Digging holes and kicking trees


The Times reports today that the EU may suspend subsidies to farmers that don’t go green. Various bureaucracies hope subsidies will solve overproduction, the impact of farming on flowers and bird habitats, worldwide food shortage, watercourses, and the use of pesticides. Here’s a better idea: don’t stop there!

The good news, however, is that the European Commission will no longer pay farmers to leave 8% of their fields empty. But that leaves the question: What Einstein had the idea to pay farmers for production, and then to avoid the overproduction caused in part by subsidies themselves, pay them even more to leave part of their fields empty?

I had a flatmate once who tried the same techniques to woo various women over the course of several months, but to no avail. After being rejected dozens of times, he said, “I guess if I try the same things over and over and get the same result, I should try something else."

Touché. How many times will our governments try the same old things and expect different results? Supply. Demand. Prices. Free markets. Same old things that always result in economic growth. Subsidies, government planning, market manipulation, and regulation? Take a wild guess…