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  #51  
Old 01-04-2019, 09:22 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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Food seems too critical to just leave solely to the free market and a mater of national security.
  #52  
Old 01-04-2019, 09:33 PM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
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Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
And how's that strategy working out?
Pretty damn well. Grain riots have been pretty thin on the ground in these parts. Likewise for all the other countries that have similar subsidy systems, rather than relying on the free market.

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Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
ushsure
The British Empire didn't get to the extent of covering 1/4 of the planet by exporting foodstuffs.
Your point? That the mercantist imperial system was not actually such a good idea? Wow, insightful!
  #53  
Old 01-04-2019, 10:57 PM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
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Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
Pretty damn well. Grain riots have been pretty thin on the ground in these parts.
Indeed, they have been pretty thin on the ground in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and other members of the The Cairns Group of free trade agricultural exporting countries.

Maybe that Subsidy=Security argument is a non sequitur?
  #54  
Old 01-05-2019, 01:00 AM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
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Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
Indeed, they have been pretty thin on the ground in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and other members of the The Cairns Group of free trade agricultural exporting countries.

Maybe that Subsidy=Security argument is a non sequitur?
What you mean those countries that absolutely have massively subsidied argiculture (but have agreed to do away with exported tarrifs, and reduce some "distorting" domestic subsidies)

Yeah their farm subsidies have done a good job of keeping bread riots at Bay.
  #55  
Old 01-08-2019, 10:04 AM
Mirtha Mirtha is offline
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Other than corruption, essentially a bribe to the Senators of states that have a low population and a large farm lobby, how does "subsidizing" farms help anyone? (but the tiny percentage of the population who happen to be receiving the money) As I understand, there's all sorts of price controls and artificial subsidies.

Aren't markets supposed to be efficient? Wouldn't having farming done by large, efficient farming corporations, so long as they didn't grow so large to be a monopoly, produce the lowest cost crops? And wouldn't allowing the prices to fluctuate with supply and demand produce the best balance of production vs consumption?

I mean, sure, this might mean that the price of milk or cornflakes would oscillate, but the average price would be lower. And the government would save money overall on it's various food stamp and snap programs - though I suppose that oscillating prices would make this kind of program harder to run because the budget needed to give families for a given "basket" of goods would rise and fall.
Well, milk and cornflakes don't provide much nutrition...

Anyway, the subsidies are welfare for custodians of the land. This welfare isn't intended for anything other than keeping farms in business which in turn buys votes. Corporate farms might save us some money if they can continue to hire undocumented immigrants (and they will) but corporate farms practice mono crops which is not the best for the environment, especially since fly overs with insecticide and herbicide is necessary. But honestly, we are not paying the real cost of food (because it's basically corn thanks to earl butz) nor eating correct food, so it's a mute point. A corporate farm's employees may end up with their own subsidies if they're unwed with children, and have low pay, also known as welfare. Their welfare and farm welfare are a liability to us all but custodians of children is more deserving of welfare, in this obese nation. However, the nice thing about family farms and why they're deserving of welfare too, (aka subsidies), is we don't have to rely on government inspectors because the family farmer will do the right thing or else go out of business and their food is just better.
  #56  
Old 01-08-2019, 10:55 AM
Mirtha Mirtha is offline
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Other than corruption, essentially a bribe to the Senators of states that have a low population and a large farm lobby, how does "subsidizing" farms help anyone? (but the tiny percentage of the population who happen to be receiving the money) As I understand, there's all sorts of price controls and artificial subsidies.

Aren't markets supposed to be efficient? Wouldn't having farming done by large, efficient farming corporations, so long as they didn't grow so large to be a monopoly, produce the lowest cost crops? And wouldn't allowing the prices to fluctuate with supply and demand produce the best balance of production vs consumption?

