FOOD: Word-to Mouths

Franklin Roosevelt took nearly a month of preparation and a full 10,000 words—his longest message ever—to propose his food policy to Congress. He had reason for the work and the words: he knew that to please one potent force in the U.S.—the farmer—he must displease another potent sector—the consumer. His characteristic ambition: to please both. His solution: more farm subsidies.

A Little Opium. Farm Congressmen were demanding higher crop prices. They knew that, if the lid were off, farmers could easily sell all they grew, at bonanza prices. Maybe a "little inflation" would be a good thing, some argued.

Answered the...

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