Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

Food Prices and Drought

July 12, 1988

I pity the poor farmer who is losing his crop in the dry Midwest. I hear though that Congress is coming to the rescue. After all, the farmer who is planting his crops and loses them to the drought ought to be reimbursed for his losses. It would be unfair not to receive some help, because there are already many farmers who are getting paid for not planting their crops.

But what about the poor consumer? The loss of the farmer's crops means scarcity, and higher prices for the consumer. Who gets the profits from these higher prices? Certainly not the farmer! The middlemen and the speculators, that's who. When our representatives pass legislation to help the farmer, they should also look at setting price controls on the scarce commodities.

If the farmers get subsidized for their losses, then why should the consumer have to pay higher prices? The farmers get their money back, but the middlemen get windfall profits.

There is really no scarcity here, only "politics of scarcity." The media contributes to this too. The TV and press love to jump on a "crisis" and milk it for all it's worth. They show pictures of dried up crops and the farmers doing a rain dance. Then the politicians jump into the picture, always eager to show that they care about the poor farmer (and their votes).

Has anyone paid any attention to the real scarcity? The scarcity of cash for all the poor and homeless people who have to pay these higher prices for commodities brought on by the mass hysteria of the press and the politicians. The speculators thrive on all this. They're the ones who profit by everyone else's misery. I think we need to take a closer look at that than the dried up crops in the field.

RICHARD H. SMITH

Burbank

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|