« The Weeds

Speaker Ryan had a farm bill (E-I-E-I-O)


Sarah, Dara and Matt discuss a Republican farm bill that would impose work requirements on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) beneficiaries. Then they turn to a white paper on OxyContin and the heroin epidemic. References and further reading: Good Politico article summarizing the farm bill Marion Nestle's piece on the farm bill White paper on OxyContin's impact on the heroin epidemic German Lopez's piece on the OxyContin white paper

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
If we don't call this episode, the farm bill is a giant corn fritter. I click allow welcome to another set of the weeds on the box. Media has networks method place. He is here with Darlin, Sir Cliff we're ready to talk about the farm bill. I have mostly been coming to my saying, video of a song about the Farmville matter, but this is why you know it's: no. This is not the daily broadcast, but you know I've just been been hominid myself, Speaker Ryan had a farm bill in that fight.
Billy, had some work requirements iii- I oh- and I just was it. This is not first, shall I said next to mad and our newsroom, and he has been quietly singing a stem cell for about a week or so I sat Eddie, I snapped cut their ear cut their cut everywhere. Snapshot, Speaker Ryan, had a farm anyway. If I drop out of this conversation at any time during this pod cast, please assume that I'm working on a version of that that scans better, how that some serious she had an over developed census. Ganja Matt NEWS. This very well, it's one of my leg, weird quirks, along with my hatred of liberation How do you know if you were apparent pandora? You might appreciate that sometimes you need to be able to just modified children, size wheelbarrow flock of over here. To argue about the reason we have this on the farm bill, the farm bill, which has some work required it does so we like going on there is a lack of on the farm bill were also gonna talk about heroin later in this episode, a really good research paper that
colleague, Carmen Lobe, has brought to our attention, but first we are start with. You know we're really that action is these days in Washington and which is the farm bill it has been moving through. The house will start seeing some movement in the Senate soon in order to start with the part that, think is caught in the most attention at this point, which are some changes to these snap programme. The food stamps program that have been proposed in the hospital that have passed through a committee there and that are pretty roundly opposed by democrats- are thought to be helpful first to kind of way out like what is going on there, and one of the things I was going over this episode. That really surprised me was that snap now represents eighty percent of farm bill spending the farm bill is buying I urge a food stamps, but also any changes you're going to make Food stamps are gonna, be a pretty major part of the bell and the big thing that's going on here. The thing that has got in the most Tension is the idea of making a much stricter work requirement and snap programme. This really reflects a lot of,
we ve seen from the Trump Administration in they're in Medicaid. This idea that people, if they are going to receive a government, banish FED, they have to show that they are working there. really already are some work requirements in the snap programme, but a very easy to get waivers from that every state, except for Delaware, for some reason, has saved a waiver at some point from snaps current work requirements which shall suspend the work requirement in areas where there aren't insufficient jobs and seats of use. This pretty deliberately because right now than this surprised me, love at learning about it to snap actually does have a three month limit, individuals who are not employed for certain category of adults who are not employed, but states have constantly applied for wave so essentially what this does is it's a lot harder to apply for those waivers and it expects a lot more people be hit, but these work requirements, so the work requirements in there Publican Bell. They are
targeted at adults between eighteen and fifty nine, who are not disabled, pregnant or caring for another for child? Most people think this is about five million to seven million current snap and wrote Liese, and these people would be required to show proof of what king or volunteering about their doing some kind of job training. Twenty out there's a week in order to continue receiving their snapped benefits one of the other things that does is really scale up money for work training, so it right now about ninety million dollars per year are spared, spend on providing work, training to snap recipients, Washington state as apparently done some interesting things without money, the republican bill. What up to a billion dollars a year in just three years, that's a huge change in. I think, there's some questions about whether the
structure? Would be there like what would happen to the billion dollars a year with there's also questions about like the scope of that a billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, but when you're dividing it among the like millions, more people who are your now fondling into that work programme, I saw one estimate from the centre on button the priorities, which is a left, leaning, think tank that there were people maybe you're lying on a lot during this podcast because they ve been maybe authorities on income support programmes and they did the math that given that you are going to have to shift about three million people into those our programmes, if you divide that one billion you end up with twenty eight dollars, a participant per month, which is maybe not so much as one billion and just away on top of this. The last time the USDA evaluated design training programmes is a nineteen. Eighty four, they found that there was no significant impact on participants, wages, hours, her job retention, so there's some reason to question what will happen
this money will essentially what the big changes are happening and snap under the house bill. It's much stricter work requirement paired with this bigger fined for these work training programmes that we're not totally short. How well they're going to work out the other day about effectiveness that that I want to know is that it's not like you know, the data we have on this stuff is mostly from the nineties, but it's not because there has been no effect to measure it since then, like a bunch of states are currently in the midst of pilot programmes that were funded by the last Farmville to test various lake, you know, Sir requirements in programmes would look like and literally Congress. Last time around said we're going to fund these
programmes to see what works and to see what actually helps snapped beneficiaries get back to work, and then this I'm around is going well instead of waiting for those results to come in we're going to just assume that what really helps is forcing people to work and giving them twenty eight dollars a month and job training which, like doesn't seem like the best spending of twenty fourteen congresses, money. Here's what I will say about this you know did something that we saw, I think, from the ninety nine years. Experience with creating work requirements for cash welfare systems that at least superficially. I think we'll, reform, worked fine in the late. Ninety nine, that would you had was you had a combination of ace, strong labour markets, and it was a good Paul of people into the workforce with a kind of push from the welfare reform programme If you look at where the economy is right, now right now
I'm afraid so low. We continue to be adding about a hundred thousand a little bit more jobs per month, which is faster than the underlying rate of population growth. We seeing the Labour force participation rate of people over the age of fifty five has been growing like quite a quite a bit. You know indicating that the economy serve its like wanting people to stay in the labour force longer wishing rising primates work a little bit we're seeing for young workers. It still at a lower level than spin historically, because more people are in school, but but it's going up, and so, if, in twenty eight, you pass a law that takes effected twenty nineteen and weak He knew adding a hundred thousand jobs a month or so yet these work requirements will quorum quote work. You know people will go into the twenty eight dollars a month. Job training programme and they will come out like with with a job
by bad, like whether the training works are not right, because we really are at a moment in time. when kind alike shoving people off allege, I think this is gonna work for the majority of the people who were shut, great the problem with the switch from DC to ten. If was that elaborated on those acronyms for sharing for and so a d families would dependent. Children was like the old cash welfare and then was changed to temporary assistance for needy families which had work requirements, but by a minority of the people or wound up cut off. And in really really dire straits, although it worked fine for most people, The problem was the economy. Doesn't stay good forever, right, an in two thousand one. We had a my old but long, lasting recession seven we had a severe and long lasting recession.
