Clint Didier played tight end for the Washington Redskins in the 1980s. As a Redskin he won two Super Bowl championship rings–one in Super Bowl XVII; the other in Super Bowl XXII.
Now, he’s a farmer in The State of Washington, and the head of the EPA wants to establish a 500 foot “buffer” on each side of every fresh water lake, river or creek in Washington. Didier claims this “buffer” will deprive farmers of use of up to 61% of their land. He says he (and other farmers) are ready to fight–and he understands some constitutional fundamentals.
Taking control of a 500-foot buffer around waterways may sound fairly reasonable, but 500 feet on all sides means each mere 3-foot wide creek could take a 1,003-foot-wide strip of land out of agricultural production.
We tend to find creeks meandering through the lowlands. The lowlands tend to be the flat and fertile lands. The flat, fertile land is where we tend to farm. In general, farmland is riddled with creeks.
Because some states are crisscrossed by little creeks, 60% of more of current agricultural land could be taken out of production based on these 500-foot buffers. It’s not impossible that if this 500-foot buffer plan were implemented nationwide, that we might lose as much as half of our current agricultural land.
In case you haven’t noticed, people need to eat and the price of foot is already rising dramatically. What do you think will happen to the price of food if the EPA’s “buffer” program succeeds in removing 30 to 50% of American farmland from production?
On the one hand, it’s disturbing that the EPA wants to remove so much land from agricultural production. On the other hand, it’s encouraging that there are growing numbers of farmers who are articulate, knowledgeable and “ready to fight”.
But there’s a third side to this conflict between the “evil” EPA and the “heroic” farmers: farm subsidies. It’ll be interesting to see how many of the “heroic” and “independent” farmers (who are now faced with the prospect of losing use of their land) have previously become merrily dependent on government farm subsidies over the past two generations.
The gov-co giveth and the gov-co taketh away. Those who live by the subsidy, die by the subsidy.
Taking subsidies from gov-co is just like taking a new satin dress from a pimp. That dress may seem pretty nice to a naive young girl, but sooner or later the pimp will expect that little girl to “put out” to repay the cost of the dress–and lots more.
Similarly, America’s most successful farmers have grown rich taking gov-co subsidies. Now, gov-co wants its “little girls” to put out. These “little girls” are shocked to discover that they are not the gov-co’s brides-to-be, but merely the gov-co’s whores. The EPA is trying to break these agricultural welfare queens in to their true station in life by taking 1,000-foot wide strips of agricultural land out of production.
Make no mistake. I’m rooting for the farmers–even the ones who prostituted themselves by taking gov-co subsidies. I’m absolutely against the gov-co pimps. But my pro-farmer favoritism doesn’t prevent me from stating the truth: farmers can’t play the dependent whore and the independent hero. If farmers want gov-co subsidies, I guarantee they’ll also have to accept onerous gov-co regulations. If farmers want sole control their land, they’d better also accept sole responsibility for their land. Sole responsibility means farmers had better stop sucking off the gov-co for welfare and find a way to grow crops without subsidies.
I guarantee that if you take the subsidy, you’re gonna take the regulation.