand their fiefdom.

    That's it exactly. And I think that's the biggest problem we've got, the bureaucratic state. But if you suggest that maybe the agencies have gone past the point where they're a cure worse than the disease you must just want Somalia. Point out that the CDC is waaay out of their jurisdiction when they start going after the "epidemic" of gun violence and childhood obesity and should stick strictly to communicable diseases like they were intended to do - and maybe if they've got so much time and money and manpower that they can go after "diseases" that aren't even diseases they could stand a major cutback on their funding - and suddenly you're some evil villian who wants little children to die from the plague.

  • Sevo||

    "And I think that's the biggest problem we've got, the bureaucratic state. But if you suggest that maybe the agencies have gone past the point where they're a cure worse than the disease you must just want Somalia"

    Similarly, according to our Malthusian troll, unless you turn over the economy to the government, you're 'doing nothing' about 'the climate'.
    The park service contracts a ferry to Alcatraz, and from the cost of the tickets, it doesn't look subsidized. I happened to be on the bay recently and got a look at one of the ferries; they're hybrid. Wind turbines on the top deck and the entire top deck is covered with PV panels. No gov't requirement, probably subsidies for the PV panels, but, hey, since it wasn't gov't-mandated, we're "doing nothing and must want the world to end tomorrow!"
    Dim-bulb is a compliment in this case; a dim-bulb still sheds *some* light.

  • Robert||

    Wouldn't it be more efficient to have sails than turbines?

  • Sevo||

    Robert|5.28.16 @ 1:48PM|#
    "Wouldn't it be more efficient to have sails than turbines?"

    Maybe, but the guys who are betting their money opted for turbines, so I'm gonna guess they decided not.
    Remember, this is a hybrid; the turbines turn generators for the electric motors which means they don't run the diesel gen-sets when the wind is helpful and they don't have to tack as sailboats do.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It's not just government, either. There are many not for profit private organizations that do the same thing. I was listening to an ad on the radio the other day, Montanans against hunger...or some such, and they were babbling on about "food insecurity".

    So we've won the "War on Hunger" but we can't pat ourselves on the back, pack up the office and go home. No, that would mean those making a living doing previously good works would need to go out and find a new productive job. So let's make up a new problem.

    One in five Montana children worry about having enough to eat at some point in the future. They are "food insecure." Please send us money to help ease their precious heads...and so I can retain my phoney baloney job.

  • Ted S.||

    Montanans against hunger...or some such, and they were babbling on about "food insecurity".

    How much of their budget comes from the government?

    It wouldn't surprise me if they were a fake charity (ie. one that gets most of their money from taxes).

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    That's possible, who knows? I made the assumption they were private, but you may be right.

    I just looked, but I clearly don't have the name of the organization correct.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Here they are.

    Partnership to End Childhood Hunger

    The Montana Partnership to End Childhood Hunger (MT-PECH) is a group of diverse representatives from public and private food programs, agriculture, faith groups, businesses, foundations, academic and medical representatives that work together to work towards ending child hunger in the state.

    Looks like a mish-mash of both.

    Here is their brochure.

    Currently, one in five Montana children struggles with hunger.
    Currently, over 89,000 youth are at risk for hunger

    "at risk"

    Please!

  • C. Anacreon||

    More like 'at risk' for morbid obesity

  • Sevo||

    Francisco d'Anconia|5.28.16 @ 1:08PM|#
    "It's not just government, either. There are many not for profit private organizations that do the same thing."

    In SF, the difference is the number of hands through which taxpayer money passes; "non-profit" = "gov't-funded" with some additional fund raising on the side.

  • Ted S.||

    and suddenly you're some evil villian who wants little children to die from the plague.

    No; I only want government-sector workers to die from the plague.

  • Gene||

    Matt and Nick rocked it on Smirkonish just now.

  • Hyperion||

    What's a smirkonish?

  • PapayaSF||

    Michael Smerconish.

  • C. Anacreon||

    It's Yiddish for a snarky grin.

    Example: "What is it with this smirkonish on your face, you have? You are meshuggah."

  • Robert||

    It's smirk on a knish. That can happen if it hits a sharp surface.

