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Shocking

Posted By Russ Roberts On March 8, 2010 @ 9:31 am In Agriculture,Environment,Politics | Comments Disabled

Shocking. Not.

Florida’s plan to save the everglades really saved United States Sugar. The New York Times reports [1]:

Nearly two years later, the governor’s ambitious plan to reclaim the river of grass, as the famed wetlands are known, is instead on track to rescue the fortunes of United States Sugar.

The proposal was downsized only five months after it was announced. By April 2009, amid the deepening recession [2], the state said it could afford to purchase only 72,800 acres of United States Sugar’s land, for $536 million. The company would stay in business and the state would retain the option of buying the remaining 107,000 acres at a future date.

United States Sugar dictated many of the terms of the deal as state officials repeatedly made decisions against the immediate needs of the Everglades and the interests of taxpayers, an examination of thousands of state e-mail messages and records and more than 60 interviews showed.

Bootleggers and Baptists [3], anyone? The most important part [4] of the B and B theory for me is not that politics makes strange bedfellows–it’s that special interests use the high-minded moral high ground folks to hide their theft.

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URLs in this post:

[1] reports: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/us/08everglades.html?hp

[2] recession: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/r/recession_and_depression/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier

[3] Bootleggers and Baptists: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2007/01/bruce_yandle_on.html

[4] most important part: http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2007/Robertspolitics.html

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