Taxpayers subsidising U.S. meat industry - Politics | PoFo

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Americans are being heavily taxed to subsidise the meat industry. Why is so much money being misallocated? Is the government trying to get Americans to eat more meat? If Americans are not willing to pay for the true price of their meat when they buy it, why should they be indirectly taxed to pay for it?

The federal government continued its effort to boost agricultural commodity prices today by announcing it will purchase an additional $25 million worth of pork. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said it will buy $60 million of turkey, and $2 million of lamb. Last week, the USDA bought approximately 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk to help the dairy industry.

Pork farmers have been losing an average of $20 on each hog marketed since October 2007, according to the U.S. Pork Producers. And economists have said dairy producers are losing an average of $3 per cow per day.
The U.S government indirectly subsidizes the meat industry. The cost of a common hamburger would be $35 and the cost of one pound of beefsteak would be $89 if water was not subsidized by taxpayers.

Federal and state governments subsidize the meat industry's water consumption at every stage of the process. Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) consume particularly egregious quantities of water.

Cornell economists, David Fields and his associate Robin Hur, have studied the fiscal consequences of water subsidies to the meat industry: “Reports by the General Accounting Office, the Rand Corporation, and the Water Resources Council have made it clear that irrigation water subsidies to livestock producers are economically counterproductive. Every dollar that state governments dole out to livestock producers, in the form of irrigation subsidies, actually costs taxpayers over seven dollars in lost wages, higher living costs, and reduced business income."

Economists Fields and Hur calculate the overall price of subsidizing the California meat industry's water to be 24 billion dollars.

It should also be noted that most of the jobs created by the American meat industry are minimum wage jobs with unpleasant, dangerous, and absolutely dreadful working conditions. These are the types of jobs that employers illegally bring in impoverished Mexicans to do. And most of the profits from the meat industry go to large corporations, and thus to wealthy stockholders, because nearly all of the small family farms have been pushed out of business.

Most Americans have little clue how horrific their meat industry actually is. I will refer you to the book "Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry" by Gail A. Eisnitz. Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry (9781591024507): Gail A. Eisnitz: Books (you might find a copy at your local library)

I just do not see why taxpayers should actually be subsidising these horrific practices, or why the government is funding exploitative employment for illegal immigrants. One would suspect the meat industry has undue political influence.

another thread related to the topic: An example of how "concentration of the market" has caused infltion and greater profits.
(posted by Steve_American in Economics & Capitalism, 27 Feb 2023)

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