The United States Department of Agriculture has long been a bastion of Big Agriculture.
The USDA is the department that oversees the commerce that feeds the United States. And 65 percent of its funding is set aside to do just that. Feed the hungry through its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, and its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Farm America votes Republican, claims they are against what they call socialism, and champions pulling yourself up by your bootstraps mentality.
People like Howard Buffet, son of William Buffet, who alone is worth $200 million, and he makes sure to remind you he did that with minimum help from daddy and he’s using his farming to help people in Africa. Oh, OK, I am sure that is harmless.
Then, there is Harry Stine who is worth $5.4 billion, who made his money in the global agrochemical and seed industry licensing corn and soybean genetics to corporations like Syngenta and Monsanto.
Some of the wealthiest farmers are some of the wealthiest people not just in the United States, but the world.
But this “bootstrap” mentality does not just stop with the wealthy farmers.
America’s great rural family towns all like to give the song and dance about hard work and no handouts, you know, like the “Blacks” and “Mexicans” get, who layabout on welfare and food stamps.
But you go to every small farm, they almost all have a brand-new pickup truck. They have schemes that rely on insurance and government handouts for crops; they had no intention of growing.
Why does farming have an entire federal department paid for by our tax dollars. A department that assures they have a dignified way not to fail. Wall Street would scream bloody murder if anyone suggested that the head of handing out their money should be the Federal Government. The agribusiness is the only business in America that houses a program with an entitlement (which means mandatory funding to the level of need), which is clearly being used as a slush fund for the biggest agricultural business players.
Snap and WIC are the entitlement programs housed within the USDA. These predominantly rich white men are literally stealing from the mouths of babies, to fatten their wallets.
These men in the agricultural business are stealing from white babies, Black babies, and Chicano/x/a babies, and they are allowed to do this heinousness, because while the largest segmented group of SNAP and WIC recipients are white, it is a program Black and Brown people can access, unlike farm subsidies who recipients are nearly 100% white.
Those white men got billions in CARES Act funding through the piss poor “USDA Farmers to Families Food Box” program while the USDA just chose to not radically expand Food Stamps during a PANDEMIC.
USDA needs to stop being a grabbag. This free for all needs to end. Businessmen shouldn’t be allowed to steal from babies and their poor mothers.
The Secretary of USDA should be a Social Worker or move the entitlement programs of SNAP and WIC to a department that gives a damn.