For over 200 years, the U.S. government has imposed quotas on the import of sugar into the United States. This has allowed domestic sugar producers the ability to charge more for sugar. Americans consume less sugar.
Don’t think of this as cronyism. Don’t think of this as crony capitalism. Think of this as a government program to fight tooth decay.
Then the government provides subsidies to the sugar industry. Think of this as a way to keep the industry healthy, and dentists, too.
What’s that? You say that this sounds schizophrenic? Does the right hank not know what the left had is doing. Of course it does. When the government greases the palms of a special-interest groups, it uses both hands.
This summer, my wife ad I went to Canada to set up a Canadian bank account. Americans are not allowed to do this unless they journey to Canada. Canadians speak fluent English. Except for an occasional “aboot,” it is almost like conversing with an American.
Before we left, my wife bought some candy. Canadian candy is made with sugar, not corn syrup, or “ethanol for sweet tooths.” When we returned to the USA, we were asked if we had bought anything. “Some candy,” she said. The immigration guard said, “A lot of people do that.” I’ll bet.
If you want to know how Washington works, view this clip from The Distinguished Gentleman, a movie on how a small-time con man gets elected to Congress, and discovers the biggest confidence game on earth.
The effect of sugar quotas is to drive American candy companies to Canada and Mexico. The candy can be imported without quotas. Only sugar in its pre-baking form is restricted. So, Americans lose jobs. But no one notices.
One estimate of what Americans pay extra to keep the sugar industry happy is $2.4 billion a year. Maybe $1.4 billion goes to the sugar barons.
Sugar farmers donate $3.6 million to campaigns.
When you can buy $1.4 billion in benefits for $3.6 million in payoffs — excuse me, democratic donations — you have a sweetheart deal.
To see how Washington works, view this clip from Eddie Murphy’s 1991 movie, The Distinguished Gentleman. It’s the story of a small-time con man who gets elected to Congress and discovers the biggest confidence game on earth.