I mean, sure, this might mean that the price of milk or cornflakes would oscillate, but the average price would be lower. And the government would save money overall on it's various food stamp and snap programs - though I suppose that oscillating prices would make this kind of program harder to run because the budget needed to give families for a given "basket" of goods would rise and fall.
Corporate farms aren't efficient because they require a huge amount of government oversight. Their food is frankenfood which requires prescriptions to counter the effects.

Subsidies is just another term for welfare. Custodians for children deserve subsidies just as much as custodians of our food supply which are family farming operations because they're genuinely vested.
  #57  
Old 01-08-2019, 11:02 AM
Corry El Corry El is offline
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Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
What you mean those countries that absolutely have massively subsidied argiculture (but have agreed to do away with exported tarrifs, and reduce some "distorting" domestic subsidies)

Yeah their farm subsidies have done a good job of keeping bread riots at Bay.
Referred to, "Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa"

Australia (and NZ but Australia being larger might be the better comparison) subsidizes agriculture much less than the US does. Canada's levels are comparable to the US. The others are developing countries so less comparable generally. EU ag subsidies are clearly higher overall than US.
http://www.farminstitute.org.au/ag-f...-to-grow-again
See second graph

So if the question is whether the US could have lower, not zero, ag subsidies one would have to explain why Australia can get by paying out significantly less, as proportion of ag production without 'sacrificing national security' or 'having grain riots'. OTOH if you want to offer the excuse of the EU, then US subsidies aren't that high. US is also below the OECD average. And the average for rich countries has generally declined measured in % of farm income from govt support measures.
  #58  
Old 01-08-2019, 11:10 AM
bump bump is online now
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
FYI, this article from November talks about how the US and other countries mandating the use of vegetable oil in biofuels has led to an environmental disaster in Indonesia, where the rain forests are being cleared so that oil palm trees can be grown in vast quantities. In short, the ethanol mandate was a really bad idea.
I'll admit that the biofuels mandate wasn't a well thought out policy, but at the same time, it's not like anyone forced the Indonesians to cut down their rainforests either. It takes two to tango, especially in situations like this. How responsible is a country for the actions of another, if one country creates a market for something?

To use an example, I'm getting a little tired of people trying to make Apple users feel guilty about Chinese worker abuses in the iPhone factories... as if the average iPhone user has any culpability in the way that the Chinese manufacturers treat their workers.

This is much the same way- it's not like we landed the Marines in Indonesia and forced them to cut down the rainforests to produce oil palm plantations. They did it themselves because they want cash.
  #59  
Old 01-08-2019, 11:12 AM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
Referred to, "Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa"

Australia (and NZ but Australia being larger might be the better comparison) subsidizes agriculture much less than the US does. Canada's levels are comparable to the US. The others are developing countries so less comparable generally. EU ag subsidies are clearly higher overall than US.
http://www.farminstitute.org.au/ag-f...-to-grow-again
See second graph

So if the question is whether the US could have lower, not zero, ag subsidies one would have to explain why Australia can get by paying out significantly less, as proportion of ag production without 'sacrificing national security' or 'having grain riots'. OTOH if you want to offer the excuse of the EU, then US subsidies aren't that high. US is also below the OECD average. And the average for rich countries has generally declined measured in % of farm income from govt support measures.
I am not saying that the way the US does farm subsidies is the best. I'd actually say the opposite, its completely insane to me that produce costs more in CA (which grows a ton of pretty everything) than in the UK (which imports pretty much everything).

But that does change the answer to the OP. The justification for subsidies in the US (and everywhere else that has them, which is all western countries) is so that the massive fluctuations that are inherent in agricultural output do not lead to food shortages.

And that justification is pretty damn good one, given the level of food security that has existed in the western world since they were introduced.
  #60  
Old 01-08-2019, 11:19 AM
Corry El Corry El is offline
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Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
I am not saying that the way the US does farm subsidies is the best. I'd actually say the opposite, its completely insane to me that produce costs more in CA (which grows a ton of pretty everything) than in the UK (which imports pretty much everything).

But that does change the answer to the OP. The justification for subsidies in the US (and everywhere else that has them, which is all western countries) is so that the massive fluctuations that are inherent in agricultural output do not lead to food shortages.

And that justification is pretty damn good one, given the level of food security that has existed in the western world since they were introduced.
That justification is seriously undercut by looking at the lack of any 'food security' problems in the countries that have the lowest subsidies in the developed world, the point of bringing up Australia and NZ. It's not whether the US 'does farm subsidies' best, it's the lack of any evidence to back the implied assertion that high ag subsidies are responsible for the 'level of food security'. Are you saying that high EU subsidies are what prevent Australia's low ones resulting in 'food insecurity'? Otherwise why specifically could the US expect to sacrifice 'food security' by lowering its subsidies to Australia's level? Which would be a big reduction, not just a different way of doing it.

The justification *often given* for ag subsidies is 'food security'. The question is whether there's much validity to that in justifying levels much higher than what work in Australia/NZ. I would say no, not much validity, unless you can show how those countries suffer from 'food insecurity' and/or how higher subsidies in *other* countries prevent those two countries from suffering 'food insecurity'.

Last edited by Corry El; 01-08-2019 at 11:24 AM.
  #61  
Old 01-08-2019, 12:11 PM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post

The justification *often given* for ag subsidies is 'food security'. The question is whether there's much validity to that in justifying levels much higher than what work in Australia/NZ. I would say no, not much validity, unless you can show how those countries suffer from 'food insecurity' and/or how higher subsidies in *other* countries prevent those two countries from suffering 'food insecurity'.
Case in point:
Quote:
Grain imports on the cards as drought drives up prices and crop forecasts slashed
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/20...grows/10446916

As shown by that example, whatever the downsides, America flooding the world with cheap subsidized corn and wheat has increased the food security worldwide.

I am certainly not saying that is 100% a good thing (farmers in the developing world have suffered for it) but it definitely is one of the reason for the increase of the food security worldwide.

Last edited by griffin1977; 01-08-2019 at 12:12 PM.
  #62  
Old 01-08-2019, 01:52 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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Originally Posted by Mirtha View Post
Their food is frankenfood which requires prescriptions to counter the effects.
What foods require prescriptions to counter the effects?

Cite, please.
  #63  
Old 01-08-2019, 02:23 PM
Railer13 Railer13 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mirtha View Post
Corporate farms aren't efficient because they require a huge amount of government oversight.
I'd like a cite for this as well.

According to Wikipedia

Quote:
The 2012 US Census of Agriculture indicates that 5.06 percent of US farms are corporate farms. These include family corporations (4.51 percent) and non-family corporations (0.55 percent). Of the family farm corporations, 98 percent are small corporations, with 10 or fewer stockholders. Of the non-family farm corporations, 90 percent are small corporations, with 10 or fewer stockholders. Non-family corporate farms account for 1.36 percent of US farmland area. Family farms (including family corporate farms) account for 96.7 percent of US farms and 89 percent of US farmland area
While the average size of a farm is certainly increasing, and the number of farms is thus decreasing, 'corporate farming' isn't really a thing.

Now, many farmers that I know contract with the Cargills of the world to purchase fertilizer and market their crops, but they (the farmers) are still farming the land. They are, in some cases, renting the land from a non-farming-landowner, and that's the guy who's getting the subsidy. Most farmers where I live rent on either a cash basis or a percentage of the profits, or some combination thereof.
  #64  
Old 01-08-2019, 04:13 PM
bump bump is online now
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Originally Posted by Railer13 View Post
I'd like a cite for this as well.

According to Wikipedia



While the average size of a farm is certainly increasing, and the number of farms is thus decreasing, 'corporate farming' isn't really a thing.
Yeah, I always wondered about that- it seemed to me that distribution was where the money would be- all the profit and very little of the risk.
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