  • Jackand Ace||

    The most important policy in regard to food is to address a climate that is already changing, as it will negatively impact food production. Here is just one example from science:

    "Without adaptation (to climate change), losses in aggregate production are expected for wheat, rice and maize in both temperate and tropical regions by 2 °C of local warming."

    And we currently are heading to more than 2 degrees.

  • Jackand Ace||

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Good. Good. *rubs hands together slowly*

  • Sevo||

    Ya know, it's almost like Malthus never died. One more dim-bulb prediction about 'running out of food!'

  • Hyperion||

    Luddite. Now Jackass Ace must go and get his pitchfork to do battle against evil tractor.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|5.28.16 @ 9:57AM|#
    "The most important policy in regard to food is to address a climate that is already changing, as it will negatively impact food production. Here is just one example from science:
    "Without adaptation (to climate change), losses in aggregate production are expected for wheat, rice and maize in both temperate and tropical regions by 2 °C of local warming."

    Good morning, shitbag. Glad to see your on board with letting the market adapt to whatever change actually happens. But you should stop spouting the lies promoted by the castrophists; they have yet to be right about one damn thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't understand. Burning fossil fuels isn't natural. So it must be having an effect on the climate. The climate is changing, so the burning of fossil fuels must be the cause. See?

    Circular logic for the win!

  • Hyperion||

    Climate never changed before now!

  • Adans smith||

    Idiot,models can't predict the future.I'll take a warmer 'climate' over the mini ice age that ended in the late 1800's.

  • Hyperion||

    Lost on these dimwits is the fact that scientists, the real ones, not the 97% of grant seeking charlatans, are predicting that in about 2 decades we're going to hit another solar minimum similar to the one that caused the mini ice age back in the 1800s. This a far, far more serious concern than .001 C of warming over the next century. That miniscule amount of warming will be completely erased and temperatures will drop significantly. Is anyone talking about this? No, there's no funding available for that. The big bucks are in cult like scare mongering.

    BTW, we've reached a record low hurricanes in the USA since records have been kept. Where are the killer storms? Another failed prediction.

  • C. Anacreon||

    But what about Superstorm Sandy?
    Everyone on the Today Show agreed that was absolute proof of Global Warning.

  • Sevo||

    "Everyone on the Today Show agreed that was absolute proof of Global Warning."

    And I'm sure they are about to demand DNA warnings of food labels!

  • Hyperion||

    a climate that is already changing

    The irony of that is apparently very lost to troll.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And I might add, Baylen, you neglect to mention one of the more significant areas of food production, the oceans. With climbing temperatures and added CO2, the oceans are becoming more acidic, effecting not only shellfish, but other important fish stocks.

    A good example is in New England and the mid-Atlantic. Lobster stock, once thriving off Long Island is nearly gone. And now the once thriving cod industry in New England is devastated.

    "Several studies have documented fish populations changing in response to long-term warming. Over the past decade, sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine increased" faster than 99% of the global ocean. The warming...led to reduced recruitment and increased mortality in the region’s Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stock. Recovery of this fishery depends on sound management, but the size of the stock depends on future temperature conditions. The experience in the Gulf of Maine highlights the need to incorporate environmental factors into resource management."

  • Jackand Ace||

  • Sevo||

    Yep, one more low-watt Malthus wanna-be.

  • PapayaSF||

    I believe that's been caused by overfishing, not global warming.

  • Jackand Ace||

    It's that as well. But that was addressed years ago and the stock continues to decline.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|5.28.16 @ 12:40PM|#
    "It's that as well. But that was addressed years ago and the stock continues to decline."

    Yes, of course it was 'addressed', sort of like your stupidiy was 'addressed' during your 'education'.

  • Sevo||

    Don't you get tired of posting crap that comes true in the most trivial manner if at all?
    I mean, the "HUGE STORM!" that petered out the minute it hit land? Those "FRACKING CAUSES EARTHQAUKES!" claims that turn out to be micro-quakes similar to what you get when a bus rolls by?
    All the predictions of "X-INCREASE IN TEMPS!" and "SEA LEVEL RISES" that turn out to be a tenth or maybe a quarter of what was predicted?
    All this just to prove your lefty wet dreams are not supported by any facts at all?

  • Robert||

    Bachelor's, master's, doctorate?

