Agricultural Policy of the United States

Agricultural Policy of the United States

Agricultural Policy of the United States

Agricultural Policy of the United States

Excerpt

Among the decisions that were made in the course of writing this book, there are a few that I wish to share with the reader at the outset. First, there was the problem of defining the subject. Agricultural policy is sometimes limited to agricultural price policy or to the analysis of price support programs. In this book, however, I have chosen to define the subject more broadly by also including in the analysis such topics as agriculture and fiscal- monetary policy, farm credit programs, soil conservation, crop insurance, aid to low income farmers, farmers' tax problems, and a few others. We begin with a discussion of the setting within which policy is operated, proceed to the objectives of policy, and then conclude with an analysis of various policies and programs that have been used or may be used to affect agricultural income and resource use.

Second, there was a question of the idiom in which the book should be written. Agricultural policy, like many other subjects in economics, is tremendously complicated. The problem was to find a method of simplification. In a firm belief that the subject is of considerable importance to a wide audience, I have attempted to make the book understandable not only to economists and political scientists but to those who have not had previous training in economics. Although the book is addressed to all diligent readers--both laymen and professionals--it also may be used as an outline for relatively advanced analysis.

Third, there was the problem of the most expeditious approach to the subject. A writer on the subject of public policy usually comes to certain policy conclusions. In several places in the book our conclusions are made explicit. I believe, however, that it is more valuable for a reader to be able to trace the course of analysis by which such conclusions are reached, rather than to memorize . . .

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