From: email@example.com(Steven B. Harris)
Subject: Re: WHO a Fraud...?
Date: 22 Jan 1998 06:16:16 GMT
In <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com writes:
>And with drugs, our government is paying for them (in the US so far. I do
>not know about payment programs in the Third World but I would be quite
>surprised if plans aren't in the works). In addition, US pharmaceutical
>companies get a pretty federal penny to promote their wares overseas.
>Just who is going to foot the bill for the actual exportation I don't
>know, but certainly the US is totally behind the effort to get them
>And regarding the government paying for them and doing the exporting, the
>situation is no different than any of the other systems of federal
>subsidy, from feds paying to make bombs, then lending foreign countries
>money to buy them from us, to the feds subsidizing tobacco and promoting
>them around the globe.
>Were the feds to do the same for food/farmers it would not be out of the
>ordinary, and in fact it would be a rare instance of the fed subsidizing
>a process that actually produces an overall good.
I don't know how to break this to you, Greg, but the USDA spends
more money every year, some of it on just that kind of thing, than the
dollar value of all the crops in the fields (around 80 billion a year
these days). Who do you think pays for "Eggs-- give em a break" and
"Got Milk?" and "Pork-- the other white meat" and "Beef-- it's what's
for dinner." Ultimately the half billion a year that goes for those
slogans comes out of a kind of tax which various USDA-controlled boards
(National Pork Board, National Egg Board, National Dairy Promotion and
Research Board, Cattleman's Beef Promotion and Research Board) levy on
these foods. Which means you, when you buy them (the producer has no
choice about paying them, which means neither do you). And you pay
more April 15, since it costs billions for the USDA to buy surplus milk
eggs, beef, pork, and another 20 billion a year in farm price supports
so farmers will make more milk, eggs, beef, pork. I hope you're not
As to whether or not getting Americans to eat more eggs and milk and
beef and pork is an "overall good", I'll leave that to your complex
health analysis. I myself am skeptical. But the kind of thing
you're so angry about in the case of the military is actually a basic
part of every large American industry. The House Agricultural
Committee, which oversees the USDA, got something like 4 billion in
campaign contributions in the early 1990s from agricultural interests.
Do you suppose that had some effect in where USDA pork (not the white
The thing that irritates me with Chomsky-types, whether they call
themselves Marxists or not, is that they somehow cannot see the
government industrial complex except when it comes to the industries
they don't like. That's not anarcho syndicalism. That's just blind
Steve Harris, M.D.