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farm subsidies

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black cows

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Hi all,
I've enjoyed this site many years...I especially enjoy Soapweed's pics.. I ranch and do some farming for feed...Unfortunately, I can't do what I love full-time and do work in town with some ignorant city guys (I'm not referring to all as ignorant) I, myself, have never got a check.. But, I do have to hear these people bad mouthing farmers on a regular basis..I've had my fill.. I consider myself a very laid back guy and don't argue back...I just want a few good one-liners to shut these people up in a hurry that will make them realize that if it wasn't for farmers and ranchers, they'd be starving.. You all seem like great people on this site and I really like seeing how your places operate... give me your best one liner about farm subsidies.
 

rancherfred

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Sorry, I can't do that. The fact of the matter is that they are a black eye for us. One that is completely unnecessary and counterproductive. Maybe the better course of action is to agree with them. Farm subsidies, whether they are direct payments or insurance subsidization, promote inefficiency and stupid decision making. The market exists to reward innovation and punish inefficiency. When we have low prices for our grain it should be telling us that we need to start growing something else. Instead, far to many farmers decide that they are a "corn" farmer or a "beet" farmer or a "wheat" farmer and instead of adjusting to the realities of the market, they decide the proper course is to use the power of government to coerce money from their fellow citizens to allow them to live the lifestyle that they have chosen to live. No one owes us a living just because of the career we have chosen to pursue. It is an honorable profession we have chosen, but it still remains that we CHOSE it. No one forces us to live this life and if we are not making enough to satisfy our needs or our wants then we need to find some other way to make it. The fact of the matter is that farm subsidies are indefensible.
 

littlejoe

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ok---last farm bill I read ended with "and to provide a cheap and plentiful supply of food and fiber for the American people"
This is the part that works the best. The
'American people' spend a smaller % of their disposable income on food and fiber that about any country in the world.

I have taken payments. Very hard not to and stay alive, if you farm. I am against payments. I am for a level playing field. When you got EU countries that have 'decoupled--payments approaching 1,000 $ an acre---just for owning the land--it's pretty hard to compete with.

Throw all that crap out, and see who can compete on open market.

Don't forget that forest service, food stamps, school lunches are all included in farm bill.

ANd don't think for a minute that cowboys ain't right up to the trough---Don't believe me? What happens to price of feeder calves when corn goes up?
 

Angus 62

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It is true that higher grain prices have an affect on feeder cattle. But they also make the value of forage gain on stocker cattle at a fraction of the cost of feedlot gain higher also. All government meddling does is pick winners and losers without merit.
 

3 M L & C

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Crop subsidies and crop insurance put together are 21% of the farm bill. 67% food stamps the rest is just mis crap. I do participate but mostly because I have to to rent ground. I wish they would just can the whole thing. The one thing that people don't realize is that money paid out to farmers and money recieved from farmers for crop insurance is close to neutral. A farmer can plant a crop just for insurance to make a profit but that doesn't last very long. Your premiums catch up fast enough to keep that from being a habit. The place where most of that money goes is to the insurance company and agents. Selling crop insurance is one of the most lucrative profession out there. I think they lowered it in the last couple years but before that an agent himself would get paid 10% of the farmers premium.
 

tenbach79

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Look no further than this crap of a farm bill now. The first meeting that I went to about on how to sing up and most of it was pushing for the SCO side. Who was going to get rich on this, insurance agents. Finally signed my ground up and still don't have a clue if its right or wrong.

My feelings are the least the government knows what I am doing the better.
 

PureCountry

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rancherfred said:
Sorry, I can't do that. The fact of the matter is that they are a black eye for us. One that is completely unnecessary and counterproductive. Maybe the better course of action is to agree with them. Farm subsidies, whether they are direct payments or insurance subsidization, promote inefficiency and stupid decision making. The market exists to reward innovation and punish inefficiency. When we have low prices for our grain it should be telling us that we need to start growing something else. Instead, far to many farmers decide that they are a "corn" farmer or a "beet" farmer or a "wheat" farmer and instead of adjusting to the realities of the market, they decide the proper course is to use the power of government to coerce money from their fellow citizens to allow them to live the lifestyle that they have chosen to live. No one owes us a living just because of the career we have chosen to pursue. It is an honorable profession we have chosen, but it still remains that we CHOSE it. No one forces us to live this life and if we are not making enough to satisfy our needs or our wants then we need to find some other way to make it. The fact of the matter is that farm subsidies are indefensible.

Well said indeed.
 

bverellen

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One of my pet peeves is the CRP payments.

Lots of young and beginning farmers/ranchers out there that can't find pasture to rent to save their lives yet everywhere you look there is idle pasture and crop ground filling up with weeds, brush and cedars.

There are ALOT of folks that are sucking at that government teat on that one.

bart.
 

Clarencen

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It all goes back to the time of the kings. If the king found his granaries and warehouses full[, then in a time of a famin he opened them to feed the people, he was considered a good king. If he found them empty, he taxed the people and took some of the farmers crops to fill them, he was a bad king.
The government believes it has a responsibility to insure the people of a good food supply at affordable prices. Farm subsidies pays the farmer for taking a part in this plan.
 

bverellen

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What you mean to say is the Government believes it should steal from those that have and re-distribute to those that either are too damn lazy to earn their own or can afford a high priced lobyist.

bart.
 