  • Hyperion||

    EBT card?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Sub Sailor's Case Draws Comparisons to Hillary

    A Navy sailor entered a guilty plea Friday in a classified information mishandling case that critics charge illustrates a double standard between the treatment of low-ranking government employees and top officials like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus.
  • Sevo||

    “I just don’t think it’s fair,” said Gene Pitcher, a retired Navy sailor who served with Saucier aboard the Alexandria. “In reality, what she did is so much worse than what Kris did. ... I think it’s just a blatant double standard.”
    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/.....z49xZfky00

    Yep, she might just as well printed the things out and mailed them to every government on earth. I'll bet you some lower-level intel guy in Sierra Leone has copies of her stuff.

  • Hyperion||

    She could be out on the Whitehouse lawn burning every government record ever created and cackling like a mad hen, and the dimwit voters would cheer her on. I've had a couple of them tell me that the email server scandal is funny, because rethuglicans, durrr. Talk about stooges.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well this is supposed to be the most transparent administration evah.

  • Rich||

    Clinton has said none of the information on her server was marked classified at the time.

    The sailor should simply point out that none of his photographs was marked classified, DUH!

  • Brochettaward||

    Hasn't the marked classified thing been debunked already? In multiple ways? As in, there was an audit that found a number were classified when sent, and classified material is classified based on content...not a label?

    And then the Politico article claims that military personnel are briefed on this stuff. Well, no shit. So is Hillary when she takes over as Secretary of State. And her underlings. It's the first thing that happens. Yet there's the Secretary of State...claiming ignorance of the law as an excuse.

    And they ignore the numerous laws that don't require intent at all.

    The spin is incredible.

  • C. Anacreon||

    The spin I keep seeing in the newspaper and letter-to-the-editors is "Colin Powell used a private email account too!"

    As if using a private server, over which you had all control of the contents, and did not inform authorities about regarding security, was the equivalent of having colin.powell@gmail.com.

    And as if the IT world and federal regulations were unchanged between 2004 and 2012.

    But people hear what they want to hear, and it's only a 'Phake Skandall!' anyway.

  • Sevo||

    "And as if the IT world and federal regulations were unchanged between 2004 and 2012."

    Precisely.
    Show me where CP broke any laws by doing so, and then you might have equivalence. Until then, you're arguing that George Washington was equally guilty by not hiding the movement of his quill pen.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    While I haven't chased it down to prove it, I believe Hillary likely voted for the law that required government agencies to archive their email when she was a senator. It happened about that time-frame.

  • Sevo||

    Not good news:

    "SACRAMENTO -- Bills that would eliminate the statute of limitations on sex crimes [...] cleared key committee votes Friday,"
    http://www.mercurynews.com/cal.....-clear-key

    I'm sure "sex crimes" will be very tightly defined, right?

  • Ted S.||

    Brainwashing children into believing they were sexually assaulted is *such* a good idea....

  • Hyperion||

    Look, the CA prison systems is about to experience a huge boom. Why don't you like jobs creation?

  • Sevo||

    "The CCPOA [California Correctional Peace Officers Association] is deeply involved in a variety of political activities. Most spending is done through political action committees.[citation needed] Although its membership is relatively small, representing only about one tenth the membership of the California Teachers Association, CCPOA political activity routinely exceeds that of all other labor unions in California. The union spends heavily on influencing political campaigns, and on lobbying legislators and other government officials. CCPOA also hires public relations firms and political polling firms."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/

    Surprise, surprise! They are opposed to weed-legalization!
    Hey, those dopers are not a threat.

  • Robert||

    Crimes involving somebody of sex as perpetrator or victim, of course. Or is that gender?

  • sarcasmic||

    Congress delegated to the USDA a power it did not have: to require that all meat sold commercially in this country—even meat that is (or could be, were it not for the law) raised, slaughtered, processed, and sold in just one state—be slaughtered and processed at a USDA-inspected facility or equivalent state facility. The result? Massive industry consolidation, a depressed supply of locally raised beef (at a time of rising demand), costly food recalls, and dangerous lapses in food-safety oversight.

    I fail to see a problem with this.

    /politically-connected slaughterhouse owner

  • sarcasmic||

    In order for craft distilling to truly take flight in this country, the federal government should lift the ban on making liquor at home.

