And I thought American farm subsidies were bad…

From the NYT, a graphic that boggles the mind. (here) 43.8% of all the spending in the EU goes to agricultural farm subsidies! And what do these subsidies pay for?

…billions of euros pump haphazardly through the system at large, which last year rewarded a variety of beneficiaries beyond the simple farmer. At the head of the line were giant American and European factory farm companies, Spanish road builders, German Gummi bear manufacturers, luxury cruise ship caterers and wealthy landowners — including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Gummi bears? Why do these subsidies exist?

France sees the subsidies as an essential transfer of resources from urban areas to rural populations to protect its bucolic landscape, the safety of its food and a rural way of life that is a profound part of its culture.

Oh, yeah… That. “Culture.” Here is the European culture in a nutshell:

“This is a straightforward battle between the losers and gainers, and it’s nothing more significant than that,” said Alan Buckwell, policy director of the Country Land and Business Association, which represents landowners in rural England and Wales. “It’s the stuff that most politics is about: how are we carving up the money?

First its Africa, then its reparations money from Germany. Sounds like the argument for maintaining the subsidies by preserving European “culture” is spot on.

HT: Modeled Behavior and Free Exchange

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