The Last Thing We Need Is More Moderates

Academics are given to bemoaning partisan polarization. But the mushy centrism being pushed by the No Labels crowd frequently just amounts to special-interest whoring. Bipartisanship usually means the people get screwed, and the lobbyists win. Latest case in point: the morally corrupt Farm Bill. Congress is claiming it has reformed the program and cut it … Continue reading The Last Thing We Need Is More Moderates

WTO Reaches First-Ever Agreement

Twenty years after its establishment, the World Trade Organization finally reached its first global trade deal last night at the meeting of the world's trade ministers in Bali. The successful agreement foiled expectations that this meeting, like all others of the Doha Round, would end in failure and acrimony. Media outlets have been reporting the … Continue reading WTO Reaches First-Ever Agreement

Rent-Seeking and Vote-Trading in the U.S. Senate

Last night the U.S. Senate played host to naked special-interest politics, as agricultural subsidy interests won vote after vote on the floor. As this story from Politico notes, the sugar program stands out as one of the most intrusive of the commodity programs still on the books: a mix of price supports, import quotas, and … Continue reading Rent-Seeking and Vote-Trading in the U.S. Senate

For an Anti-Farm Bill League (update)

Conservatives and taxpayer groups are ready to fight the $1 trillion farm bill when it comes up for a vote in the new Congress. Agricultural subsidies, price supports, and tariffs in developed countries (the U.S., Japan, and the European Union especially) not only harm consumers at home by hitting them with higher prices, but cause … Continue reading For an Anti-Farm Bill League (update)