Brad S

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Some years back ATM did a "level playing field" study. Findings were "us ag gives more than it receives."

Does everyone remember us ag paying the bill all nice and lonely when carter embargoed the ussr when the ussr invaded Afghanistan? That set the table for the low prices of the 80s. Joe mentioned the "stability" aspect of farm programs - what this means is if there are millions of bushels of wheat in storage in hutchinson Kansas, it really depresses market psychology.

When us beef is 1/5 the price of Japanese beef, there is a market opportunity except for when Japan retaliates to us trade restrictions to Hondas with a nice beef tariff. Who is subsidizing whom?

Bottom line: American ag is and will be tarred with the subsidy brush by people pretending to know something (john stossel of Fox News comes to mind). only a little investigation reveals these subsidies are a dubious benefit at best. We are never going to convince people to either learn the truth or tell the truth. We must abolish farm payments- even the ones where a snowstorm kills cows that perished without windbrakes. We need clean hands when we demand financial responsibility.
 

Cowpuncher

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You can talk about farm subsidies, but look at the bigger picture. SSI - social security you don' t pay into, Obama phones, food stamps, EIC, and thousands of federal and state programs that sap the financial lifeblood of America. Anyone going into agriculture and who doesn't sign up for subsidies will not survive - unless someone gave them the farm.

CP
 

Clarencen

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The government wants to tell us what to plant how much we can plant and set the price for what we produce. It wants to find a way to over ride the laws of supply and demand.
Farm subsidies have been somewhat successful but come a long way from being fair and just
 

Brad S

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Cow puncher, Bostioch (questionable spelling) wrote "the road to surfdom" that chronicles exactly the bleeding you describe and renders all nongovernmental employees surfs.

Ya our northern brothers have been getting sodomized while we've been getting unfair subsidies. I'm guessing the Canadians will have the last laugh - well not laugh but their economy seems considerably better founded.
 

Brad S

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I can't prove it, but I have long felt the subsidies have favored the cargills and giggots size operations.

When I was in high school I had a barely literate Econ teacher that claimed food stamps were a subsidy to agriculture. Obviously Pepsi and fritoes profit more from food stamps than comodity producers.
 

rancherfred

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Of course the subsidies actually pass through the individuals hands. They ultimately end up in the hands of the processors, bankers and other input salesmen. That is the reality. They serve to distort our markets, give the farmers a black eye for being on the dole and yet as soon as some subsidy is put into place the money passes through the farmer's hands and into the hands of the salesmen. Insurance is a perfect example of that. Look at how much your premiums are on crop insurance, then look at the "subsidy" that you receive. The argument being that without subsidization no one would be able to afford insurance. In reality we don't know what insurance should really cost because we don't know exactly how distorted the market is. What we can be certain of is that the market is at least distorted as much as the subsidy is. It is also reasonable to assume that the premium that the individual has to pay is highly inflated because there is really no competition in price. The only "competition" to speak of is on the service side because it is so tightly regulated. Of course the insurance companies don't care because their markets are largely protected from competition and are for the most part static. Customers don't move from one agent to another because there isn't a lot of price incentive to do so.

Several years ago when the farm bill was in place that paid the LDPs there was no provision for sunflowers in the bill. The processors lobbied until they got sunflowers to qualify for an LDP. All for the poor suffering farmers of course. There is a little problem though, there are two types of sunflowers raised in the US, one is for oil and the other is for food. In order to get the LDP placed on sunflowers they got them included as an oil seed and lumped them with soybeans. All fine and good, except there is no use in the oil market for the confections. While there might be some overlap between the markets, in that they both compete for some of the same acres, the confection market has always been at a significantly higher price level than oils. There was no reason to include confections in with the oilseed program. You can grow confections under an act of God contract, which removes all of the weather risk, so there was no reason to think they should be included in the LDP program but they were. Care to guess what happened when the LDP was placed on confections? Bureaucrat logic would tell you that the price increased to the farmer by the same amount as the LDP right? Nope, the contract prices all stayed the same or even slightly decreased. When we asked the processors why the price didn't change they said it was because they were taking the LDP. That was necessary, according to them, in order to compete on the world stage. This illustrated to me as clearly as anything ever could that every time we have the various lobbying groups in Washington lobbying for the poor farmer that what they really are doing is expecting, and reasonably so based on historical record, that the subsidies will pass right on through the farmers hands and directly into the various industry groups pockets.

Direct subsidization is not actually ever intended to benefit the farmers, it is for the various support industries. The mandates like the ethanol mandate did actually help the farmers for a time, but forcing people people to buy something you are selling is immoral. We don't need any of this, fear keeps people at the government trough because they have never known anything different. The fact is we would all be better off without any interference from the government. Unfortunately, I don't think we will see that anytime soon.

By the way, Hayek wrote "The Road to Serfdom."
 

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