Monday, June 25, 2012


I guess there are many reasons why Europe finds itself in the mess it is today.    One of those reasons is the huge amount paid out in farm subsidies.   Great for both producers and consumers as long as they are not taxpayers (which most of them are or should be) but the reality is that subsidies mask failure.

And subsidies lead to some crazy situations.   Here in Paihia we have 'Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack' which boasts an eclectic menu including some of the best pork spare ribs going (and Tiger beer on tap to boot - I grew up on Tiger beer in Malaysia and Singapore).       I had occasion once to ask Mine Host Len where he got his ribs from.   The answer floored me.   He imports them by the container load from Finland at a cost one-third cheaper than the local product.

Don't blame him one bit for taking advantage of the 'market' but the EEC and the CAP have much to answer for in promoting and sustaining a peasant farmer economy.

1 comment:

Brendan W said...

Farm subsidies are even worse than that because they come from the EU. Thus countries have even less control and because of the EU's convoluted structure they will be there forever. No chance of being abolished overnight like Labour did in NZ.

I hear of farms there which are tiny and yet that is somebodies job to run it (with all the equipment).

When I was in Germany I was told that farmers were paid money to leave part of their fields bare and plant flowers for wildlife. While this is a nice gesture for the public is there a better way they could spend their money?

However I don't think that farm subsidies are the main problem, it is that southern Europe has decided that subsidies are a god given right.