    That would be nice. I make my own beer and wine, and have considered distilling, but then I thought about what might happen. Say I set up a still in a shed. Then it has a slight leak, which results in ethanol fumes igniting, which blows up the shed. The fire department comes, finds the still, and calls the cops. The cops come and call the feds. The feds steal my house and put me in prison. Now my family is homeless.

    No. I'd rather wait until it is legal.

  • ||

    As long as you keep some denaturing chemicals on hand you'll have a good defense. It is perfectly legal to distill ethanol from any source as long as it is immediately rendered poisonous to any human who consumes it.

  • Robert||

    The only way they, or your state, will lift the ban on home distilling of liquor is if they both abolish their respective taxes. They don't want to have to be in the position of inspecting everyone's home to audit any liquor they might have made. The state & federal laws are exactly that way, because you can distill, you just need an address to do it in that's not a domicile nor has an entrance to one.

  • Robert||

    Either that, or abolish all expect'n of privacy in a home. They then can enter anyone's every room any time, because there might be untaxed booze being made there.

  • sarcasmic||

    I did some research into what it would take to legally own a still, and it turns out you can do it with a license. Of course part of getting that license means waiving the 4A and allowing government agents to thoroughly search your property at any time for no reason.

  • Robert||

    Exactly, but only for the premises where you make the liquor, not your home. You could rent a place for a short time to do it in, but it's going to have to be at least long enough for the state to license the premises 1st. That is, you have to set up & then wait for them. But you can at least schedule it; it's not as if you have to go there every day.

  • Robert||

    it could be space in a lab. It could be a cubicle in an industrial suite or a machine shop.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    #1 sounds all very swell and righteous, but the entire farming sector is built around those subsidies. Yank them, and the best you can hope for is scattershot bankruptcies. Major economic turmoil would be a real possibility. So it's probably just as well that the subsidies, if they ever do get killed, will go slowly, one by one.

  • Sevo||

    So, "Market Failure!"?
    There is a failure here, but it's not the market.

  • Adans smith||

    Bullshit.There is so much waste involved in supported crops and the true is,others could fill the void.Other businesses have to deal with the market with out Uncle Sugar handing them cash.Cotton,corn,sugar can deal with it.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Look at the bullshit caused by the ethanol subsudies. Then multiply that by a hundred, if not a thousand. I can't think of any reason why dropping a subsudy shouldn't cause just as much trouble as imposing one.

    Should the subsudies have been enacted in the first place? No. That doesn't excuse pulling the whole structure down at once, like Sampson in the Temple. That roof might fall on US.

    Just because the Statist Buttinskis live their whole freaking lives being carelss of unitended consequences doesn't mean swe should.

  • Sevo||

    "Should the subsudies have been enacted in the first place? No. That doesn't excuse pulling the whole structure down at once, like Sampson in the Temple. That roof might fall on US."

    Bullshit.
    Read below, and read some history about what happens when a government 'gradually' de-regs.
    You don't know what you're talking about.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Meh.

    The government's inability to follow through doesn't make phasing out entitlements the wrong move.

    Government simply opposes losing votes they've bought. They don't want to turn it off quickly OR gradually.

  • Sevo||

    Francisco d'Anconia|5.28.16 @ 7:35PM|#
    "Meh.
    The government's inability to follow through doesn't make phasing out entitlements the wrong move."

    Got one counter example to mine below?

  • Sevo||

    Still waiting....

  • Robert||

    Plant fibers, grain, fruit, nuts, milk, sugars, & red meat, yes, lots of subsidies, controls, tariffs, carteliz'n. But not most vegetables, poutry, or fish farming.

    In the 1990s there was a statute that was counting down to the elimination of most of the major subsidies—Freedom to Farm. But they chickened out & re-enacted them all the year they were going to disappear.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I'd be amenable to phasing them out. IMHO that's the only realistic way to fix major government abominations. Think Social Security... Cutting shit off would certainly cause a slew of unintended consequences that would support the opposition's argument that they were necessary.

    Do it slowly, giving the market time to take up the slack.

  • Robert||

    I'd be amenable to phasing them out too, but in the 1990s they were ostensibly being phased out, & the rubber band snapped back.

  • Sevo||

    "Cutting shit off would certainly cause a slew of unintended consequences that would support the opposition's argument that they were necessary.
    Do it slowly, giving the market time to take up the slack."

