Over at South Dakota Magazine, editor Bernie Hunhoff goes all "Harper's Index" on us and posts a list of South Dakota's rankings in various categories. One number that stands out: South Dakota ranks fourth in government payments per farm—$10,162.
That tidbit fits with the maps in this Iowa State University study which shows, based on 1990s data, an overlap between the states with highest per-farm income and farm employment and higher levels of government support.
So thank a farmer... for helping maintain South Dakota's status as a welfare state. And next time you're at a Tea Party, be sure to ask the fellas in the tri-corner hats if getting rid of all that dirty money from Uncle Sam includes eliminating the farm subsidies on which South Dakota agriculture survives.
Update: But let's not paint all farmers with the welfare-queen brush. The 2007 Family Farm Report from the USDA Economic Research Service notes that the a majority of farms (61%) get no government help... and a disproportionate share of the farms that do are big operations raising traditional commodities.
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