Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New "Gimme!!" Program: Black Farmers (Sorta)

Well, as it turns out, you never actually had to touch a hoe, or a tractor either.

In 1997, 400 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that they had been unfairly denied USDA loans due to racial discrimination during the period 1983 to 1997. The farmers won the case, known as Pigford v. Glickman, and in 1999 the government agreed to pay $50,000 each to any farmer who had been wrongly denied an agricultural loan. By then it had grown into a class action case, and any black farmer who had filed a complaint between 1983 and 1997 would be given at least $50,000 — not limited to the original 400 plaintiffs. It was estimated at that time that there might be as many as 2,000 beneficiaries granted $50,000 each.

So far, so good, with reservations...but hey, it's only YOUR money.

But that did not end it. In February 2009, USDA agreed to pay out $1.25 BILLION over and above what was already paid.

The new agreement would provide cash payments and debt relief to farmers who applied too late to participate in the earlier settlement, The Washington Post reported. Authorities say they are not certain how many farmers might apply this time, but analysts say the number could be higher than 70,000.

Of course, there are only 39,700 African-American farmers in the first place--but nevermind!

HT: Ace

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