Sweets for the sweet? Get your extra costly candies for Valentine's Day

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Article Highlights

  • Chocolate for your sweetie is more expensive because of federal government farm policies #HappyValentinesDay

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  • Sugar is scarcely an essential tool for a viable agricultural sector. So why are the feds interfering? #HappyValentinesDay

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  • Lovers will pay more for the privilege of buying a box of candy because of government quotas #HappyValentinesDay

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Sweets for the Sweet: The Costly Benefits of the US Sugar Program

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Times change and not everything remains the same. 

Would that were true about the U.S. sugar program.  Valentine’s Day is here again and every lover who buys his or her significant other a box of candy will pay just a little bit more for the privilege because of sugar quotas that generally guarantee sugar cane and beet producers and sugar processors higher returns than they would obtain if they faced genuine competition from the global market.  

 

The U.S. sugar program raises food prices on supermarket shelves and reduces the ability of U.S. food processors to compete in world markets.  The program costs the U.S. economy thousands of manufacturing jobs and, in a world of record prices for other major crops like corn and wheat, is scarcely an essential tool for maintaining a viable U.S. agricultural sector.  

As Professor Michael Wohlgenant and I argued last year, it is well past time for the program to be disestablished.

 

 

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About the Author

 

Vincent H.
Smith
  • Vincent H. Smith is Professor of Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University and co-director of MSU’s Agricultural Marketing Policy Center. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1987 and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Manchester in 1970 and 1971. Dr. Smith’s current research program examines agricultural trade and domestic policy issues, with a particular focus on agricultural insurance, agricultural science policy, domestic and world commodity markets, risk management, and agricultural trade policy. He has authored nine books and monographs and published over 100 articles on agricultural and other policy and economic issues. His work has been recognized nationally through multiple national awards for outstanding research programs. In 2008, he became a Distinguished Scholar of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. Currently he is a Visiting AEI Scholar and co-director of AEI’s agricultural policy initiative. Dr. Smith is married and he and his wife, Laura, have two children, Karen and Meredith.
  • Email: uaevs@montana.edu
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 2028625826
    Email: neil.mccray@aei.org

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