The whole sort of cash assistance programme had wither away by that times and and food stamps to an extent grew as a as supplement for that is something that we do not help keep people alive through a period of scant work and if you, PETE the whole exercise, minnow big fear I would have about this- is that you could pass something along the lines of what Republicans are talking about and it could. seem to work out, fine fer, a couple years and then set us up for like a real the humanitarian disaster down the road, particularly because of the inner A sea of these training programmes? Writing me like one of the worst things that you could do. I think is attached strict work requirements create a big totally dysfunctional job training programme then have good
we cannot make conditions make the bad job training programme look good. So then everybody is like. This is great right. We just instead of giving people a handout, were giving them training and and they're getting on their own feet, and then you know the economy inevitably hits a rough patch, and then suddenly you have this worthless training programme. That's never been validated, and you know, like a huge disaster and the sounds really similar to what actually played out with welfare, where a lot of you know when they were pursuing. The original welfare forms tat in the work requirement. There research, something those being referred to as the riverside miracle, this bureaucrat out in California who had gotten a waiver implemented work requirement. The economy's booming people are moving jobs and office, and there's the sense of o. This works that that, if you work requirement that this is going to happen, but a few years later so after the country entirely free works, are welfare, says
based on the results coming out of this research in California, then EU office and see the economy not doing so great and all that research doesn't seem to hold and I think that's a really key point that you're making mad that a lot of depends so much on the economic conditions, sir they get and work work training can only get you see, far can get. You may be closer to a job and the research on that and snap as a law, but if he, but it can, mitigate a very bad economy where the people near you are not hiring waited, and I think it's worth kind of pointing out here that king about the relationship between work and unemployment and snap assume a little bit that the two go together right. That people who are on snapper unemployed, which is like first of all most people who are on snap are working. Most of the people who aren't working research has shown Erlich were working and you know have just lost their jobs- are about to get back on their feet. There is not
a large population of people other than people other severe mental issues, physical issues, for whom a snap in what they're doing as their permanently unemployed bite. Additionally, if you ask the question Ok, what is wrong with quote unquote snap now that Republicans want to fix its that as the recession has abated and other social safety. Net programmes have kind of shit. in response with dinner there being fewer people on ten f than there were? During the height of the great recession? There are fewer people getting on unemployment insurance. The snap rules, continued to grow there not growing is quickly. Now, as they were during the great recession, There are now a lot bigger than other social safety NET programme. So that's why they're being targeted now but the reason that the cases, because they're not moving in the same direction, the unemployment is so question about why that's the case be conserved.
