California’s farmers, the people who feed much of America and the world, have been plowed under by government intervention. Federal government subsidies to producers, state and federal regulation, and state and federal taxes have distorted the market in the agricultural business.
The agricultural problems facing Californians today are not insoluble, however. Government policies can and must be reversed. Farmers and consumers alike should be free from the meddling and counter-productive measures of the state and federal governments free to grow, sell, and buy what they want, in the quantity they want, when they want. Five steps can be taken immediately at the state level:
- Abolition of the state Department of Agriculture;
- Repeal of all state marketing orders so that producers may voluntarily establish their own promotion programs;
- Repeal of all state programs that promote exports and subsidize the marketing of exports;
- Privatization of agricultural research and the ending of agricultural research programs of state colleges and universities and state agencies; and
- Ending of governmental involvement in agricultural pest control. A policy of pest control should be implemented whereby private individuals or corporations bear full responsibility for damages they inflict on their neighbors.