Friday, August 03, 2007

What's this Farm Bill I keep hearing about?

I've been reading a lot about the Farm Bill on other Community Development blogs lately. I am in a state in my life where I'm kind of ignoring politics. Some of that has to do with the fact that I stopped listening to NPR so much when Bush entered office because I was always cringing at the way he pronounced, "Amayricah," like someone has stepped on the middle syllable. The other reason is good old-fashioned, staring-into-the-void apathy. I'm assuming this particular stage will end once I start studying Public Policy. You know, the study of how laws are constructed and written?

So, I skimmed the first couple of posts, accumulating small facts until I reached a point of crystalization and alluva sudden I had enough information that connected to one another to form a net in which to catch a passion for the issue. Thanks, Mike, for a post written well for laymen.

So, I was actually moved to write my congressmen, Dick Durbin and Barack Obama. This is what I wrote:

I am disturbed that the Farm Bill passed through the House of Representatives without the Kind/Flake amendment.

I work in domestic non-profit community development on the west side of Chicago and recently took my first trip to Africa to observe the community development work World Vision does internationally. What I know from these experiences is that we have to allow people living in poverty to work their way out of poverty by their own power. It is the only sustainable option.

Renewing the Farm Bill without anything resembling the Kind/Flake amendment to put a cap on corporate subsidies subverts market forces and keeps the poor in poverty. This should be a no-brainer for the Republicans, who have dropped the ball entirely. Please pick it up again and run with it for the sake of both our farmers and international farmers, both of whom have unacceptable standards of living. We all have to eat and farmers are the ones that make it possible. Shouldn't we allow them the dignity of earning a better life for themselves and to be paid what their work is worth? Subsidies to corporate farms drive down prices unnaturally and de-value the work of human beings.

Please don't let this bill get past your office unaltered. Please reduce subsidies to corporate farmers.


If you would like to write your senators, you can find easy contact forms at Feel free to use my letter or to write your own.

Hooray for being moved to actually do something. It's like getting up off your butt and finally going to yoga. Everything feels better afterwards.

1 comment:

Christy said...

Right on. The Farm Bill is very much in need of better scrutiny by everyday people. Like tons of other pieces of legislation. It boggles the mind.