Take on. It is that it's because states have expanded snap, debility so much so a lot of the stock in here, not just with work requirements, but other things is designed to standardize, or you know, keep states essentially from being able to exercise some discretion and how to implement the programme, but there is also The angle of maybe people are working there, just not making enough money through working there, not working enough hours because allowed to their intent, work, etc, etc. Bait this version of the bill that simultaneously tries to solve the. Why is snap continuing to grow, even though unemployment is shrinking. Problem also has this workfare provision that assumes that the problem with snap is that unemployment is our is growing, because people are on snap instead, also working, Always in these kind of questions, as I think like that to all mission of, on the one hand, Republicans want people to work instead of collecting benefits
but on the other hand, they want to spend less money on programmes and realistically it's more Spencer to administer a well functioning work requirement, training in Europe. They call active labour market policies, like good high quality programmes, it really attempt to get people into work while they also don't starve, bother on it. Will you also administered the that would be more expensive right, the unemployment rate is relatively low nationally but like in ocean city, New Jersey, there's a fourteen point, three percent unemployment rate. So, if you people who are living in ocean city, New Jersey to go, get a job brethren get subject gifted some guy I've been a mentor exactly what it is you have to do, but you either have to create jobs, community or create transportation networks linking commuter someplace else or up the movement, but you have to do something you can just clap your hands right and then what
cost more than just short of providing some subsistence and hope they can muddle through and something what come up it at some point But the goal, always with these kinds of things, is to try to spend less spread. So this, like a lot of new spending on administration and the spell because to do the bureaucracy of the requirements costs, money and then they're just taking that money out of benefits spreads. Even though these scaling up of the staff job training is huge and sensitive from thirty million tonnes, billion dollars, you're like assume, you can increase this thirty fold and it still work, even though its not clear that it works at all. It's also not that much money in in the scheme of things right, like that's the the sort of Paris separated, they're, not saying here. What we want to do is take a huge you new chunk of money and put it into helping people, get down,
jobs, they're saying we want to take this relatively modest anti poverty programme and just sort of assert that by shifting the money around what work and make it work better and as we talk about with the Medicaid work requirements, you know some of this is just large new logistical burdens on people who are currently working right like if you work in a low wage job and you working twenty five hours a week and you have childcare responsibilities. You are probably eligible for some snapped benefits. Now you will continue to be eligible for snapped benefits under this new programme, but you can to do a lot of proving that you are eligible which can be to be in its path, well that you will mess up and you
lose your eligibility. I mean there's a there's a philosophical issue here, but this is just like a practical. Empirical diagnosis is: do you think that the big problem in America is that poor people are to have it too easy right? Paul Ryan likes to use this metaphor about how the safety net has become a hammock and then just like seems like a telling metaphor to me. It did. It doesn't look to me by eyeball then low income communities are full of people hanging out on hammocks. Just as there is a question about what is the problem here, there are multiple questions about what does a conservative response? to this problem look like in some regard this. As an economic conservative bell, it's trying to spend less money, it's trying to spend less money on social safety net in particular, but that's getting mixed up with the kind of social conservative we want. in Amerika, in which people work which That said it implies. We are willing to spend money now so that people get back into the workforce. There's some
often hear about require states to have people work with child support, enforced and in order to get snap benefits, witches de while you shouldn't be a deadbeat dad. You should ideally live in a two parent household Neff, not you should, at the very least, be getting financial support and then there's kind of the federalist angle of will, which allow, states to do what they. Why and kind of test those programmes, laboratories of democracy and figure out from state policy which were expressed, which is definitely not what the current Farmville is doing in so far as its doing a lot more to standardize states, both in terms of forcing them to raise the cap's firm how people qualify in some cases and forcing them to expand the eligibility requirements in some cases, but to contract them in many more. So you kind of see here very Intellectual threads of the republican coalition bait it's really hard to say that this is why a so
conservative solution or an echo, conservative solution, looks like it. Just ends up this massive muddled mass yet, and I think that one of the other ideological things that gets all mixed here is that you could see a world in which Democrats were interested in some kind of increase job training. But you saw this during the tv they were. You did see, I think, goes. I got a dozen or so Democrat senators who are willing to support this tpa, the trade promotion Authority in exchange for extra job training, funding, guess they they were essentially job. Training funding is like what got a decent size of Democrats enough to keep things moving forward for a little while on board with that. But you Don't say that same thing happening here, for I think some of the exact reasons that matters pointing out because of the You are trading off because of the work requirement that you're looking at four snap universe are agriculture. A porter politico has been doing great reporting on this, and she points out that Washington State, which is not a path.
of conservative ideal. That is a state that generally is represented by Democrats in the Senate. Has a demo the governor, that They are the ones who have really pioneered the work and snap training programmes that it is voluntary at this point, Washington to then require people to be part of them, but they're kind of the breeding ground for those sort of experiments. This isn't something you know that necessarily cuts across ideal coal mines, but the idea of wearing on top of that this you're accuracy in this work requirement. And again you know when I enter Esben was my time. Work requirement was talking to people about medicate. Requirements in some of the opposition, I think, is definitely ideological yeah that care should be a right that this is something super basic that people should not have to work for butter out of its also logistical the idea that you're going up losing people who who are
working, but maybe there hours very Alot week to week. So you know they dont have in the case of the snap. and they do, they don't have twenty hours a week on average for one month, all of a sudden there falling off the programme might average out over three months they actually we're working twenty hours per week. That aid can end up with pretty unintended consequence enable a lot of paperwork your awkward, and even if you look at Kentucky which is working on a medicate work requirement. they have estimated it's going to cost more run this work requirement in this is without even doing any sort of job training just a track like who is working and how many hours there working and get all that paperwork that is additional bureaucracy for the states. I think see a world where Democrats get behind the idea of some kind of job training money, but here, like the trade off just does not seem were.
add to that. But I do want to zero in on and the point you made about job training when it was linked to trade promotion authority, exists, I think it's important not to get to this it is called the weeds, but it's important not to get to sucked into the specific content of these things went like the broad Republican Party view is that thing at all should be done to help poor people with any problems right and when you have a specific conversation, it's like no, the poor need jobs, not food stamps. Right but like in general trachoma, authority with something most congressional Republicans thought was good. They thought trade promotion authority would help you can. Growth and they were not interested in spending. One penny on increased job training in
to get that you want to. Do. I invite readers forgotten what trade promotion authority, while this is basically to get transpacific partnership Danny it that the legislator mechanics will complicate but was like Democrats then we're like. Let's kick in some more job training money. We're probably did not want to kick it more job, training but we're Lebanon's Wanna, take snap money and turn it into job training, muddy but they also when they talk about transportation, Bell, they want to take money for buses and they wanted to get rid of that and put it into highways. When marker Ruby, I wanted to have a smaller corporate income tax cuts and a bigger child credit by they were not interest in that when Paul Ryan briefly floated the idea a couple years ago that he wanted to make a t see more generous right. That is a program to help poor people. That, by definition, only comes to you if you're working here is a tax.
