Mohair, Yourhair
January 6, 2003 5:31 PM   Subscribe

The Mohair Council of America wins the prize for our country's most unique lobbying group. (I mean, really - it's mohair!) The MCA exists largely to protect the mohair subsidies, which are leftover from a time when the military used the material for uniforms. The subsidies were phased out in the mid 90s, but the MCA lobbied hard enough to bring them back in 1999. It just goes to show that with a well-placed lobbying arm, even the most useless, obscure interest group can get a piece of the government pie. (Runner up: The Flexible Packaging Association)
posted by risenc (6 comments total)
Subsidies should exist for two reasons in a fair, global market:

One is if the industry needs to be able to be run domestically. For instance, we need in the US that capacity to have some oil here, in the case of a major war. There are very few of these industries.

Two is less certain. In nations where there are infant industries and limited capital, it might make sense to subsidize and/or protect the industry. This is not the case for any US industry.

All subsidies and protections do, in a developed market, is cause similar protectionist measures on the other side. It makes no sense, and is entirely efficient. O'Niell proposed having all subsidies/protectionist tariffs in developed countries lowered to 0% by 2015, US included, and having developing countries lower theirs on a percentage-base, though not completely to zero. The Europeans said this was ridiculous, and that's why the Doha Round is going so slowly.

Dear World Leaders: Protectionism in developing countries is usually ineffective. Protectionism in developed countries is never effective.

This Mohair debacle is pork-barreling at its finest.
posted by Kevs at 6:17 PM on January 6, 2003

...and yet mohair is still so darned expensive....

But c'mon. Angora goats are cute. We should create big subsidies so people can keep them as pets. I could be wrong, but I'm thought NZ/Australia subsidise their farmers in this industry.
posted by Salmonberry at 6:26 PM on January 6, 2003

I dunno how succesful the lobby'll be, but I damn sure got them a theme song.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 PM on January 6, 2003

Why don't they call it Angora Goathair? I always thought it came from the Mo.

jonmc, and to think my username could have been Mohair Sam. Ah, life's missed opportunities.
posted by samuelad at 7:47 PM on January 6, 2003

Don't mess with Mohair.
posted by troutfishing at 7:39 AM on January 7, 2003

Isn't Sam Donaldson a major receiver of Mohair subsidies?

They could have Bo Derek as a spokesperson and call it Bohair. Goats with beads......
posted by Eekacat at 9:47 AM on January 7, 2003

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