The US government currently pays out $20 billion in crop subsidies to an ever decreasing number of corporate farmers, when what we should subsidize are small farms. Subsidize and educate those wishing to work a small patch of land, communal farms growing organic vegetables and organic meats and dairy. The farms would stimulate business in small towns which are currently dying off.
I had written before about this country developing wind farms built along the lines of the WPA and TVA of the 1930's. In the process of building these wind farms, large tracts of land would be need to be purchased and in those lands would be ample room for new homesteads. Let's be clear here about what I'm talking about, I'm not talking about building 3,500 square foot McMansions but 800 square foot energy efficient modern homes. The homesteaders would farm ten to twenty acres with communal tools and professional expertise with the hope of creating self sustaining communities.
Incomes could further be subsidized by homesteaders working as schoolteachers, mechanics, and doing construction work in the community. The goal is not to build a new suburbia but to escape from suburbia, to escape a morning commute and replace it with a walk to the field. This would not be for everybody; it would be aimed at those looking to get off of the technology rollercoaster. It would be for those looking for a slower pace of life and a more authentic pursuit of life.
After World War II the Japanese government paid ship building companies to hire workers to build ships. The government then sold the ships on the open market to defray the cost of the program. This idea isn't really very different; we subsidize people to grow wholesome food for us to eat. The Japanese were trying to rebuild their industrial economy while this idea is about rebuilding our agricultural economy.
Each Saturday my friend and I go to the farmers market and local farmers bring in local produce for sale to the public. Free range eggs, blueberries, strawberries and hand made soap. Every vegetable imaginable is for sale, from the strange to the mundane, along with homemade bran muffins, doughnuts and coffee. These are neighbors exchanging goods and services in an open market. It is the best of a system and should be expanded.
Rather than cutting Social Security, we should encourage people out of a crumbling industrial society. Instead of building hypersonic missiles we should build sustainable organic farms. Rather than weapons of mass destruction we must build models for a sustainable future. It illustrates that the answers to our problems are out there. For the price of Obama's two nuclear reactors in Georgia we could build nine thousand wind turbines.
For a fraction of the annual cost of the Star Wars program we could begin to build something new and hopefully better for our people. For less than ten percent of the annual Star Wars budget we could seed a million families into rural America. A program designed to literally turn swords into plowshares and to offer another and hopefully better model for our families.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the treasury $1,239,675,045,079 and for that expenditure we have gained only misery and ever growing poverty. Despite the party or promises, regardless of the pundit's prognostication or the public's pleas, these wars will continue. While we argue amongst ourselves about tax rates and funding social programs under the banner of free trade we grant access to foreign produce tax free. We tax our own farmers and people and businesses and allow foreign products to compete in our market tax free.