Laws of Unintended Consequences … Ethanol Subsidies Hidden Sin Taxes?

Perhaps we should be wondering whether those who so strongly advocate (corn) ethanol subsidies secretly using them as sin taxes to change behavior.


Tom Purcell wrote it up well:

 Congress sure does know how to cut into a fellow’s social life.

As do so many ‘sin taxes’.

Since ethanol is produced from corn, the demand for corn has increased significantly. The cost of popcorn, according to Reuters, has shot up 40 percent since 2006.

Popcorn.  We are hitting Americans where it counts.

Dairy products and beef cost more, too. This is because farm animals eat corn. The higher the cost to feed them, the higher the cost of ice cream and steak and other tasty goodies made from our friends the cows.

Getting too fat, ethanol is the solution. 

But here is where things have gotten really personal: Ethanol is driving up the cost of adult beverages. Bourbon, which is made from 51 percent corn mash, is also shooting up in cost.  According to Cox News, Jim Beam spent $10.3 million for 3.4 million bushels of corn in 2004. The same amount of corn will cost $14 million this year, an increase that can drive a man to drink.

Okay, time to become really concerned. 

German beer is more costly. In Europe, farmers are switching from barley to corn to cash in on government subsidies. Less barley equals higher brew costs.

Well, popcorn really calls for a good beer. Since we’ll be eating less of that more expensive popcorn, that will lead to lower beer consumption

Even tequila is going through the roof. Mexican farmers are torching their agave fields — they’re destroying the succulent agave plants from which tequila is produced — and planting corn instead.

There might be some worms celebrating that they won’t become the star of a bottle-finishing party, but margaritas going up in price. The horror …

There are many reasons to be concerned about blind support for corn-based ethanol. 

Rising prices for your evening cocktail are just another.


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