Dear Washington Times: Growing Incredulity

23 December 2008
Editor, Washington Times

Dear Editor:

Former Reagan administration official John Block begins his letter to the editor with this sentence: "As a former secretary of the Agriculture Department, I have seen the remarkable contributions that Congress and the executive branch have made when it comes to addressing global hunger and feeding millions of hungry people across the world." (Letters, Dec. 23)


The overriding goal of the Department of Agriculture -- a goal instilled in it repeatedly by various Congresses and presidents - is nothing more noble than to transfer wealth to American farmers.  And one of the major tools it uses to achieve this goal is paying farmers to REDUCE agricultural outputs, thus resulting in higher food prices.  Bureaucrats and politicians who implement policies that make many foods scarcer than they would otherwise be cannot legitimately be hailed as great benefactors of the world's hungry masses.

Donald J. Boudreaux

Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.