zombie farmers don’t let their dead status get in the way of government handouts

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

WHAT THE HEY?!? “Mil­lions in sub­si­dies go to dead farmers” goes the header in The Seattle Times on July 31, 2013. Well, like who needs a good old-fashioned fed­eral gov­ern­ment, taxpayer-funded sub­sidy more than a dead farmer? After all, he’s bloody dead! Who’s gonna run the farm if he’s not there?

Ac­tu­ally, these dead farmers could still be run­ning their farms—if they are zom­bies. I know, I know: there is ab­solutely no sci­en­tific ev­i­dence for the ex­is­tence of zom­bies, but, as the Rep*blicans have made clear for thirty years, sci­ence is just full of “theerees,” not facts.

Hell’s Belles, zombie-ism has al­most as much be­lief backing it as cre­ationism, and the con­ser­v­a­tives are fighting to get that taught in high schools!

The money is not a big issue here: the total amount is es­ti­mated to have been “$10.6 mil­lion in pay­ments be­tween 2008 and 2012 to more than 1,000 people who had been dead for more than a year.”

Knowing nothing other than these fig­ures, a very rough es­ti­mate would in­di­cate that we are talking about $10,000 per farm household.


Zombies forest 1500

This photo was taken from The Walking Dead (Season 9, Episode 2, “The Bridge”). Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC. At the time that I write this in May 2020, I am about to binge-watch the second season of this series.

Those damned do-gooders

The ar­ticle dis­cusses pos­sible over­pay­ments in­volving in­sur­ance (a dif­ferent topic en­tirely) and busting up a fraud ring in North Car­olina that in­volved farmers, in­sur­ance agents, claims ad­justers, and others.

What the ar­ticle does NOT men­tion is ex­actly where these pay­ments are going and to whom. Some­body is re­ceiving them there gov’ment checks, signing them, and de­positing them. But maybe that some­body ain’t a zombie farmer . . .

As for my orig­inal ques­tion above—Who needs a good old-fashioned fed­eral gov­ern­ment, taxpayer-funded sub­sidy more than a dead farmer?—well, it seems there’s an answer:

“Not only are un­lim­ited crop in­sur­ance sub­si­dies flowing to the largest and most suc­cessful farm busi­nesses, they are now going to de­ceased pol­i­cy­holders. This ir­re­spon­sible use of scarce tax­payer dol­lars re­in­forces just how broken the system is.”

So sayeth Scott Faber, vice pres­i­dent for gov­ern­ment af­fairs of the En­vi­ron­mental Working Group, which has been crit­ical of farm subsidies. 

And there go those damned do-gooders, blaming big busi­ness and a cor­rupt gov­ern­ment agency or process. Let’s do the Oc­cam’s razor thing and stick with the zombie farmers, okay?


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Or, we might ask how many gal­lons of water it takes to grow enough sub­si­dized corn to make a gallon of ethanol with which to mess up gasoline.
Just an­other slice of the razor.

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