09 July 2009

"This product has been subsidized by the U.S. Government at taxpayer expense."

A New Regulation I Can Support | Sallie James | Cato @ Liberty

James Gibney, a reporter from the Atlantic, called me last week to ask some questions about dairy supports. He was preparing a blog post to propose a new labelling idea that might help break the frustrating stranglehold that the farm lobby has over U.S. agricultural policy. Here’s James’ idea:

To wit, every product whose ingredients benefit from a subsidy should include the following language on the label:
“This product has been subsidized by the U.S. government at taxpayer expense. For more information, please visit usda.gov.”
And every product that benefits from tariff protection should have the following language on the label:
“This product is protected from foreign competition by U.S. import tariffs. Its price is higher as a result. For more information, please visit usitc.gov.”
They should have one of those graphic labels that they put on pill bottles and cigarette packs these days. I propose an icon of a man holding a pitchfork in one hand and a bag with a dollar sign on it in the other.

And why stop at food? How about a subsidy declaration on tickets for mass transit or to events at municipally-financed stadiums?

(Via Coyote Blog)

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