The idea that a relatively fixed group of privileged people might shape the economy and government for their own benefit goes against the American grain. Nevertheless, the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant power figures in the United States. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington. Their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments.
Our food chain is in crisis. Big agribusiness has made profits more important than your health—more important than the environment—more important than your right to know how your food is produced. But beneath the surface, a revolution is growing.
The poorest of families, the poorest of children, are subsidizing the growth of the largest agribusinesses in the world. I think its time we recognized that in free trade the poor farmer, the small farmer, is ending up having to pay royalties to the Monsantos of the world.
Thanks to farm subsidies, the fine collaboration between agribusiness and Congress, soy, corn and cattle became king. And chicken soon joined them on the throne. It was during this period that the cycle of dietary and planetary destruction began, the thing we're only realizing just now.
Parental anxieties: A timeline. Pre-1800s: Potato famine, death of entire villages. 1900s: Trying to keep dad's job through depression so entire family does not starve or have to sell off children to agribusiness. 2000: Infringement of Parenthood on sense of Personhood.
Forests and meat animals compete for the same land. The prodigious appetite of the affluent nations for meat means that agribusiness can pay more than those who want to preserve or restore the forest. We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet – for the sake of hamburgers
The cleanup costs of polluting a river, injecting pesticides into the ground water, or putting noxious gases into the air have not been figured into the cost of the manufacturing or agribusiness that put them there in the first place. Historically, the economic incentive has been to pollute.