ERIC Number: ED373929
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Observations on Agricultural Policy, Policy Reform and Public Policy Education.
Lee, John E., Jr.
The intervention of the United States government in agriculture in the 20th century is an explainable response to basic characteristics of agriculture: unpredictability, immobile resources, technological changes and disproportionate supply and demand factors. The concentration of large benefits among relatively few producers and diffusion of costs over a large nonfarm population make policy reform difficult. The policies in place since the 1930s have had both positive and negative consequences from a societal perspective. While farm policies have gradually become less distortive, less expensive, and increasingly sensitive to a broader array of social concerns, such as the environment and food safety, they still reduce the overall efficiency of the U.S. economy, regressively redistribute income and wealth, and divert attention and energy of policymakers away from more pressing rural and social problems. Increasing public understanding of the consequences of alternative policies will equip people for productive questioning. Such outreach is essential for policy reform and is both an opportunity and a challenge for public policy educators. (KS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Farm Policy; Policy Issues; Public Policy Education
Note: In: "Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies: 1993"; see RC 019 485.