Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cotton Subsidies.

If you haven’t read Bad Nick's blog about “Cotton For Brains”, here is part of it:

"I find it amazing that while people are complaining about programs that they say will waste tax dollars on health care for American citizens, they are oblivious to the fact that our government is paying subsidies to the tune of $3 billion dollars a year to less than 20,000 cotton farmers……

"That really sounds dumb, right? But how do you feel about the fact that, because we pay American planters to grow cotton nobody needs, we then pay Brazilian cotton farmers over $147 million dollars a year of your tax dollars to compensate them for the unfair advantage that we give to our farmers?  As an item in Time magazine says, “If you’re perplexed, here’s the short explanation: We’re shoveling our taxpayer dollars to Brazilian farmers to make sure we can keep shoveling our taxpayer dollars to American farmers…. Basically, we’re paying off foreigners to let us maintain our ludicrous status quo.”"



Brazil slaps trade sanctions on US over cotton dispute

US cotton farmer harvesting

"The WTO has ruled that subsidies to US cotton producers are discriminatory.

The Brazilian government has announced trade sanctions against a variety of American goods in retaliation for illegal US subsidies to cotton farmers.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) approved the sanctions in a rare move.

Brazil published a list of 100 US goods that would be subject to import tariffs in 30 days, unless the two governments reached a last-minute accord. "

More at:


Time Magazine says:

Visions of America / Joe Sohm / Digital Vision / Getty Images


Why the U.S. Is Also Giving Brazilians Farm Subsidies:


"What could be more outrageous than the hefty subsidies the U.S. government lavishes on rich American cotton farmers?

How about the hefty subsidies the U.S. government is about to start lavishing on rich Brazilian cotton farmers? (See the top 10 green ideas of 2009.)

If that sounds implausible or insane, well, welcome to U.S. agricultural policy, where the implausible and the insane are the routine. Our perplexing $147.3 million–a-year handout to Brazilian agribusiness, part of a last-minute deal to head off an arcane trade dispute, barely even qualified as news; on Tuesday, April 6."

Read more:,8599,1978963,00.html#ixzz0tmQzqWmN



Why You're Bribing Brazilian Farmers


"The United States subsidizes the country's farmers, to the tune of $250 billion since 1995. That is not change. It has been a fact of life since the 1930s.

More specifically, the United States subsidizes its cotton farmers, to the tune of $3.5 billion a year since 2000 (a figure equivalent to five-sixths of the value of U.S. cotton production over that time, according to the Congressional Research Service). Cotton subsidies, too, have been a fact of life since the 1930s.

As of now, however, the United States also subsidizes Brazilian cotton farmers. This is something new.:

More at:


For the United States, not having subsidies at all would have been best; or, as a second best, phasing them out as the U.S. General Accountability Office recommended fifteen years ago.


What is the world coming to today?

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