Monday, June 04, 2007

The Politics of Corn (1)

I’ve been lazy in boring you with economic fallacies and errors in news media. They are just too many. But I think I just can’t let go the extremely foolish and ridiculous ones. Like this.

It says, the corn farmers in North Sulawesi are requesting a floor price guarantee and market access. They argue, the only way the country can achieve self-sustaining corn production is by providing price and market guarantee. With that, “the farmers need not be supported anymore”. Usually, they complain, “when the price is good, supply will increase and price will go down again”. See the irony? Of course, that is how it works. What you ask is actually to keep the price 'good' but to limit competition from your fellow farmers.

And as usual, Minister of Agriculture comes into their defense. He says it doesn’t make sense if a country with abundant land like Indonesia has to import corn.

Then why don’t you plant ... stones? We have plenty of land, so you can plant stone everywhere. The price might be bad, but you can always ask the government to provide price support. Not many people will eat stone, but you can always ask the government to provide ‘market’ for it. I am sure Minister of Agriculture will be happy to help you.

No comments: