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A safety net for the farmer

Regarding the Opinion page article, "The Americanization of Rural France," Dec. 17: Perhaps both French and American farmers would benefit if government support was in the form of a tax credit, rather than crop price support.

A tax credit would not encourage the production of surplus crops, but would instead provide a safety net to support the unlucky farmer in difficult times.

If limited to land that is owner-operated, of moderate size, and enrolled in government set-aside programs, a tax credit based on property taxes would encourage a resettling of rural areas without influencing the relative efficiency, and thus market share, of any one nation's farmers. Jared Scarborough, Payson, Ill.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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