27 April 2008

Pot, Meet Kettle

At the end of the latest Washington Post fear-piece on the global food crisis (who knew that it'd been happening since, oh, a few months ago, when we barely noticed it because we still cared about the Democratic nomination contest?) the regular neoliberal platitudes about oh-this-wouldn't-have-been-a-problem-had-the-market-mechanism-been-allowed-to-work are supplemented by an equally predictable jab at those socialist Europeans (and especially the French!):

Perhaps more than any other sector, nations have a visceral desire to protect their farmers, and thusly, their food supply...

Consider, for instance, the French.

The European Union doles out about $41 billion a year in agriculture subsidies, with France getting the biggest share, about $8.2 billion. The 27-nation bloc also has set a target for biofuels to supply 10 percent of transportation fuel needs by 2020 to combat global warming.

The French, whose farmers over the years have become addicted to generous government handouts, argue that agriculture subsidies must be continued and even increased in order to encourage more food production, especially with looming shortages.
All this would feel far less disingenuous coming from, say, the mainstream media of a country that doesn't heavily subsidize its agribusinesses and absurdly promote the production of biofuels. Like, maybe, Iceland?

1 comment:

simon said...

I feel I could become addicted to generous government handouts