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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003


Dean's farm policy

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 13, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
One of the areas that I strongly disagree with Dean is farm policy. Dean strongly supports ethanol for example, which in my opinion is a massive welfare-esque boondoggle subsidy. An AP story comes out now with a LOT more detail about Dean's rural plans:

He urged new restrictions on giant factory farming operations, including giving local residents veto power over the building of big livestock confinement operations nearby.

Dean called for new venture capital investments in rural areas, coupled with tax credits for farm-based business development and a boost in grants for businesses that add value to basic farm commodities. For the most part, he did not estimate costs.

He also urged stronger backing for renewable energy sources such as wind and biomass, along with a requirement that there be 10 percent ethanol in gasoline. Ethanol is distilled from corn, a crop that is important to Iowa and many other farm states.

Dean was to outline his policies for rural America on Wednesday at Grundy County Lake in northeast Iowa. He chose the area to underscore his commitment to conservation as part of his development plan.

The appearance comes as Dean completes a tour of 26 of Iowa's most rural counties. His speech and an outline of his policy proposal were provided to The Associated Press.

He also proposed:

_ Banning meatpackers from owning livestock prior to taking delivery for processing.

_ Requiring country-of-origin labeling, forcing the disclosure of where products are grown.

_ Requiring labels on genetically modified products.

_ Moving toward a goal of opening trade with Cuba, while leaving in place sanctions for human rights violations.

There are some good ideas in here and some colossally bad ones (like biomass and windpower as a marge-scale replacement for energy? um, not unless the laws of physics have changed recently. We should be spending money on fusion research). I certainly don't agree with Matthew Yglesias' take, who characterizes the whole package as "subsidizing rural areas" - there certainly is a tougher line towards megafarm corporations. What do you think?


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.