    Do you remember CA's 'deregulation' of the energy market? Done slowly to allow the market to 'take up the slack'.
    Well, the 'de-reg' left the risk on the taxpayer/customer while the supply side was given a wonderful opportunity to game the supply costs; see Enron.
    Guess what got blamed for the inevitable brown-outs...
    You really want the government to 'control' any sort of 'phasing out'? Where do you think the government's interest lies? Remember any time there are budget cuts, the parks, FDs and street-cleaning seem the lowest priorities and the first to get cut.

  • kevrob||

    There's a name for that last: Washington Monument Syndrome , aka the "Firemen First" principle. The tax addicts always highlight cuts to the most popular services in order to pressure any supporters of making real economies cave. - Kevin R

  • Sevo||

    Thank you. I was sure this had been noted, but didn't know it had been named.
    Hey, Frank and CSP! See this?

  • Rhywun||

    [abolish policies] that favor uniform foods over irregularly shaped ones

    Hands off my elegantly-curved banana.

  • Rich||

    *** invests in sauce futures ***

    Also, elegantly-curved banana is a nice album name.

  • sarcasmic||

    Also, elegantly-curved banana is a nice album penis name.

  • Ted S.||

    Maybe for your tiny member....

  • sarcasmic||

    My wife likes my tiny member. What else matters?

  • kevrob||

    Acc to Snopes* , the Cavendish banana, the one we actually eat, is threatened by disease. - Kevin R

    * http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/bananas.asp

  • Sevo||

    See Malthus references, many places. Also 'climate change' modeled predictions.

  • Notorious UGCC||

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Whose dream?

  • Ted S.||

    So they nominate Gary Johnson and somebody other than Weld for VP.

  • Hyperion||

    Is that allowed?

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Of course. Johnson may not like it, but all he could do then is abdicate the nomination.

  • Agammamon||

    Yeah - in the LP, the voters determine who the VP will be, not the candidate, though the candidate can make his preferences known.

    We could end up with a McAfee/Coley ticket.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Question:

    Do they vote for Pres/VP at the same time or will they know who has won the Pres nomination before voting for VP?

  • Robert||

    It's the next day.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    thx

  • Robert||

    Not only in the LP, but all the parties. Because of how the delegates are now assigned, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump fails to get his preferred running mate; he may not even state one.

    In the past, the president was nominated in the major parties by his own people, so of course they were going to nominate his choice for VP too—usually. (it was close with the Democrats once in the 1940s.) But now the Republicans have many states where the delegates are pledged to a candidate on the 1st ballot by the state party, from a slate that may have had no contact w the candidate's campaign.

  • Hyperion||

    Rubio already said he won't take it, and Christie would be a death sentence for Trump, surely he's not that stupid.

  • Robert||

    Andre Marrou started campaigning for the VP nomination before anybody in LP started campaigning for the prez nomination for 1988. As a result he had a huge advantage, and it was basically no contest for the VP nom at that convention. It was part of his strategy to get the prez nomination for 1992, which he also won. Jim Lewis had been hoping his VP candidacy in 1984 would stand him in good stead for the prez nomination in a subsequent election, but didn't run vs. Ron Paul in 1988, and Marrou edged Lewis out in 1992.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I'd support that. Not sure how Gary will take it, but it's within the rules and Weld isn't libertarian enough to be the man.

  • AlmightyJB||

    So get rid of the FDA, USDA, DEA, and the BATF. I'm on board.

  • Libertarian||

    Via the always interesting Futility Closet:

    http://www.futilitycloset.com/.....ort-takes/

    Artist Jason Shulman has an interesting exhibit this month at London’s Cob Gallery: Photographs of Films condenses the entirety of a given film into a single exposure.

    “There are roughly 130,000 frames in a 90-minute film, and every frame of each film is recorded in these photographs,” Shulman says. “You could take all these frames and shuffle them like a deck of cards, and no matter the shuffle, you would end up with the same image I have arrived at. Each of these photographs is the genetic code of a film — its visual DNA.”

  • PapayaSF||

    Nice!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I hope the IP owners nail his ass to the wall!

