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This is my effort to share my thoughts with readers about concerns facing our country today.  I believe there is a good chance my grandchildren may be the first generation in the history of this great country not to have a better standard of living than their parents. If so, our generation is to blame. The clock is running out for damage control. .

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Tuesday
Mar182008

Farmer in the Dell

No one scams you like the farmer. Last year farm income was up 44% to $87.5 billion. A good year right? Not good enough.

Farmers will get $26 billion in subsidies in the next 5 years. Beans will get higher price supports. Guess what, bean prices hit a 24 year high last year. 

Not upset enough at your elected officials. Get this. Farmers can exploit a loophole that lets them cash in twice. They get a loan subsidy at the lowest possible price for their crops, Then sell them for a higher price. Your tax dollars pay them the difference between the two prices and the farmer gets the maximum price at market. Corn prices dropped n 2005 after a bumper crop so most farmers locked in $3.8 billion in subsidy payments at low prices. Then they sold the corps later after prices went up.

Full time farmers can earn up to $1 million per farm and still be eligible for a USDA handout. Two million if you are married.  So you can be in the top 0.2% income in the US and get a check from the government paid for with your tax dollars. 

Obama and Clinton want to go after the wealthy in America while still giving tax money to the ultra wealthy if that person or family happens to be running a farm. 

Food prices are at an all time high. With oil, food is one of  the biggest factors in our inflation today. Your congress just goes merrily along and adds to that by taking your tax dollars and giving them to the wealthy farmer. Then they take some more and give it to the ethanol producer causing the corn price to go up. 

Why not require any exported food to be bartered for oil. We don't have oil and the world needs our food. Would that make too much sense?

Reader Comments (2)

The word Farmer you use is no longer valid in terms of describing who is getting Government Subsidies. Farmer’s in my mind are (Mom & Pop) growers who don’t get the subsidies from the Government; it is the Fortune 500 Companies that get the largest share of subsidies. Government Subsidies in large part are paid to only the largest producers, not the small Mom & Pop farms.

From the slaughter of hogs to the production of cheese, the control of America’s food supply is owned by an increasingly small number of corporations. Since the 1950s, the agriculture sector has been undergoing a fundamental transformation. By the turn of the century, the control of a few, rather than the contributions of many, was evidence of this profound transformation of the most productive food system in the world.

This trend raises major concerns for small farmers, rural communities, and urban consumers, and all people working for economic justice. Take a look at the shape of today’s agriculture markets:

• Large corporations produce 98 percent of all poultry in the United States;

• Just two percent of farms produce 50 percent of all agricultural products in the country;

• Four firms handle more than 80 percent of all beef slaughter. Just two decades ago, concentration in this sector was below 40 percent;

• Sixty percent of pork production in the U.S. is owned by just four firms.

This near-monopoly control of America’s food markets by a few large firms runs contrary to the principles of competitive economics. According to these principles, markets are most effective when there is strong competition between a number of small, medium, and large firms. These firms compete to provide society a good or service at the lowest cost and with the highest quality. When these conditions are not present, the price and the quality of goods available to consumers may be compromised.

The Government use to pay farmers (now Large Corporations) to not produce crops in order to maintain price supports and suspect this practice continues.

I wonder what would happen to all the Government Subsidies if the Major Oil Companies were to take over all the farmer’s?

March 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Bill, I'm, with you in principal on the Farmer, and esepcially on the $1mil/$2mil rule! But one possible silver lining (at least in my world) is that at least the farmers are producing enough to export therby giving us an off-setting factor on the trade imbalance. As for us in trucking, loading all these 40' Iternational boxes with grain to epxort, soaks up a lot of otherwise extremely cheap capacity that imports put here, and thus creates a more favorable environment that helps us domestic transporation companies. Do subsidies impact this? Probably not, but I do feel the farmland of America is one of our greatest natural resources, and I think caution must be excercised to never put that in jeaprody. We missed the boat on oil, let make sure we never miss the boat on food! Heck at the rate China is going, maybe someday we can give them a bushell of grain, for a barrel(s) of oil?

Frankly, If I'm going to see my tax dollars "Wasted" I'd rahter see it wasted on farmers versus many many other categories tax money is WASTED! More farmland, less suburabn sprawl, people then have to live closer to cities (because land is very expensive), thereby use less fuel and be more effecient, hehehehe!! Then mabye there is more land for me to take my son, and someday his son hunting! That's if they don't take my guns first, but let's not get that topic going!
BP

March 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBIll P

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