NY Times: Subsidies Don’t Work

July 6, 2008

The lead editorial in today’s New York Times calls for an end to farm and energy subsidies because of the high food prices they have caused. Unfortunately, while the Times’ editors recognize that government subsidies do in fact have costs, they quickly forget the lesson, as they demand – in the very same editorial – for increased foreign aid, which is simply a subsidy in another form. Not all foreign aid, of course, is harmful, but foreign aid is no guaranty that the money actually gets to the people it is intended to help and is often used by corrupt governments to prop themselves up. Nonetheless, this NY Times editorial is (I can’t believe I’m saying this) welcome.

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