Measuring Farm Net Income To Better Achieve Policy Objectives
The farm problem is a longstanding topic in agricultural economics, and farm organizations continue to press claims that they are disadvantaged and deserve public support. While society may choose to support farmers it is clear that existing farm programs to not do an effective job of providing support. Farm income and farm subsidies are highly concentrated and the lowest income farmers receive little support. Moreover most households with low farm income typically manage their farm to achieve this goal. Politically, commercial farms require that hobby farms continue to be recorded as actual farms in order to mask the small number of enterprises that actually benefit from farm programs. Whether this lead to good public policy is another matter.
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