Monday, January 23, 2017

Members in the News: Glauber, Sumner, Wilde, & Featherstone

Joseph Glauber, IFPRI
Dan Sumner, University of California, Davis
Parke Wilde, Tufts University

$20 billion in farm subsidies doesn’t reach the poor, leaves them hungry
By American Enterprise Institute and - January 17, 2017

New research suggests that agricultural subsidies have done little to help those below the poverty line become more food secure. Despite $20 billion spent every year on wasteful subsidies, hunger and inadequate nutrition are endemic in the United States. More than 43 million Americans, including 13 million children, live below the poverty line and lack reliable access to nutritious food.

One long-standing rationale for subsidizing farmers is that as they raise more crops and rear more livestock, food prices paid by consumers will fall, and the poor will become food secure through that trickle-down process. However, as a new American Enterprise Institute report by Joseph Glauber, Dan Sumner and Parke Wilde shows, there is no evidence that the $20 billion in direct subsidies paid annually by taxpayers has any measurable effect on prices paid for food by households below the poverty line.

These agricultural subsidy programs, far from addressing the needs of the poor, are mainly designed to serve wealthy farmers, not urban families in poverty or even rural households with modest or low incomes. Seventy-nine percent of all farm subsidies are paid to the top 10 percent of the largest farm operations, and farmers in the top 1 percent income bracket on average collect $1.5 million in annual farm subsidy welfare checks. In comparison, 80 percent of all farms receive only 9 percent of the total amount of subsidies paid to agricultural producers.


Read the entire article on the American Enterprise Institute

Allen Featherstone, Kansas State University
Kansas farmers met to talk about the struggling farm economy
By WIBW - January 19, 2017

"Instead of just planning for the next year, I think we're in a situation where we probably need to plan two, three, four years," said Allen Featherstone, Head of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State. "It doesn't appear this is going to be a short term cycle, it appears given market conditions we may be in this cycle through 2019, perhaps."


Read the entire article on the WIBW

Parke Wilde, Tufts University
It’s Time to Stop Shaming Poor People for What They Buy With Food Stamps
By Mother Jones - January 18, 2017

But as Parke Wilde, an economist at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, notes, the debate is more complicated than that:

One would think from the NYT article that all the good folks favor the restrictions, and all the bad folks oppose. O'Connor didn't say that the list of supporters for such proposals also includes conservative critics of SNAP, who sometimes include such proposals in an agenda that also has budget cuts, nor that the list of opponents includes anti-hunger organizations, who are concerned that the proposals would increase program stigma and food insecurity by discouraging participation among eligible people.

Read the entire article on Mother Jones

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