A crop-specific example would be America’s egregious sugar program, which results in Americans paying two to four times more for sugar than consumers do in other countries. According to the International Trade Commission, sugar quotas alone cost Americans $49 million a year.
Defenders of America’s sugar regime will say that it saves American jobs. The DC City Council made a similar claim to justify their attempted price controls on Uber, saying it would save jobs in the city’s taxi industry. But when it comes to sugar, the Department of Commerce estimates that for every one job saved in the sugar industry, nearly three jobs in the confectionery industry are lost.
The simple truth is that like most market-distorting policies, America’s sugar policy increases costs and kills jobs; and yet, when conservatives on the Agriculture Committee tried to kill the program, Republicans and Democrats united to maintain the destructive status quo.
Those lawmakers should heed the words of DC Council member David Catania, who opposed the Uber price controls, saying, “Our customers are not the taxi cabs, our customers are the residents.?.?. I didn’t take an oath of office to support the taxi cab industry.”
Our representatives in Congress did not take an oath to support the special interests, pick winners and losers in the market place, or implement “real price protection” for commodities. Their obligation is to us, and it is time they start remembering that.