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    Unsweetening Cronyism

    The law of supply and demand cannot be revoked. But it is being amended slightly, and we’re all paying the price. In this case, for sugar. Last year produced a bumper crop of sugar beets, which are refined (as their name would suggest) into sugar. Meanwhile, Americans have been using … More

    The Best Plan for Farmers and Ranchers: Free Trade

    Congress is currently fighting over the future of U.S. farm programs. In 2011, taxpayers subsidized farmers to the tune of $10.4 billion in government payments. Imagine if the government had a way to increase payments to farmers while reducing taxpayer subsidies to zero. Such a policy exists. It’s called free … More

    Free Trade: Bringing Ireland to Your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

    Today, millions of people around the world will put on some green, watch a hurling or rugby match, enjoy a Guinness stout, and praise St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Emerald Isle. A beam in Guinness’s Dublin brewery reads “Everyone’s Irish on March 17th.” And, thanks to free trade, … More

    End the U.S. Sugar Program

    The Depression-era sugar program was supposed to end in 1940. Instead, the Senate may soon vote on whether to extend it to 2017. The sugar program inflates sugar prices by capping the amount that food manufacturers and consumers in the United States can buy from producers in other countries. If … More

    Chart of the Week: Crony Capitalism Leads to Higher Sugar Prices

    Sugar producers contribute only a small percentage of value to overall U.S. crop production, yet the industry continues to reap the rewards from government thanks to a significant lobbying presence and sizable campaign donations. The result is government interference in the sugar market, which dates to the 1930s Depression. American … More

    Smoot–Hawley Anniversary Serves as Reminder of Protectionism's Damage

    Today marks the 81st anniversary of the passage of the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act. Actor and economist Ben Stein famously explained this legislation in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the classic John Hughes movie that was released 25 years ago this month: In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort … More

    Ethanol: A Corny Trade Policy

    Gas prices are on the rise again. The national average is now just under $4.00 a gallon, and it’s sure to rise as the summer driving season rolls near. The pesky detail not often mentioned is that our ethanol policy is a contributing factor toward these higher fuel prices. The … More