Finally, he wanted to do it, but only if it could be paid for by cutting other anti poverty programmes ride. So it's like, within the universe of a fixed pool of money, different republican members of Congress have different ideas about like water, particularly horrible ways to help poor people forces water. Is to help poor people that they will grudgingly accept, but like them, basic ideas that poor people should have no social services. They shouldn't have in work tax benefits, they shouldn't have transport. Sean assistance. Migration have anything right, Is it and it's not because we can't afford right, like the power to tax rebuild across many trillions of dollars, and they want to make it permits they want to make a bigger right. I mean sums of money that completely dwarf. What we're talking about here are fine to expand on business tax cuts, but
maybe you have to pay for the tax cuts by taking things away from poor people or maybe take things way from poor people, is like a good in and of itself, but there's just no there's no dimension in which, like helping poor people, is it their congressional Republicans actually want to do on the mirror, and that's. Why he's dragoon programmes they both get hand wavy an indifferent conduct? I don't believe in them at all. They will even give you read like a cliche republican example of how federal government is stupid. Is that the federal It runs all these different job training programmes, including many that the GEO says don't work, but like now it's their answer and it's you know it's like especially with as you're. Not here like this is like a bottomless pool of bad faith. Coming from from these people. That needs to be understood, so one detail of this proposal that like actually it I think reinforces
point. I think we need to break, and then we will get to the details
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Hello listeners of the weeds, I'm gonna, Gordon and I'm ready to Roma theme. We, your co host of a new podcast, called displaced from the box media, podcast network ambience National Rescue Committee. My grandson, my work right now. The word is witnessing the largest displacement crisis since world war, two, it has the largest number of people displaced because of conflict. You ve seen in headlines around Syria, Yemen and Jordan, and if you want to understand why that is and what can be done about it, listen to displaced you can subscribe on apple podcast or whether you get your podcast back to the weeds. So yeah? So I am, willing to endorse the medical Esias pieces of bottomless bad faith, but I do think it's it's worth noting that the weed, the proposal is structured. You know, as mountains. They were talking about their all these onerous documentation requirements in order to prove the urban twenty hours a week. If you don't do that for a month
and yours, but you know, you're in the pool of people were supposed to that. First call Quote: violation results in you being locked out of snapped for a year the second and got violation is three years which is of ludicrous. You know you're trying to do this as a job promotion programme. You know either you grant the idea that they're not employed for a month just because there like relying on snap instead, there is there twelve more months during which ay, they have no snap benefits and be they have no incentive to find a job. If you're saying that snap is supposed to be there incentive to find a job and then you away that incentive the idea that someone is actually going to be incentivize to get and keep a job because they will lose benefits for a year if they don't may sound really good in theory, but in practice it's much more likely to just remove the carrot from a bunch of people than that. actually present them with the carrot and stick every month that they would need to get moving yeah. So
I think, that's right. I think it's also worth talking about that. The broader political linkages- and this right I mean, there's a reason that this is called the the farm bill rather than the food stamps bill right It said the though longer legislative history of this vehicle is that it is primarily an agricultural subsidies. Bill bright and over time in farm subsidies continue to be a thing in America. But a lot of them exist on that trade policy side, whether on the direct spending side, foods has grown as a programme one reason. It's grown is not exactly that its liberals favorite idea in the world- or you know the thing that Democrats think is absolutely the best way to help. people, but that they had a coalition politics concept around, which is that food stamps are not cash assistance. You can only
spend them in certain kinds of stories. You can only spend on certain kinds of things, but they are very flexible and everybody. Every household in America want to buy a bunch of snap eligible stuff use. The at stores that would take snap, so It functions sort of like cash. It's like it's like almost cash, but because it is linked to grocery is big grocery store chains, including Walmart, like this programme, our business interests also like it. And so that has been the sort of the the politics of snap that cash welfare became politically untenable. Snap, is almost as good as cash for people who want a flexible social assistance programme, but a more powerful lobbying coalition behind it. That includes retailers and includes farm state interests. and because farm state interests, particularly alleys, traditionally of,
sway in the Republican. Coalition snap has been, partisan, George W Bush is administration, increase snap eligibility as part of compassion, conservatism so this kind of lumber. forward as a way to help poor people that could get done. I think you know one of the big things you're you're. Seeing with this bill is not method. This and be enacted into law exactly as written, but that that listen. All logic has fallen apart and that there is no particular reason in the future for liberals to pursue the goal of helping poor people through the specific mechanics of food stamps, as opposed to you know anything else that you might do that. This is not like a bipartisan cause. They d Republicans on the agriculture
many want to make this programme much stingier and a lot of ways. Paul Ryan, wants to get the Trump administration seems body and there's no there's nobody on the republican sign whose extending up saying like no no no like foodstuffs great like we should totally not cut that the hall conservative. You no movement is body into the theory that, like this, is more or less the same as cash welfare, and we want to treat it more or less the same. Why? Yes, there is, really great article that Marian Nassau, whose a can of food politics right. and professor, and why are you sure, What about a few years ago, she decided she was going to try and teach the twenty four in farm bill in a class, since she thought this would be a great waiver, her students learn about agriculture policy and she immediately.
