What a Sweet Deal for Sugar Farmers: $3.86 Billion to Support Prices

As you can imagine, there is a lot of sugar cane grown in Costa Rica. There would be a lot more grown I bet, if U.S. tax payers stopped giving sugar farmers in the U.S. subsidies. If consumers were able to buy their sugar at world market prices, that’s almost $4 billion.

And the sugar users: mega conglomerates like Coke and Little Debbie would see a nice boost to the bottom line.  OR the price of Coke and Little Debbies would plummet and the U.S. could grow fatter cheaper.

If sugar quotas were eliminated, and American consumers and business had been able to purchase 100% of their sugar in 2011 at the world price (average of 31.68 cents per pound) instead of the average U.S. price of 56.22 cents, they would have saved about $3.86 billion.

I’m not smart enough to figure out if this is accurate. I don’t know how you account for the impact of high fructose corn syrup in the price of sugar.

But this guy says it pretty well:

The cost of most trade protection is largely invisible and hard to calculate, but the cost of sugar protection is directly visible and measurable, since the USDA and the futures markets regularly report prices for both high-cost domestic sugar and low-cost world sugar.

Wait… sugar causes obesity.

Obesity bad.

Perhaps Congress should pay mega-farms NOT to grow sugar.


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What a Sweet Deal for Sugar Farmers: $3.86 Billion to Support Prices — 1 Comment

  1. Actually, sugar doesn’t necessarily cause obesity in it’s pure form. HFCS does (high fructose corn syrup) and sucrose does because the body can’t properly metabolize it, but not sugar. Of course, whatever food sugar is cooked into (cakes, pies, cookies, fudge, etc) can certainly cause obesity especially if one sits around watching TV and stuffing them into one’s mouth but that’s hardly the fault of the sugar is it?

    Oh, and Coke hasn’t had any sugar in it for decades now. It’s all HFCS. The only Coke that still goes by the original formula which includes sugar is made in Mexico. I’m just full of it now ain’t I?