As a child , my first exposure to a government program was the so called Soil Bank, or Land Bank.
During that particular time, the American farmer, due to increased technology and good growing years were producing record yields of corn. As a result corn prices were falling so low it was hard to make a profit .
Instead of letting the market determine the price, farmers would have resorted to other means of producing an income if a profit in growing corn could not have been attained. For instance, dad and mom couldn’t make money growing corn and selling it, so they bought milk cows, fed the corn to the cows and sold the milk which had good market value.
Instead, the government came up with the idea of a soil bank, where a farmer could put his land in a soil bank and not plant any crops. The government would pay him to do nothing.
This was back in the day when people didn’t expect handouts, especially from the government. In fact it was still thought to be disgraceful to take money from people who earned it and give it to people who didn’t earn it, imagine that!
I remember it being discussed a lot ,since the prices were low and it was hard to make a living farming. In the end most didn’t participate in the program, only a few.
The few that did participate , put their acreage in the land bank program and let their fields grow up in weeds. Since they were thus unemployed, they went into town and got jobs. Thereby earning a double income while collecting a check from the taxpayers for doing nothing.
The fields grew up in weeds and when the plants matured produced seeds that were blown over the neighboring fields and contaminated the adjoining area with undesirable plants. This resulted in the neighbors having to deal with the additional problems of eradicating the weeds the following year.
Of course, once a federal program is instituted, it never goes away and these farmers continued to work in town and put their land in the soil bank, thus receiving two incomes, one they didn’t earn, free money from the taxpayers.
To this day, whenever I pass some of these fields, I still think of those times when a few took advantage of a program and made money off the backs of the taxpayer for doing nothing. It has only gotten worse today, with all the “free” money the government passes out each and every year, to not only farmers, but many in the business world as well, it has become almost impossible to make a living without some kind of handout for Uncle Sam, making everyone dependent on the government.
Of course this is what they want, if we are dependent on them, we will vote for them. Let’s end the cycle now.