Friday, March 11, 2005

An Ugly (Tomato) Story

"Florida Growers Stifle an Ugly but Tasty Tomato"

I can understand why the Florida Tomato Growers' Guild or whatever they call themselves :-D (actually it's the Florida Tomato Committee <> <> ) might want to keep scary-looking tomatoes off the market, because it might lower the standard of having *Florida* tomatoes.

I can also understand why they might want to keep successful competitors off the market.

And I can understand why people might want to have tasty tomatoes, even when they're ugly.

The point is, when there's more than one side to an issue, and it's really a subjective judgement call, i.e. based on personal taste or personal moral values, NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE THEIR PERSONAL TASTES OR VALUES ON OTHERS WHO DON'T SHARE THEM.

So, yes, I agree with Senators Specter and Santorum -- representing the extreme left and right wings of the Republican Party, while I consider myself a moderate -- and support their call for the US Department of Agriculture to intervene.

According to the story, "J. Luis Rodriguez, trade adviser for Florida Farmers Inc., a major producer based in Lake Worth, said 'Pennsylvania did not deliver for the president. We delivered twice."'

Maybe that's true.

And maybe Procacci Brothers will remember who their friends are during the next election cycle. And tell their customers.

And maybe the G.O.P. should remember who are NOT their friends, i.e. rich Florida corporate agriculture, and take a good hard look at subsidies to them . . . and eliminate these corporate welfare payments for big agribusiness!

Cutting agricultural subsidies is not just good ethics and good common sense, it's also good politics. As Grover Norquist points out, agricultural subsidies cause farmers to take leave of their senses, or rather of their morals, and vote Democratic. But "without subsidies, farmers are nothing but heavily-armed small businessmen."