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The Future of Federal Programs for Southern Commodities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2015

John W. Goodwin
Affiliation:
Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture
Howard C. Williams
Affiliation:
Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture
Joseph A. Ware
Affiliation:
Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture
Robert L. Stansberry
Affiliation:
Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Extract

The title assigned for this article suggests that a group of bureaucrats can accurately predict the actions of both the legislative and executive branches of government. Though the compliment is appreciated, it must be recognized that both the legislative and executive branches of government are subject not only to periodic changes in personnel, but also to abrupt changes in the attitudes exhibited by given personnel. Probably the most dramatic recent example of abrupt change in legislative and executive attitude in the area of agricultural policy is the series of events that occurred immediately before, during and subsequent to the January 4, 1980, announcement of the suspension of trade with the Soviet Union. Thus, it is unlikely that any analyst — be he bureaucrat, academic, or businessman — can accurately predict either legislative or executive decisions over the next 30 days, let alone over the next 30 years. Therefore, in analyzing the future of federal programs for Southern commodities, one is to some extent limited to an examination of whether such programs have in fact accomplished their stated purpose, and secondarily to an examination of whether the conditions and circumstances that originally created the need for these programs persist to a degree that justifies their continuation with or without any necessary modifications.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Agricultural Economics Association 1980

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References

Miller, Robert H.The Economic Importance of the U.S. Tobacco Industry,” paper prepared for the USDA Tobacco Task Force. Washington, D.C.: ESCS, USDA, May 1978.Google Scholar
U.S. Department of Agriculture. “State Farm Income Statistics,” Jan. 1980.Google Scholar
U.S. Department of Agriculture. “The Tobacco Situation,” Sept. 1979.Google Scholar

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