Michael Pollan Rebuttal: Four Proofs Against Pollan's Corn "Subsidy" Argument
By Brad Wilson at Oct 01, 2010
Part 1 of the video can be found: CLICK HERE: or:
Part 2 of the video can be found CLICK HERE: OR:
(I've recently fixed, updated these links. B.W. 1/14/13)
I present four proofs in rebuttal of Michael Pollan's farm subsidy argument.
IN THE VIDEO, PART 1:
1. Economically, low farm prices are caused by a lack of price responsiveness on both supply and demand sides, not by subsidies.
2. Farm prices went down for years, when there were NO subsidies, so there is zero correlation between commodity subsidies and the lowering of farm prices for those years. Instead we find that price floors were lowered, and prices followed them right down. Subsidies came after the fact to quiet down (and blame) angry farmers. The evidence of history supports me, not Pollan.
IN THE VIDEO, PART 2:
3. Econometric studies support me and contradict Pollan. Five studies cited by Timothy Wise, at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, found very small impacts of subsidy elimination on the prices of these commodities (ie. "program crops"), well under 5% and sometimes below zero. This contrasts with the much larger percentages of export dumping (below cost, below zero, farm exports), and these percentages do not cover the full range up to a fair trade, living wage price.
4. Real world evidence from subsidy elimination in other countries also supports me, not Pollan. In three countries discussed by Daryll E. Ray at APAC (University of Tennessee), subsidy elimination did not fix the problem of oversupply, which leads to low prices.