Subsidy has become a bad word. The moment the word 'subsidy' is mentioned one thinks of another crumb being thrown at the poor; as if tax-payers money is once again being wasted in the name of social security for reasons that are purely political. Over the years, neoliberal economists have successfully managed to create an impression in public perception that all subsides are wrong and need to be phased out. World Bank/IMF have in fact been forcing governments to remove subsidies as part of the fiscal prudence exercises needed to prop up the sagging economy. Let us face it, an average educated person finds subsidy despicable.
I wasn't therefore surprised to read New York Times commentary: "Politics gives some US subsidy program staying power" (NYT, July 14, 2011, http://nyti.ms/qDXRo4). Pitching for removal of wasteful subsidies, and most of these obviously fall in the agriculture sector, the writer tells us how these programs operate more or less like vampires, always coming back when you thought they were dead and gone.
Illustrating his argument with some telling examples, like Washington's Essential Air Service programme that results in an annual burden of $ 1.6 million for just three flights, he adds: "