In an op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post, Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States, founder of the eponymous Carter Foundation, and all-around big dink, sensibly criticizes America's current farm subsidies:
Tragically, in its current form this legislation does not fulfill its original purposes but instead encourages excess production while channeling enormous government payments to the biggest producers. This product of powerful lobbyists now punishes small-scale farmers in the United States and is devastating to families in many of the world's least affluent countries.
Absolutely, Jimmy! So we should get rid of the lot of 'em! Right?
Cotton production costs 73 cents per pound in the United States and only 21 cents per pound in West Africa, so American farmers do need protection in the international marketplace.
The fact that it costs American farmers 73 cents per pound of cotton produced compared to only 21 cents per pound in West Africa doesn't indicate American farmers need protection--it indicates that American farmers need to either find a way to make their cotton more valuable, find another crop to grow, or find another job.
In the case of the third, a career in politics wouldn't seem a bad bet--right, Jimmy?