How the Government Makes You Fat
by Alex Yackery
The United States Government wants you to be fat; or at least their current agricultural policy would dictate so. Through a multitude of subsidies, protectionist tariffs, and misguided nutritional policy the USDA has promoted obesity, degenerative disease, damaged the environment, and putrefied the nation’s supply of animal protein.
Federally funded agricultural subsidies date back to 1862 with the Morrill Act establishing land-grant colleges, but modern programs began popping up around the 1930’s. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 forever changed the face of American agriculture through vigorous regulation including price supports, production controls, crop insurance, and limited competition via import barriers.
Subsidy programs have only expanded since; new crops have been added to subsidy rolls, additional disaster relief programs have been enacted, revenue protection locks in high crop prices, in addition to taxpayer financed crop insurance, marketing support, research, statistical data collection, and guaranteed loans. The USDA spent close to $150 billion in 2011, distributing roughly $27 billion in cash subsidies per year to growers of five crops: wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.