Saturday, March 22, 2008

Paying to Starve the Poor

I've regarded biofuel subsidies as malignant and evil for months, perhaps even a year. Biofuel producers aren't really capable of making a profit, unless they're given half or more of the money they use to buy their corn, and that money is taken from the public treasury. Because it's not their money, they're willing to bid the prices for these things way up. Not only was this driving up the price of tortillas, cornbread, and dog food, but also eggs and dairy products, and to a lesser extent beef and chicken, because those farmers depend on corn to feed their livestock.

But I had no idea, until I read this column by David Warren (whose commentary I highly recommend), just how much misery and evil we were creating. We can look at the food riots in Egypt, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Mexico, and food rationing in Pakistan and China, and proudly proclaim, "This is our tax dollars at work."

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