grab this decision, because the farm bill has become such an amalgamation of things that really have very little to do with farms. It's become this kind of mash up of snapped benefits which are At this point, eighty percent of the bell, the other twenty four I'm going to a whole variety of programmes with no engine of this, was true in Maria nestles writing about this. You know at the last authorization for years or five years ago, where it did not seem D. Articulate like a clearer theory of light, here is what we want out of american agriculture. Could write that bell right leg. You could write a bell. You know she asked her graduate students to say why The goals, if you were like writing something called the farm bill and they say well, it's probably like that. You know people or eating healthy and there's enough food. You know four for Americans to conceal that. That seems like a plan a ball theory, and I love jam when she's kind you're right about Frankenstein, and all of this is the
Does one passage in or essay that really stood out to me that I wanted to share where she writes about this tension, as it shows up between the subsidy. the Farmville verses, what the USDA, which is also regulated under the farmers, suggest people should be eating, and this is in its my plate. Food guides like when you see those diagram. in schools or whatever that you know, your plate should be x, amount healthy vegetables and like a very amount of sugar, since she looks like what Please would look like if you are using the actual subsidies in the farm bill. So she writes you were to create a my plate meal that match the government subsidies. You would get quite the lecture from your doktor more than three quarters your plate would be taken up by a massive corn fritter. Eighty percent of it let's go to corn grain or in soil, you'd have a Dixie CUP of milk. Dairy gets three percent, a hamburger, the size of a half dollar livestock, two percent to peace, because fruits and vegetables get four point. Four five percent and in after dinner cigarette, because tobacco gets two percent,
oh and a really big linen napkin, because cotton gets three percent to dab your lips on and I'll put this link and show notes if you miss Terry but I think it really somewhat cutesy way with a giant corn fritter to illustrate so, old tensions that show up in the farm bill unkind of like how this law growling approach, it's too a bill that doesn't really articulate a clear theory of like what we actually What we want our farms to produce is totally out of work with what the same agencies are telling Americans. That is that these are the things would be healthy for you to be eating yeah. I think that kind of inconsistency exists on the food stamps site as well re Lake when food stamps were created as a programme. It was during a time when the biggest problem with food and low income communities was actual hunger. Right was enough. Calories, malnutrition, daddy's
No longer the case there is. There are lots of ways to get lots of cheap calories. There is a much Your problem and low income communities with obesity with people not getting the right calories end people money to buy food doesn't itself help with that. There are various ways that snap tries to incentivize people to eat re. Some of these reports, and proposals. Actually Wade subsidize retailers are like reimburse retailers fur, making it easier for people on food stamps to buy fruit and vegetables and milk, but in general, is a programme that assumes that people, if they didn't, have stamps would go hungry instead of the biggest problem is making sure that people, you know especially children have the right nutrition to not develop health problems in later life than I am and this is not a problem with Congress per SE. It's a problem with how Americans, in general think about poverty. You know you Think about like true poverty is like o children who are starving people who can't get enough to eat
even though the actual image of poverty in the. U S is somebody who can't get enough to eat. doesn't have any phone or anything like that, it's somebody who can get it to eat, but isn't eating healthily a setting themselves up to spend a lot for a lot of, the problems in later life. That's not literally sympathetic, that's an image that makes it sound like they are making poor choices and it's hard to, create policy that addresses that problem is also politically palatable, time you kind of have Ba dear of farm subsidies sounds great. Rightly. Farmers are important. It's a good idea to be able to make sure that farmers are producing the food. America needs accepted, as there was saying with some of these. You know meat and cotton subsidies and the either green subsidies are structured most, Farm subsidies are designed for industrial agriculture there not designed for food that people are then going to eat their design.
Four things that are going to become feed for animals in the American cottoned industry. That kind of thing so, in both cases there's this disconnect between the pole. These that are actually you know needed or endorsed and be kind of ideal ized vision of the farm bill that people like to think exists when their law growing this through. What I think you do within snap. What we ve seems to me is is gone on. Is it there of two different programmes at war with each other in sight. Snap bright and one is the one. That's the name writes that supplemental nutrition assistance programme would pies to me, I'm anything as their name, a modest. You know I e supplement. A programme that is aimed at nutrition assistance. So it's like you got somebody and there okay, there basic survival needs are met,
but maybe they need a little supplemental nutritional assistance and that really seems like it should be a voucher to buy fresh vegetables, etc. Maybe, but you know quite risk: for as you, you sometimes see it in proposals to make snap but stamp, isn't really a supplemental nutrition. This programme is the cornerstone of anti poverty assistance in the, states right. So if there were some other programme that giving us distance amount of money to people there could be aid, like modest, nutritionally, focus programme, to make sure that, in addition to not starving, you have the ability to get healthy fruits and vegetables for your family, snap is like serving serving. Rules at that time, then I'm on the agricultural cultural side, the problem with a lot of government industrial power. He type things in general is that the tendency is for the rich to get richer right.
