Farm Bill: Turn Back? Take Back the Clock!

“These words may fall with an ominous sound on the ears of a generation schooled to look upon all changes as progressive, upon all mechanical inventions as desirable, upon all inhibitions and controls as frustrating; people who . . . regarded history and culture as a sort of assembly-line process, in which man himself could play no decisive part, except possibly to accelerate further the inevitable movement of impersonal forces.  Such people used to sum up that strange conviction by saying:  You cannot turn the hands of the clock backward.  But as a matter of demonstrable fact, that is neither practically nor metaphorically true.” 

        Lewis Mumford3


“As we review some of the current agricultural policy discussion, we are reminded of the old riddle we first heard as a grade schooler. The question goes like this. “Would you rather have a clock that tells the right time twice a day or one that tells the right time once every four years?” As a child the obvious answer was the clock that told the right time most often, the one that was right twice a day. Then the riddler announces that the clock that is correct twice a day is one that does not run at all while a clock that loses a minute a day is correct once every four years.”

        Daryll E. Ray,25




The purpose of this blog is to highlight, expand, supplement, and footnote my rebuttal, to a front page article in The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa,) on how the farm bill could revert to the 1949 law.(see colored link just below here)1  While I do not repeat the argument there, I provide some footnotes for it. Overall, there were too many flaws in the original article and arguments against it’s theses to fit into the 600 word limit, so I give some additional arguments here.


The original article is:  “Farm bill inaction could turn clock back to 1949,” by J. T. Rushing, 8/27/12, can be found online here (http://thegazette.com/2012/08/27/farm-bill-inaction-could-turn-clock-back-to-1949/).  It features quotes from Dale Moore, “a deputy executive director at the U.S. Farm Bureau … and a former chief of staff to four U.S. agriculture secretaries,” Iowa Senators and Ag Committee members, Tom Harkin, (Democrat,) and Charles Grassley (Republican,) and Iowa (Gazett

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