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Sweet Subsidies: Sugar and Corn

Written by Gary North on April 27, 2012

Congress has been prohibiting Americans from buying low-cost sugar ever since 1789, the first year of the United States under the Constitution. This subsidizes the sugar growers, who have not operated in a free market in the nation’s history.

But it’s not just the sugar growers who are the beneficiaries. Corn producers, whose product is turned into fructose, are also rewarded. What candy company would use fructose if it could buy cheap sugar?

Candy-lovers love the taste of sugar. So, candy companies move their plants to Canada and Mexico, where sugar is cheap — no tariffs. Then they import this candy into the USA from their off-shore factories. Sugar-loving, fructose-hating customers pay more for candy, but not much more. No one seems to notice.

As for Americans who used to have good jobs making candy, they can go on the dole, for all the sugar growers care. “Not our problem!”

Voters figure they are helpless, which they are. The sugar tariffs are as old as the United States. They remind us that the system is rigged against the voters nationally. It is rigged in favor of campaign contributors back home. Here’s how the system works.


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