Steort's main idea was of the overwhelming power of the American sugar industry lobbyists, and how harmful the effects are on our society. In 1998, the "sugar tax" cost American consumers about $1.9 billion per year, and between 7,500 and 10,000 jobs were lost from 1997 and 2003 as a result of high sugar prices. Sugar accounts for 1% of U.S. farms, but contributes 17% of all campaign contributions from the agricultural sector. This demonstrates the sugar industry's power in lobbying. The U.S. sugar program encourages American farmers to plant sugar instead of crops they could grow more efficiently. It would make more sense for American farmers to plant things such as wheat, rather than sugar, which can be grown more efficiently in places such as the tropics. When Steorts says that if the sugar lobbyist succeed in derailing CAFTA, "its success will, once again, represent the triumph of the few at the expense of the many," it is a reminder of Madison's Federalist number 10, in which he speaks out against the danger of faction, and its potential to impede on the rights and lives of others just to serve its own interests. Although Steort presents a convincing argument for his beliefs on the issue of the sugar industry, I do not believe we have heard enough from both sides of the issues. A sugar farmer may be able to provide us with a convincing argument in support of the industry, or at least a few facts from the opposing side. We should take this into consideration while reading Steort's article, and forming our own educated opinions.
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