That's bad!

<br /><a href="http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11293923">Farm subsidies | The right time to chop | Economist.com</a><br /><br />2WHO says farmers are inflexible? In rich countries, they have long
justified farm hand-outs by pointing to low world prices for food
(never mind that low prices were partly caused by their own subsidised
overproduction). Without public cash, they said, farmers would desert
the land, leaving meadows to brambly ruin. Now that the world is
running short of food, the farm lobby has deftly changed tack. Prices
for many crops are at record highs, the new line goes, and rich
countries need to protect their farmers in order to ensure that their
people get fed."<br /><br />This is the first chapter from an article in the recent issue of the Economist, which accuses Euroepean Union countries to use the crisis in rising food prices to enforce protectionism with the usual protectionist leaders France and Germany. In discussions colleagues from the EU always pretends that the CAP with its cost of 55 billion € is not damaging the agriculture of developing countries, but is only protecting Europes Agriculture. But as a matter of fact a 23% import tariff on sugar is damaging whom?<br /><br />55 Billion €/year is the same sum the European Union spends for the entire life cycle of the 7th framework program for the European Research! By cutting the unproductive CAP expenditures by half expenditure for research could be triplicated. Most probably also agriculture would benefit more from that then from the subsidies that anyway only keep structures alive which are out dated.<br /><br />Rising prices for food a an actual thread in poor countries, but they are also a chance to attract investment into agriculture, market investment.<br /><br />I, at least, agree with the Economist, when they say in the last chapter of this article:<br /> "Defenders of the <span class="scaps">CAP</span> and other rich-country
farm policies cannot have it both ways. They cannot demand more money
when prices are low, and then ask for extra protection when they rise.
High food prices further undermine their already rotten arguments for
support, and offer a golden opportunity to dismantle rich-country farm
protection. Governments would be mad as a British cow not to take it."

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