Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Are Farm Subsidies Progressive?

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Are Farm Subsidies Progressive?"

Share:

google plus icon

In short: No, they’re not, largely because the largest subsidies go to the biggest, richest farmers. But even if they didn’t, Sallie James observes that farmers in general are richer than most people:

Farmers are wealthier (second graph from the bottom) and earn higher incomes (fourth graph from the bottom) than the average U.S. household. Their average debt-to-asset ratio is about 12 percent (third graph from the bottom), very low relative to the average U.S. household. Those should be the relevant data for any progressivity test.

America’s agricultural sector is very productive. And that’s an excellent thing and a real source of strength for the country. But it means that American farmers, though few in number, are pretty well off. They don’t need subsidies. But though few in number, they’re many in congressional representation.

‹ Life in 1984

Meet The Corporate Democrats ›

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.