|The Grapes Of Wrath
farm subsidies: a necessary evil?
Subsidies are payments, economic concessions, or privileges given by the
government to favor businesses or consumers. In the 1930s, subsidies were designed to
favor agriculture. John Steinbeck expressed his dislike of the farm subsidy system of
the United States in his book, The Grapes of Wrath. In that book, the government gave
money to farms so that they would grow and sell a certain amount of crops. As a result,
Steinbeck argued, many people starved unnecessarily. Steinbeck examined farm subsidies
from a personal level, showing how they hurt the common man. Subsidies have a variety
of other problems, both on the micro and macro level, that should not be ignored. Despite
their benefits, farm subsidies are an inefficient and dysfunctional part of our economic
The problems of the American farmer arose in the 1920s, and various methods
were introduced to help so...