Tuesday, February 08, 2011
NAFTA's unintended consequences
From YahooNews -- RENO, Nev. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering Nevada asparagus producers financial compensation for marketing losses resulting from imports during the 2004 through 2007 crop years.
Koble says the Asparagus Revenue Market Loss Assistance Payment Program aims to help commercial producers whose livelihoods were affected when asparagus imports dramatically increased during those years.
This is what competition is all about. Winners and losers. Why should American asparagus farmers be exempt from the tribulations of competition? Obviously because they are in Harry Reid's state, but other than that I mean?
Why should the American taxpayer be on the hook for bailing out farmers who couldn't compete, for whatever reason, in the cut-throat asparagus market? The free market is supposed to work like this: Asparagus farmers, including those in Mexico thanks to NAFTA, go out of business and the resulting shortage of asparagus drives up the price. Other farmers jump into the asparagus game to reap the benefits of the higher prices. The increased supply drives prices back down to an equilibrium. Everybody, farmers and consumers, are happy. And no taxpayers had to fork over parts of their paychecks to keep incompetent farmers idle.
Any deviation from that model of free-market principles in which the government props up the losers, skews the entire system and abandons the capitalist foundation upon which the American economy was supposed to be based.