The Big Handout
How Government Subsidies and Corporate Welfare Corrupt the World We Live In and Wreak Havoc on Our Food Bills
By Thomas M. Kostigen
(Rodale Books, Hardcover, 9781609611132, 304pp.)
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
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Just reading the word “subsidies” may cause many people’s eyes to glaze over. We don’t think it
affects us directly, so we tune out. But it turns out that this complicated-sounding issue has an enormous impact on all of us. The Big Handout is about bad fiscal, environmental, agricultural, water, energy, health, and foreign policies. And it’s a story about just one thing—subsidies.
A subsidy is a grant by the government to a private business that is deemed advantageous to the
public. Cotton, wheat, corn, soy, and oil are the most subsidized commodities in the United States. In
this eye-opening book, New York Times best-selling author Thomas Kostigen explores government policies that cost taxpayers $200 billion per year, over $1,500 per household. In some cases we pay more for subsidized goods than we’d pay in a free market—and, in the most shocking abuses of the subsidy system, we pay for goods that aren’t even produced.
The Big Handout exposes how artificial pricing hurts us and people worldwide, from our waistlines
and pocketbooks to our health. By revealing just how toxic America’s subsidy system has become, for everyone, The Big Handout is a wake-up call that empowers readers to effect change.
Thomas M. Kostigen is the author of The Green Blue Book and You Are Here, and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Green Book. He lives in Los Angeles.
"A lively polemic...Kostigen provides a forceful statement of the need to reorganize food and other primary goods production in the U.S." -Kirkus Reviews"The Big Handout is a clear-eyed look at how a maze of government programs, greedy agribusiness lobbyists, and craven politicians have broken our agriculture system and how Americans can fight back for a more equitable, healthier food and farm policy." -Ken Cook, President and Cofounder, Environmental Working Group