Reexamining U.S. Agricultural Subsidies

By Owen Labruna ’24

Owen Labruna ’24

While the Great Depression affected almost all sectors of the United States economy, the farming industry, which employed nearly a quarter of the country’s population, was hit particularly hard. In response, one of the first laws passed by the Roosevelt Administration was the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (AAA). Although it had good intentions at the time, the AAA has largely devolved into direct handouts to farmers, overwhelmingly incentivizing the production of only five crops: corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice. 

While government subsidies persist, the agriculture industry has changed drastically. Despite representing only 10% of incentive recipients, large corporations now control much of the farming industry and receive almost 66% of subsidy dollars.

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We Need Universal Paid Leave

By Jules Blech ’24

Jules Blech ’24

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many parents and children to work and learn from home, burdening families with additional responsibilities. Not only did parents have to take care of their children without daycare or external help, but they also had to care for sick loved ones while financially supporting their families. Universal paid parental and sick leave would have alleviated the stress on caregivers that the pandemic amplified. Universal paid leave should be enacted in the United States because it would have a positive impact on child growth and development, maternal health and participation in the workforce.  

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Inflation and the Economic Consequences of COVID

By Drew Lemon ’24

Drew Lemon ’24

Over the past several months, American families have watched the prices of everyday goods and services ascend to new heights as inflation has reached never-before-seen levels. Everyday goods and services such as food, clothing, home supplies and air transportation have become impossible to purchase for many families across the United States.

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Taking the High Road: Support for the MORE Act

Ava Burchell ’25

Ava Burchell ’25

People are smoking more marijuana than ever before. As the usage and social acceptance of this substance continues to increase, more Americans are in favor of its decriminalization and legalization for medical use. In spite of these favorable national trends, marijuana is still federally considered a Schedule 1 drug, a substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. This federal ruling contradicts various literature and scientific findings. Studies show that marijuana is not a gateway drug and its usage does not contribute to subsequent addiction later on in life— at least not any more than stress and “life-course variables.” Legislation must change to reflect changing American values and scientific findings. In doing so, the MORE Act will promote racial equity, economic prosperity, and well-being as it would ensure the protection of minorities, is fiscally beneficial, and protects consumers.

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Easing California’s Water Shortage: Moving Almond Cultivation

Chase J. Wittbrodt ’23

Chase J. Wittbrodt ’23

The water scarcity crisis in the American West is an imminent threat that directly affects more than 78 million people. As climate change unleashes its devastating impacts, the local groundwater supply is drying up and creating optimal conditions for droughts, wildfires, and desertification. Although California Governor Gavin Newsom has not yet ordered statewide water restrictions, many local municipalities have instated limitations on water usage guidelines. These restrictions prevent the non-essential use of water, such as washing a car, landscape irrigation, and drawn-out showers. As California residents have had their water usage restricted and their lives threatened by wildfires and droughts, local governments must turn their heads to an industry that has continued to use exorbitant amounts of water to cultivate their crops: the almond industry.

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