IHT - A small farmer, proud of his pure, high-quality products, he works his land the way Polish farmers have for centuries. He keeps his livestock in a straw-floored "barn" that is part of his house, entered through a kitchen door. He slaughters his own pigs. His wife milks cows by hand. He rejects genetically modified seeds. Instead of spraying his crops, he turns his fields in winter, preferring a workhorse to a tractor, to let the frost kill off pests residing there. Master's way of farming - his way of life - has been badly threatened in the two years since Poland joined the European Union, a victim of sanitary laws and mandates to encourage efficiency and competition that favor mechanized commercial farms, farmers here say. If they want to sell their products, for example, EU law requires farms to have cement floors in their barns and special equipment for slaughtering. Milking cows by hand is forbidden. "Those who can produce the most are favored.And so they should be, we don't want those who produce the least or are less efficient to be propped up instead. None the less if this poor coot wants to stick with his old ways and take his time and do his own thing and not chase profits, then why not just leave him alone. One should be free to suceed, free to bumble along and also free to fail, if that' what you want. But wait, there's more to this folks.
In Brussels, officials say they have no desire to undo Polish tradition. But, he added: "There has to be some restructuring to become more competitive and less reliant on subsidies. The EU now pays farmers who meet health and sanitary standards a direct subsidy, to help maintain Europe's farming tradition and as an acknowledgement that it is more expensive to farm in Europe than in other parts of the world.Well that changes things quite a bit doesn't it, like everything in life, there is a price to pay. Even if you're just getting free money, there is still a price to pay. It's not just old Macdonald doing his thing and the big nasty EU booting him around. The more power you give the socialist state and the more dependent you become on it, the more you have to weasel and slither and twist this way and that to the states' whims. You may not be a complete beggar but your choices will be limited, they have to be. It's something that too many of us westerners don't want to accept. We want the state to look after us, but we don't want the state to really look after us.