Food Sovereignty

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Early in November, the Bolivian government announced a plan to achieve “food sovereignty.” In order to eliminate agricultural imports, the Morales administration will now spend over 60 million taxpayer dollars on various projects, including the construction of a new soybean processing plant, the creation of a new rice and wheat enterprise, and a plan to resettle cattle nationwide.

I am resigned to the fact that my home away from home, Bolivia, is not satisfied with simply shooting itself in the foot. Evo Morales wants to reload and keep firing. The goal of food sovereignty amounts to little more than a rejection of the most basic economic principles of comparative advantage and the division of labor, but this isĀ· to be expected from the MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo) party.

But then I watched the ‘Republican YouTube debate on CNN on November 28th. The candidates were asked if they would work to eliminate farm subsidies here in the U.S. Both Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani answered that farm subsidies were needed to ensure that we are not dependent on foreign countries for a secure supply of food.

Perhaps l shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I’m’ a small-government, free-market kind of guy, and I understand that there’s no place for me in the GOP. But even the most dyed-in-the-wool Republican should be concerned when two of the front-runners for his party’s nomination have recommended the same economic policies espoused by a communist like Bolivia’s Evo Morales. Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani showed that they either do not understand the free market, or that they do not believe it really works. Either way, they should be ruled out as viable candidates for the GOP bid.

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