  • Hyperion||

    The trolls are out in force today. Cause and effect. People who never have anything to do because no other humans can tolerate their presence have more time that normal people.

  • Jerryskids||

    And the ever-popular "see something, say something, go to jail for seeing something, saying something" government in action.

    A FBI agent told Shafer the raid stemmed from an incident in February, when Shafer discovered a file transfer protocol server operated by Eaglesoft, a provider of dental practice management software. The FTP server reportedly stored patient data in a way that made it easily accessible to anyone. Shafer contacted DataBreaches.net and asked for help privately notifying the software maker, and once the patient data was secured, the breach notification site published this disclosure. In a blog post of his own, Shafer later discussed the FTP lapse and a separate Eaglesoft vulnerability involving hard-coded database credentials.

    The FBI agent reportedly told Shafer that Patterson Dental, a parent company of Eaglesoft, was claiming Shafer had exceeded authorized access when viewing the publicly available data.

  • R C Dean||

    And here I thought "publicly available data" meant you didn't need authorization to access it.

  • Jerryskids||

    I don't know how it all panned out because they just kept trying over and over and over to get some really horrible legislation passed giving Washington control of the internet and I don't know which laws finally passed, but under some rules it would technically be illegal to use a pseudonym like "Jerryskids" or give somebody your password or let somebody look over your shoulder at a website or otherwise violate any terms of use. Of course, it's nonsense to think the feds would ever go after somebody for saying something offensive on a discussion board where they've clicked on the agreement to keep comments civil just because, technically, they could. I'm sure the terms on that website included some agreement to only use the data in an "authorized" manner and gathering information for reporting security flaws is not an authorized manner.

  • Ted S.||

    +1 Lori Drew

  • AlmightyJB||

    Think I will have to try some Lionfish

    http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/2.....dBuzz_pool

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    "If we can't beat them, why not eat them?"

    That's how I feel about cows.

  • Libertarian||

    Pssst. I don't think we're allowed to talk about women like that anymore.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    If they had the chance, they'd eat you and everybody you care about.

  • lap83||

    So not true, men are too gamey

  • Ted S.||

    Does that include beta males?

  • lap83||

    Hmm, I bet they'd be all right in gluten-free tacos

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I'm just here to learn how to cure Menopause Disease.

  • SusanM||

    OT: Your tax dollars at work on the No Homo Frontier

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/.....e-colonies

    Earlier today, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, put a new spin on his “gay island” story, arguing on the House floor that the push for LGBT rights is wrong because we would never choose to send gay couples or gay animals into space to start a new colony like in the Matt Damon movie “The Martian.”
  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I wouldn't send a post-menopausal woman into a space colony. Therefore, they shouldn't have rights either.

  • Rhywun||

    And here I thought technology had already solved this.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Think again. Despite what the liberal media has told you, we're nowhere near the point technologically to colonize Mars.

  • lap83||

    In fairness, if he had said the opposite we'd probably hear "Republican wants to get rid of gay people by sending them into outerspace!"

  • Rhywun||

    Perhaps we could rename Mars - "Liberia" has a nice ring to it.

  • Ted S.||

    Earlier today, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, put a new spin on his “gay island” story,

    Now it's going to tip over from too much fabulous.

  • Libertarian||

    "41 Secret Service agents disciplined after leaking GOP congressman’s personnel file"

    Golly, "discipline" ain't what it used to be!

    "Johnson said in a statement that he was “appalled by the episode” as he announced that 41 agents will receive REPRIMANDS, suspensions without pay or a lesser punishment that SUSPENDS DISCIPLINE as long as the employee doesn’t get in more trouble."

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/26/.....-chaffetz/

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I remember the time I put naked photos of the boss's wife in the break room. I had to take involuntary leave for *two weeks,* and they put a frowny-face in my file.

    /sarc

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Oh, well, boys (or girls as the case may be) will be boys)."

  • Notorious UGCC||

  • Libertarian||

    Thanks. Was looking for something like this.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Thank you

  • sarcasmic||

    90 degrees outside. I heart air conditioning.

  • Rhywun||

    Just put mine in the window.

  • Viral Stories||

    How to Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet

    Sugar can lead to many diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. So it’s definitely important to watch what you eat when it comes to sugar

  • Michael Christopher||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    http://www.realcash44.com

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online