Lest anyone is still under the illusion that we send our best and brightest to govern, there’s this: “Too much ethanol could spark food riots.”
That quote comes from none other than Rhodes Scholar, Ex-President Bill Clinton, who presumably finally realized he’s not exempt from the law of unintended consequences. Oh, sure … he’s a lot smarter than a lot of us, particularly me. But, that makes this ludicrous plea all the more ridiculous.
First, he has to realize that telling folks who benefit from the subsidy created ethanol boom he supports that they should cut back on production – aka, their livelihood, so food riots don’t break out around the world, is beyond silly. I’m surprised he didn’t take it one step further to ask for volunteers to state publicly they don’t want any part of the $5,000,000,000 congress just dumped into the feeding trough on which the subsidy hogs will feast.
It’s times like these that I wish someone would jumped up from their audience seat to ask, “exactly how much can we produce before people die, Mr. President?” Instead, I imagine the audience of “farmers and Agriculture Department employees” just nodded in silent agreement that someone, other than them, should cut back on production. Because, after all, they’ve got bills to pay.
So, I’ll ask President Clinton a few question for them:
- How much ethanol can be produced in order to kick the Saudis out while making sure everyone has plenty to eat?
- How will you determine production level allowances? By state? By the acre? Per capita? By income? By individual farmer? By political party? By campaign contribution?
- Will the government specify (a la communism) how much can be grown for each purpose by each farmer?
- Who will be in charge of enforcement? Are we talking jail time?
See how silly this becomes? Politicians, in their ever-blossoming ignorance, create the environment for this cause and effect disaster to play out and then act surprised that there are consequences.
There is a simple remedy to this question. But none of the folks mentioned in the article will like it. Eliminate subsidies!