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The Big Handout We pay bout 1500 per household for food subsidies; however these subsidies do not reduce our market prices significantly instead they fuel world terrorism as poor farmers cannot globally compete due to unfair trading Moreover these subsidies lead to unhealthy eating as unhealthy foods are subsidized and the subsidies lead to environmental degradation as they contribute to bad environmental behavior so is the premise of the book The figures are really shocking just billions of subsidies spent each year on meat dairy corn sugar fish but so little on fruits and vegetables Corn is then made into high fructose corn syrup which has fructose than cane sugar worse for the body than sugar 184 Subsidized fruits and vegetables make up 25% of farm subsidies112 Moreover being able to afford to eat healthy is another issue A UCLA study found that a typical grocery bill consumes three times as much of a low income family's income than a middle income family's income115 We dump our goods on third world markets that cannot defend themselves that is they cannot compete for profit for economic survival so they are left humiliated and with no other options and turning to terrorism can become salvation 194 The WHO found subsidies in America lead to unhealthy people ie increased weight 184 185 This refers to American subsidies for high fructose corn syrup sugar meat and dairy creating cheaper prices for those foods while vegetables and fruits remain expensiveAlso of interest is how these subsidies create an unfair playing field in our American market Entrepreneurs cannot supply milk at less than the government prices58 There is an interesting story of Hettinga a Dutch born dairyman living in US who was run out of business by other dairy farmers because he was bottling his own milk which Congress made illegal as a result 60 See Thomas Friedman NY Times article re terrorism and food subsidiesNicholas Stern chief economist at the Wold Bank critiues America as hypocritical for espousing free trade and then erecting obstacles in precisely those markets in which developing countries have a comparative advantage198 Our American sugar prices are above world prices due to subsidies and loans 68 Our tariffs are very high on foreign sugar so we use almost exclusively American sugar 66 67 We have also highly subsidized rice despite the fact that it does not make sense to farm it here having to flood areas that are not naturally inundated with watercosts twice as much to grow rice in the US as in Vietnam94 Good read Well thought out and written with thorough research behind it Make no mistake This book isn't a love story It won't make you happy It might even tick you off Hopefully then you'll want to begin the ending of this world of unsustainable subsidies It's insane how willing our representatives are to throw good money after bad Thanks to the author for taking the time to write this book Kostigen paints a detailed alarming picture of how the whole subsidy system started during the Depression in good or better faith has now become a mighty albatross around taxpayer necks and a source of anti American ill will worldwide Most troubles stem from cheap Corn and Soy whose subsidized abundance ripples through the beef dairy poultry and pork industries not to mention the totally messed up energy industry Lord how I hate ethanol There are brief stops along the way in the land of Cotton Steel Oil and Gas eually fascinating and depressingI'll be reviewing the book extensively on my UrbanFarmJunkie blog this week wwwurbanfarmjunkieblogspotcom tag The Big Handout but I'd have to say it was overall a demoralizing read Motivating politicians of either stripe to change the system and motivating all those recipients of subsidies to give them up for the common good sounds this side of impossible so I'll have to settle for my usual MO encouraging people to buy cook and eat real food grown by small family farmers without the help of government handouts and help from Monsanto products Thomas Kostigen exposes government subsidies and how they effect our “free market” He says that this form of government policy “perverts our way of living making us fatter poorer and unhealthy” This call to action book provides key facts that prove how our free market economy actually costs us then we think Artificially lowering the prices on good such as cotton soy corn and oil hurts us and most people around the world Kostigen investigates that subsidies “cost taxpayers 200 billion per year then 1500 per household” Not only does this hurt our wallets but “our foreign policy our health and our expanding waistlines” Kostigen’s bitter and sarcastic tone adds so much to his work because it allows the reader to see how wrong these fiscal policies are in terms of our own American democracy Kostigen calls all readers to action which inspires me to write about something I can believe in and change Had a lot of information Took me a while to get into it I just won a copy from Goodreads Looking forward to reading it I will write a review after I've read it Thank you Eye opening description of how your individual income tax is allocated to support Big Ag and Big Business Just reading the word subsidies may cause many people's eyes to glaze over We don't think itaffects us directly so we tune out But it turns out that this complicated sounding issue has an enormous impact on all of us The Big Handout is about bad fiscal environmental agricultural water energy health and foreign policies And it's a story about just one thing—subsidiesA subsidy is a grant by the government to a private business that is deemed advantageous to thepublic Cotton wheat corn soy and oil are the most subsidized commodities in the United States Inthis eye opening book New York Times best selling author Thomas Kostigen explores government policies that cost taxpayers 200 billion per year over 1500 per household In some cases we pay for subsidized goods than we'd pay in a free market—and in the most shocking abuses of the subsidy system we pay for goods that aren't even produced The Big Handout exposes how artificial pricing hurts us and people worldwide from our waistlinesand pocketbooks to our health By revealing just how toxic America's subsidy system has become for everyone The Big Handout is a wake up call that empowers readers to effect change

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