U S, agriculture is a global superstar in churning out cos and saw way for animal feed purposes and for creating high Gus corn. Sarah soybean oil in a different kind of flight agricultural byproducts were really really good at that. I've got good land for it and so because we're so good at it. There's like a mighty lobby around, since it would keeps agricultural policy oriented toward it when in some idealized sends. You want government policy to do the opposite, ride, to sort of take what weaker at and try to promote kind of thing a end, but then that the political economy of it is a sort of bleak, because if you look at that, the corn in soil belt in the United States stretches across a whole bunch of different states, whereas the vegetable Bell is very heavily like just in California and, of course, For me as a big state and a lot of people live in California, but the Senate doesn't care how many people living in California
They have only a couple allies, whereas the that sort of staple greens have incredible toil cloud and those like, probably nothing? You know that never be done about that If you ever just have like a straight up political fight between states that grow vegetables and states that grow of corn- and so I like corn, enjoy, is always always always going to win anything. It's fund noodle about like but would agree farmville look like, but I also know that this any actual there there I don't know. I think that the way I would put this counterfactual that might actually be in a sharper neutering is what would it from. farm bill. Look like if you take Republicans at their word right now: they're, not the Party of Agribusiness right there. The party of rural communities that have been ignored, by coastal elites and now are supposed to be in it-
claiming America and the american government is their own, which is now actually consistent with a bill that thinks of Poland. the rural leg as giving massive agribusiness subsidies? So I would No, I don't have the right answer that I feel like there is. Probably the person in this room is done, the most reporting on actual rural communities, but you know I'm in what way to a bill to in the asked in rural communities and bring them up to speed, look like with even have anything to do with agriculture, food or lake. Are we talking about something that looks. Nothing like the farm bill and decode. End quote: real agenda that we have right now. You think that's a good question like rural communities and those time in NAM, mostly for wording on different, will correct and how it's going there. I don't really tough People who, like Britain, unpack the family fire negatives like there's a lot of infrastructure needed, but alive
It is not agricultural infrastructure. It seems like that. almost the end. You know that I'm talking from a pretty limited vantage points- I don't want to speak to lake you know is somewhat leaving aside the world here, but communities that I have been in. You know that desires seems to be. I guess I spend our time talking about their health care, for, like somebody, basic standard of health care like that, would be a huge help to the people that I talk to you in some kind of like economic development. But, like I don't hear much like Burma, Finally, what did I mean this is this is an important sort of peace of this right. That, like rural is a hazy get conceptual category and if you look at the core of farm belt of the United States right, you know Iowa Nebraska. These are actually a prosperous states. I mean whether or not the residents of them also feel look down upon by coastal leads right.
But then, if you look at upstate New York or Eastern Kentucky or the Mississippi Delta like these are places are also whirl, but they are not well suited to large scale, highly efficient staple crop manufacture and there economic conditions are totally totally different and they USDA as an agency, I think in a practical sense, like its clients, are. The success full agribusiness regions of the United States, not the struggling rural areas again. It's like in France, where one of the major goals of agricultural policy is to me, tat the aesthetic qualities of World France, but that's very much like It really like cuts again. So much of the american ethos to say we're. Gonna spend money on having like cute,
He farms and upset New York and Rural New England, even though their not economically efficient and MIKE You know scaling that kind of idea. Up I mean it holds a certain appealed to me like. I also enjoy cutesy farms, but it's a gets so hard for me to imagine. The United States ever really go. In that direction and, like the farm committee is, and that the bureaucracy like it's all its own, geared to the really successful part of American. I we're culture which is like really exporting soybeans, another staple great. So you say you can't unfair. The corn fritter with that? I think we're to take a break and then we're gonna get to research and heroin.
Are you paying attention that, just as I guess, but to everything everything if you like me when you're not listening to Pike S reading, let the latest ideas issues, often in your favour, magazines, and you can get all the magazines that matter with texture. What is its, it happened, has over two hundred top magazine tall in one place, a bunch of leading knowledge have come together to work with this company with a single up. You get hundreds of the best magazines in complete issues and back issues, time, lanting border tonnes, other stuff, ology. Frankly, Jackson once like later, they ve got Beholder Cosmo, they ve got entertain legally consecrate canadian magazines for weirdos. Like me, textual delivers the best of both worlds, newsworthy stories and relaxing entered at any time, and it is the best place to bind polity journalism, beautiful photos in depth and european perspective to check all sides in the story. If you want to get that great magazine journalism without having piles of stuff on your coffee table, texture is the way you dive deep into the issues you care about today with texture Cecily. Ninety nine, a month which is frankly an amazing thing about two hundred magazine or ten million and one for their giving our listeners free tripe such start a seven day, pretrial textured outcomes, texture com, so we re decisions were magazine, textured our camp, so the paper we're talking about today, it is called.
