Opposing government subsidies to one’s own group is a good way to make enemies. Few have the guts or principles to do so. So it is worth pausing to salute farmer Ed Wiederstein:
. . . Ed Wiederstein of Audubon, Iowa, said direct payments reduce motivation for farmers to be self-sufficient and often give money to people who don’t need it.
“Do I deserve money from the government to, supposedly, support me any more than the Ace Hardware man in downtown Audubon, or the feed store, the local newspaper, the local flower shop or the funeral home?” Wiederstein said. “Is what they do really any less important than what I do?
“There are a lot of farmers with a million-dollar net worth receiving thousands of dollars of support. Somehow, that picture just doesn’t look right.”
Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., called Wiederstein an “outside thinker.”
Peterson told Wiederstein, “If you were up in western Minnesota, you might run into some trouble right now.”
A number of people said there should be less reliance on price guarantees and more on entrepreneurship and the creativity of American farm families.
For the full story, see:
“Farm subsidies, imports debated at Ag Committee meeting.” Omaha World-Herald (Monday, March 6, 2006): 8B.