Urban development – the ultimate challenge

Agriculture is special. It therefore deserves an outstanding dose of public subsidies. Or so we are told. But is there anything that is not special? The standard approach of economists (and others who happen to think clearly though writing about agriculture) is analytical: debunking erroneous claims for subsidies. The problem is that rational argument goes only that far. So the idea is to try something else: making up far-fetched cases in favor of subsidizing non-agricultural sectors. Their resemblance to some pro-CAP arguments would show the latter’s absurdity. … Read the rest

Let’s get concrete and controversial!

Recently, I attended a conference of the British Land Use Policy Group (LUPG) on ‘Securing our Common Future through Environmentally Sustainable Land Management – Vision for the Future of the CAP post 2013’. The first speaker noted that ‘the challenge of the next months is to identify the questions for CAP reform’. Toward the end, a commentator from the floor summarized the discussion: ‘We had a lot of questions and not many answers.’ Should we really place ourselves at such an early, exploratory stage where we struggle to grasp the main dimensions of the problems, at best determine broad directions for reform?… Read the rest

Let's get concrete and controversial!

Recently, I attended a conference of the British Land Use Policy Group (LUPG) on ‘Securing our Common Future through Environmentally Sustainable Land Management – Vision for the Future of the CAP post 2013’. The first speaker noted that ‘the challenge of the next months is to identify the questions for CAP reform’. Toward the end, a commentator from the floor summarized the discussion: ‘We had a lot of questions and not many answers.’ Should we really place ourselves at such an early, exploratory stage where we struggle to grasp the main dimensions of the problems, at best determine broad directions for reform?… Read the rest