how the re formulation of oxy content ignited the heroin epidemic, which kind of gives you a sense of the conclusion that the authors are going to come to It is from economists, William Evans, Ethan, Labour and Patrick Power and Herman Lopez. Didn't I write about this study for a box of opponents shone out suit. This looks at it. regular moment in the history opium epidemic in August. Twenty ten when produce them in fact manufacture of oxy content, releases, what is supposed to be a new abuse, deterrent version of their drug that has been we clearly abused by patients. There regional argument by Purdue, was that this drug was along release drug that people want abuse it, because it's released over the course of twelve hours. It turns out. You can get around that by crushing snorting at injecting it so they
this new abuse abuse resistant, oxy content that is going to kind of turned to mush. If you try to dissolve water, it's a lot harder to crush and what they find in this Where is it seems like I'm I'll. Just read from their conclusion. Is that believe that the new abuse, deterrent formulation led many consumers to substitute to an inexpensive alternative heroin, find that opium consumption stops rising in August. Twenty ten heroin deaths in climbing the following months. In with and heroin dots was greater in areas with greater pre free formulation, access to heroin in Opium AIDS, so essentially, the kind of top on conclusion is that each prevented opium death was replaced with a heroine death, and I think it's a little bit of a hard. deeper, to wrap your mind around. I think You know when am ermine was TAT, to drug policy experts. They don't think I was wrong for four. Do too
formulates to create this abuse, deterrent, oxy content. It is not bad to make it harder to use this drug. It seems like. I did in fact lead to fewer people abusing this drug, but it should was like how it feels like a very welcome all situation we top down on one thing and then easy access to heroin means more people are turning to that drug. You know again, one of those useful things are mom. Doesn't that articles like things They'll alternative, like turn it? If we just don't get we let people abuse, Obiang AIDS and, like that, just continues forever. It doesn't seem like turn it. I've not deterring abuse is a great one, but I think it speaks to eat up how interconnected all these different parts of opium epidemic are and how difficult it is to create a solution that just tackles one tiny arm of that yeah. I'm in, I think it's worth pointing out that as useful as this report
is, and especially as useful as it is, as we continue to think of the opium crisis as a prescription crisis, it's not like was unforeseeable, like drug form advocates have been saying for ages and ages, but there is a balloon theory of illicit drug consumption that, when you crack down on one type of drugs, consumption will just shift to another and that certainly that's true, even across categories of drugs, it certainly true among different drugs that serve the same purpose like oxy continent heroin. So the idea of making a particular drug or to abuse. Shouldn't I have let anyone to think that people weren't going to switch. I think that it solves different problem right. It solves the problem of prevention of new users, rather than how do you have people who are already addicted to enjoy its? How do you deal with them? There should have been something else. That is the conclusion that Herman draws from the paper that I think is the jet. There should have something else to address the people who were already addicted to make sure they didn't turned a heroine bite.
The mental model of the global crisis that we have still, even though its now a heroine crisis and has been for some time and at this point is now even more offending okay this is somehow still that it's this problem with people prescribing chimney opium goods, the weighted down. Front puts it is someone goes into. The hospital may come out addicted to open Lloyd's, which is not exactly how it works, but closer to the model, a decade the bright exactly when nobody was paying attention to it whenever, but who is paying attention to met instead, like the the five year lag. That's going on national drug policy is now great under the best of circumstances, but what this paper indicates is that if we keep trying to solve the opium crisis of twenty thirteen and twenty eighteen, we may end up exacerbating the Abuja crisis of twenty eighteen
I mean, I think this is one of a number of papers it. It just speaks to thee. I think really perverse. You no reluctance of Americans to embrace opium substitute medical Sharon's white. That even says, if that the mentality in the United States is almost as if we like, didn't want to give people cholesterol. education, because we thought that that would just sent advise. You know better diet, an exercise and that, like the real thing ocean is for everybody to eat healthy and exercise all the time. So we shouldn't be handing out. You know Latour at an end, this other softer people and know I could see it- I mean we should we should all eat better and exercise more. I guess and probably the people attacked me? I'd suggest, stop or something I don't know, but you know, obviously, if you were going to come in with like a big men to make it harder for people to abuse their prescription. Opie
The question you should ask as Ike, while, if this works and the sap abusing prescription opiates, what is it that we think they are going to do right and you gotta like show up with buckets full of methadone or something till I give a good answer to that question. because otherwise cycle a lot of them do heroin and instead we think this wasn't exactly unknown at the time It was just nobody wanted to bother right and and doubts I just think it a huge problem and I think we now have this secondary problem that everybody wants to keep talking about the opium crisis, because I think it sounds nicer, sir. I'm indecently so big idea out there that we are. And like this in a more generous and tender hearted way than earlier? crises Possum, because the victims are wider, possibly because the victims are more rural and, I think so, That is because of this notion that, like but drug companies,
the bad guys? Is that of people being attics and that's all nice but like we ve, seen huge spike syndrome. Overdose weights in a lot of urban areas, huge spikes Drug overdose, doubts among African Americans recently just leave com double dominance now of heroin and fed no as like the things that are killing people, and it continues to grow, you know and like we, we need to, rapport with what is actually happening. Even though it's a little less warm and fuzzy at this point than the idea that people were being, you know, Miss treated by by doctors but like is a really really big heroin addiction and Heron overdose problem in the United States. That calls, for you know some fairly urgent action, because the the costs of this are ordinary and their rising really really really fast. And this kind of like
