Monday, April 07, 2008

Rent-seeking bloodsuckers

As some of my friends and occassional dinner companions have found out, I don't have the world's most positive view of farmers. Generally, it's a bit of a show, but I do think the evidence is more or less clear that consumers -- especially the poor -- are not well-served by supply management and by the readiness of our politicians to give to farmers subsidies which they do not give to other industries. So, the argument is a bit of put-on because I like being contrarian, and a bit true, because I think the facts are with me. All of that aside, you can be sure I will pull out this article the next time the debate comes up.

It takes no foresight to guess that tobacco demand is going to continue to decline. And it takes no small amount of gumption to complain that "high taxation and anti-smoking policies have had the effect of expropriating their livelihood without compensation." No, all it takes is some incredible romantic sense that one is entitled to compensation because they work in a field as opposed to an office. Never has the term rent-seeking bloodsuckers come so easily to mind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting view...fundamental philosophical issues with a supply management system was one of the major reasons I left the Dairy Farmers of Canada: some of the Policy conventions I attended when I worked there were pretty far removed from reality....

(PS, the link is not working, or maybe it is because I am not a subscriber.)