Sunday, October 28, 2007

An opposing view

In this week's Outpost, T.J. Gilles takes a contrarian view on the closing of a half-dozen Farm Services Agency offices in Montana.

I can't say that I'm knowledgeable enough to endorse T.J.'s position, but I do find it a bit refreshing to see someone occasionally challenge the idea that whatever farmers have, they should keep in perpetuity. No lobby, not even the gun lobby, is so powerful as agricultural interests, and politicians line up willingly to oppose every perceived threat to farmers. As T.J. suggests, maybe it shouldn't be that simple.


Anonymous said...

I grew up on a farm, so I guess I have some standing to make this statement. If you ask farmers/ranchers, they will tell you that they are part and parcel of the free enterprise. It makes me smile. I can't think of any other area of small business that gets so many subsidies and government payments. But just think of taking away any of these "benefits" and they immediately scream. Those in the Montana legislature are among the tightest when it comes to giving a poverty level person a break.

Anonymous said...

We are in the farming business. We use the FSA to the extent that they are useful. Whether they have anything to offer anyone involved in the production end of the business, the folks in the office go right along drawing good salaries and enjoying generous benefits. We would have no problem with the closing of some of the offices if it meant that there would really be a savings to the USDA. Just think, they could use the savings for more food stamps thus helping the poverty level people some more.