going around with the oxy continents is not going to help you. I mean I do think it's worth pointing out that behind the warm and fuzzy rhetoric, like the tools that The government has to deal with drug crises, are still enforcement tools and in practice, It's not exactly Lake Heroin. and dealers are being you know, they're not being treated with kid gloves. It's just that. There is also this angle. Of industry direct. trying to cut down on prescription stuff going on it's a both and approach. But phenomena I think you ve absolutely hit the nail on the head. It's really hard to talk to people who are in communities that are affected by it. And say anything other than it's, not your uncle's fault that he's addicted, you know that it's your relatives, your neighbors, are still good people, even though their addicted to drugs. That's something that most people are willing to grant and therefore you have to create a narrative where there's another villain instead of saying this is so problem there
aren't any villains, there aren't any heroes, but it's important for everybody that we sure that this is taken care of so this doesn't become a drain on relatives resources, so it doesn't become a crime problem, so it doesn't become a homelessness problem that's not something because we're so used to thinking of drugs. Something black people do as rightly that's, not that's, not a actual leap people are willing to take when it's an act. the problem in front of them. They would love to think that there are cartels that are feeding their relic, these drugs. There are corporations that are feeding their relatives these drugs, just if we actually wanna, take a compassionate approach? That's where we start Not there's some other villain, but what if this is the story with a villain at all. Why a lot of the research I read on opiates is makes this paper makes me think of another one. That answer, and I did episode on looking at access to medication, assisted treatment and a very commercial paper that suggested that this might have increased
oh boy, aid overdoses and apply it, I'm deaths in certain parts of the country, by making it less risky, essentially to use up The upshot of that paper. If you got past the very fierce, what about all those happening. Rounded. The upshot of this paper really seem to me to be like. We have to have some alternative that isn't another. And heroin are, that is in front and all that one of the things went out and that other paper and all linked to this episode in our show notes is that you definitely did not yet uptake taken mortality and the places that had pretty robe access to invasion, outpatient sort of treatment places that a lot more treatment units to do better when access to medication expire, expanded treatment, whereas even more expanded and I've been around doesn't as peace, which is helpful, is to think about like someone who abusing opium AIDS was crushing them up of a sudden. This abuse determine jam formulation of executing comes on the market
you can see no decision going either way. You could see a decision will heroines cheap and you know that's a lot easier to abuse, I'm gonna go start buying heroin or I can't abuses anymore. Maybe a Europe and things are going great, like maybe it's time to think about treatment, but that can option is often very difficult to access if the treatment facilities, our full. If there's is you don't matter mentioning if there's a lot of stigma about going to a methadone clinic fewer insurance. Isn't gonna pay for that kind of treatment? You they're all these obstacles that are set that are, you do not keep to fix. You know we'd have to spend more money on occasion assisted treatment. We have to spend more money on outpatient, impatient treatment of these things to cost money Although you know there's an argument, has a much longer cost to society of letting this crisis go on longer, but like when I think of the body of opium research. I read recently a lot of it seems to highlight to me how
short. We are following falling on treatment options and how you know that leads people to me, You know how I once a rational decision but it makes it a lot easier to continue abusing opium aids when the treatment options. Just aren't there everybody when for both this and are Farmville discussion going back to a point. You are making a bunch earlier. Sarah is that you can't policy around what you don't want to see happen in Amerika. You have to design policy around what the America is. You would like to see and is through is that sounds and as easy as it is to go wrong with that. When you don't take unintended consequences into account, you can't just say the study, hello is bad for taking the status quo away. We don't have anything to replace it with were now sure why our goal is an expected
to continue in any kind of direction that you would consider positive, because you can't rely on yourself to understand if you take one option away, what are the alternatives, as they present themselves to the people who are actually affected? being at all the way back around I mean you gonna, ask you with some of these treatment options that things right. If there's somebody who's, not working, they are getting sounds kind of public assistance? Maybe, and they are addicted to drugs and they could really use some treatment- is what we really need for them to do, is to be made in eligible fur Medicaid benefits, and things like that on the ground There are non working. Drug addict. Who has a lot of problems like I'm, not sure what what is solved exactly there, and I mean I guess I know what solidarity means a lot in this driving both the impulse for work requirements in the impulse to not want to do
occasion and treatment like that is this, like paranoia, that, like one dollar, will be spent like accident on somebody who is unworthy right and you would rather see infinite problems like Blue, rather than then said like. A hard working taxpayers dollar go to somebody who who really doesn't deserve it, the goods on a good way to solve problems, rightly it's hard to get people off drugs. It's hard to get people into treatment. Even the dream is available right and the the idea of being stingier with help in general and then hoping that, like tweaking how the pills work is, is gonna get us out of this summary realistic who knew public policy could be so complicated
that body what's not complicated, though, is recommending that we Ivy League is radically we can earn you ve done. Hats, take dammit. Ok. What do you call the gaieties coming up with new New South Wales and citizens are very different out. We're gonna work harder on it. We're all gonna lose our snapped benefits and must become more creative ways to end the episodes. It's tough love, but it's gonna make us all better off. In the end, I think so, thanks to a given tenor engineer thanks a budget Armstrong, our producer thanks to our sponsors. It's all you for listening and that we will be back on.
Transcript generated on 2021-09-12.