A recent article announced that the U.S. Government is going to provide $25 million per year (up to $125 million) plus millions in other funding to fund research in to a cure for Citrus Greening. A disease currently threatening the citrus industry, especially in Florida where almost all of the orange groves are infected to some extent.
The infection is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a form of lice, that feed on the trees and infect them with bacteria, turning the fruit sour and ultimately killing the trees. As a result the citrus industry is facing it’s lowest crop yields in twenty-nine years.
According to the article the citrus industry in Florida alone is worth $9 billion and employs 75,000 people.
So shouldn’t the citrus industry itself be funding this research? They’re the ones who will ultimately benefit after all and $25 million represents a meager quarter of a percent of the industry’s value.
What this amounts to is simply your hard-earned tax dollars being handed over to private companies who don’t want to pay their own way and it happens everywhere, all the time; this is only one example. Here in Ontario, the Canadian and provincial governments hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in the form of subsidies, free services and tax breaks to mining and other resource industries every year and we all know what happened when the banks got themselves into trouble through their own greed…
No wonder the rich are getting richer.