I think I may fairly make two postulata. First, that food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, that the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state. These two laws, ever since we have had any knowledge of mankind, appear to have been fixed laws of our nature, and, as we have not hitherto seen any alteration in them, we have no right to conclude that they will ever cease to be what they now are, without an immediate act of power in that Being who first arranged the system of the universe, and for the advantage of his creatures, still executes, according to fixed laws, all its various operations.
Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio.
—Thomas Malthus – An Essay On The Principle Of Population. 1798
Moral Claim: Government crop subsidies ought to be designed to function as safety nets, loans, crop reserves and stewardship/conservation incentives for small farmers (and capping the amount of subsidies any one individual may receive), rather than direct handouts to large farms.
The cliches are true: You are what you eat. For most of America, that is Monsanto’s genetically modified organism: corn. But you are certainly no vegetable. You didn’t grow out of the ground nor fall from a tree. You are a living, breathing human being with consciousness, whose actions in the world will have an effect on your surroundings and an affect in your relationships. And yet you feel the need to feed your body several times a day with shit. The truth is that within (primarily) the last thirty years agribusiness, in conjunction with US agricultural policy makers have completely transformed the way Americans buy and consume food.
These decisions that agribusiness and government have made on our behalf have brought a new era of abundance to those that can afford it. This abundance has been reaped by Americans, and then sold off to the rest of the world in an exercise of American egoism. The resulting food-fueled power trip that this country has experienced has become so enmeshed with the American lifestyle that it will certainly shock the system when the reality of our un-sustainable lives become painfully obvious. I will argue in this paper that a fundamental re-evaluation of the American agricultural system needs to take place. I will conclude that the American people’s land has been swept out from under their feet by big business. I will offer some suggestions for possible future practices. I will provide an explanation, examination and analysis of the system. It is my hope that you’ll agree that the crop subsidy system is broken beyond reasonable doubt. It is beyond the scope of this paper to provide exorbitant amounts of crop subsidy history, but I do hope to demonstrate that it was nothing more than corporate greed and the US government’s inability to regulate that got us this far.