Tate a perfectly plausible and (probably) harmless stand or position, for which there may be reasonable arguments. And begin stretching it. To the max. Beyond its breaking point.
In this exalted blogging realm, the Indian Economy Blog has been a consistent outlier [see footnote]. Here's the latest episode in which Dweep Chanana argues that India should refrain from "[demanding] cuts in agricultural subsidies".
There is, of course, the argument that lower subsidies will raise prices and thus raise farmer incomes. But this reasoning is egregious in so many ways, I don’t know where to begin.
First, it ignores the fact that while there are several million farmers in India, there are over 1 billion consumers too. This is the classic problem with farm subsidies in general - they benefit a strong, well organized group of producers, but against the interests of the much larger, but disorganized majority of consumers. Worse, the result will be incentives for farmers to stay in farming - just when they should be encouraged to move into other forms of production. [bold emphasis added by me]
I think Dweep has failed some of his IEB colleagues in not going far enough. Here's how we can stretch this argument even further.
We should get rid of our totally counterproductive anti-dumping laws, and allow Asia's manufacturing biggies to just dump their goods at rock bottom prices: Barbies, GI Joes and Holi water guns, bicycles, motorbikes and cars, computers, mobile phones and MP3 players, ... ! It makes perfect sense because manufacturing accounts for only a small share of our GDP and employs a far smaller workforce than our agricultural does. On the other hand, we have a BILLION consumers who have a gucking-fod-given right to enjoy their cheap toys and low-priced gadgets and dumped cars! Worse, keeping manufacturing alive will only result in perverse incentives for the workers to stay in manufacturing -- just when they should be encouraged to move into our sunrise sector: BPO.
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Footnote: We have encountered IEB insights on incentives for academics (even for those who participate in open source projects), on the role of expectations, and on how quotas may interfere with India's quest for excellence.