Thursday, January 23, 2014

Subsidy Satire - Letter from a West Texas Constituent

Today in class we discussed farm subsidies and how they affect the economy. Here's a little subsidy satire to think on....
Letter from a West Texas Constituent
By J.B. Lee, Jr.
March 20, 1963

The Honorable Ed Foreman
House of Representatives
Congressional District #16
Washington 25 D.C.

Dear Sir,

My friend over in Terebone Parish received a $1,000 check from the government this year for not raising hogs. So I am going into the not-raising hogs business next year.
What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on and the best kind of hogs not to raise? I would prefer not to raise Razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, I will just as gladly not raise any Berkshires or Durocs.
The hardest work in this business is going to be in keeping an inventory of how many hogs I haven’t raised.
My friend is very joyful about the future of his business. He has been raising hogs for more than 20 years and the best he ever made was $400, until this year, when he got $1,000 for not raising hogs.
If I can get $1,000 for not raising 50 hogs, then will I get $2,000 for not raising 100 hogs? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to 4,000 hogs which means I will have $80,000 coming from the government.
Now another thing: these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. So will you pay me anything for not raising 100,000 bushels of corn not to feed the hogs I am not raising?
I want to get started as soon as possible as this seems to be a good time of year for not raising hogs.
One thing more, can I raise 10 or 12 hogs on the side while I am in the not-raising-hog-business just enough to get a few sides of bacon to eat?

Very truly yours,
J.B. Lee, Jr.
Potential Hog Raiser

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