Fly Life Magazine

Your taxes at work … for a select few

Hey, mom, what is that green stuff? It’s back-pump poison from Big Sugar, don’t breathe for 30 minutes and we’ll be okay. The damage to the estuaries has been so profound and the clamor from local communities so intense that political leaders have pledged action. Yeah, right! Photo Florida

Your taxes are at work bringing you what you so richly deserve: high prices for sugar, devastating pollution, destroyed habitats, and dead game fish.

But do not feel bad, a handful of families appreciate you subsidies and enjoy their corporate welfare. TA TA toda, le considera en el “club.”

Your taxes support poisoning nature, your fellow citizens, and threaten future ground water needs serving millions in Florida. How, you ask, could the government do that? Why would the government do that? Who benefits? What does it cost households?

Without going into the history of commodity price supports, something arranged by governments throughout history – let’s take a look at the current U. S. sugar program. It is a highly unusual hybrid of price supports that does not help you in any way. It costs you, plenty.

The archaic law that pertains to “sugar” is a piece of public policy. It keeps a handful of Florida families in the billionaire class at your expense.

The government sugar program is enormously expensive

The sugar program costs between $3 billion and $4 billion dollars per year. It has no federal budget impact in most years. Why? The entire cost of the program is directly passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices – a corporate welfare shell game.

Going in the wrong direction

The distortion involved in pricing is not small: the USDA’s target price for sugar is far enough above prevailing levels elsewhere in the world that major firms change recipes and use alternative sweeteners to avoid the higher price.

Many eatable products using alternative sweeteners have negative health impacts of a dangerous kind.

It’s OK, just give them the crime nod

In reality, the government has granted antitrust immunity for the sugar producers to operate as a sanctioned cartel.

Additionally, with the government’s help, Big Sugar is encouraged to violate the Sherman Act by allowing producers to collude – constrain the supply of sugar to increase market price.

Thus, the American sugar program encourages and financially rewards otherwise-illegal behavior: it dictates the price, limits the production, and enriches the producers at a rate unjustified by otherwise-market prices.

Big Sugar, a handful of men in Florida, has maintained their corporate welfare status by “buying” influence. The result, the government has chosen the winners, and consumers are left with legislators’ and administrative policy makers’ offerings of tough s&%t; suckers!

Doing more with your money

Big Sugar is contributing mightily to the apocalyptic damage being done to the entirety of South Florida’s environment. Fishery and real estate destruction have been impacted all the way to Florida Bay. There is no planned remedy – band-aids are not working.

The increasing wildlife destruction and environmental adulteration is sanctioned to continue by the federal government, a rudderless state governor and citizen apathy. Think three not so wize monkeys that insist on seeing no evil, hearing no evil, speaking no evil.

Sources: Harvard Kennedy School Review / Northwestern University (Karl T. Muth and Katheryn DeVelvis) / “The Everglades: An Environmental History” by David McCally / Bull

Read what’s going on in the trenches of South Forida

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) announced this week that Lake Okeechobee’s newest algae bloom is hyper-toxic. With microcystin concentrations of 815 micrograms per liter, the water at Canal Point is 80 times more toxic than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) threshold for warning people not to touch it. Even breathing near the water is unsafe.

Florida DEP confirmed toxin levels 80 x higher than WHO warning thresholds at this site

If you only listened to sugar-funded voices like Glades Lives Matter or Sunshine State News,  you wouldn’t know that Lake Okeechobee’s toxic algae problem may already be making people and pets sick, even killing us.

Read More . . .

Sugar’s Blame Game: Deflecting Responsibility for Hyper-Toxic Algae in Lake Okeechobee

NOTE:  – – Citizens throughout the State of Florida want Lake Okeechobee water to flow naturally to the south – cleansing it. Politicians for decades have been bought and paid for by Big Sugar and nothing ever gets done. Only a few companies, on corporate welfare, cause nearly 100% of all the destruction. Life threatening and devastating discharges have been flowing into the Caloosahatchee, and St. Lucie rivers – killing everything in its path, destroying real estate values, and sickening everyone.

Featured Image: Take Back Our Water

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