By Roger E. Meiners
This e-book pulls again the wrappings that cloak U.S. agriculture and explains how and why politics has affected the normal stewardship function performed by means of agriculture.
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Extra resources for Agricultural Policy and the Environment
Intervention is often justified on the basis of organizational problems that are presumed to be insurmountable. Whereas there are significant trans- action cost issues in the evolution of effective private solutions to real problems, it may also be that private organizational problems are used as polite justifications for federal subsidies. Public health and welfare has long been a catchall justification for myriad public sector programs that ultimately have little to do with that rationale. The possibility of collective private action may often be overlooked because of public programs that have evolved and eviscerate the need for voluntary action to help resolve problems.
11, The Long Nineteenth Centuy, ed. Stanley L. Engerman and Robert E. Gallman. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 245-84. -. 2000b. Northern Agriculture and the Westward Movement. In The Cambridge Economic Histoy of the United States. Vol. 11, The Long Nineteenth Centuy, ed. Stanley L. Engerman and Robert E. Gallman. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 285-328. Avery, Alex, and Dennis Avery. 2003. High Yield Conservation: More Food and Environmental Quality through Intensive Agriculture.
However, individual growers are denied the benefits of limited horizontal integration by which they would join together for certain purposes, such as to protect their crops and herds from diseases. This limitation has made the evolution of federal health and safety regulations the only viable alternative. As a result, the USDA, an agency that suffers from the same incentive problems as any other government agency, dominates the provision of such services. This need not have been the world we live in, as we examine next in considering bits of evidence from alternative arrangements that growers tried before being cut short in the late nineteenth century from further experimentation in the evolution of collective private solutions.