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USA FArm Subsidies.Socialism? Corporate welfare?


Michaelangelica
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It is hard to find information sometimes, you can spend days running around just to find out the information you need was there all along you just didn't ask the right question, :(

It's like a game they play, I think they like to see how long they can make you chase your tail before they give you the information you need. :eek:

 

Farm Subsidies: What's the deal with Farm Subsidies? How much does the government spend on them' date=' who gets the money, and why? Are we seriously considering eliminating them? Should we? Can we? [/quote']

 

AskQuestions.org - Farm Subsidies

 

Check this site out. :doh:

 

EWG FARM BILL 2007

POLICY ANALYSIS DATABASE

 

What's new in this database?

The lists of top subsidy beneficiaries have changed dramatically. Just about every ranking of subsidy payments has changed in this new database because' date=' for the first time, USDA has tracked subsidy benefits as they pass through tens of thousands of farm business entities—agribusiness cooperatives, partnerships, joint ventures and corporations—and has assigned virtually all farm subsidy 'benefits' to individuals. The Farm Bill 2007 Policy Analysis Database bases all of its rankings and analyses on this new benefits tracking data.

 

Specifically, some 358,057 individuals now have a dollar value for subsidy benefits associated with their names for the first time in our system—and they received $9.8 billion in crop subsidy benefits alone between 2003 and 2005. In the database, those individuals have a double asterisk after their name, indicating that all of their subsidy benefits were in the form of pass-through(s) from a farm business(es) in which they had an ownership interest. A single asterisk means both payments made directly and pass-through subsidies are attributed to the individual by USDA. Listings with no asterisk are for individuals or entities that received all of their subsidy directly from USDA.

 

The most important distinction we make in our analysis is between subsidies paid to farm businesses and subsidy benefits passed through those businesses to individuals (and, very occasionally, to other types of entities). You can see the distinction on pages like these.

[/quote']

 

EWG || Farm Subsidy Database

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Reading over your links, the glaring issue becomes obvious. Its not subsidies that hinder these nations.

"So bearing in mind that there are no good roads or railways on the continent of Africa, that foodstuffs degenerate with transport and that grain, milk and sugar are bulky, low-value commodities, did it ever make sense to think that a viable development strategy for Africa involved the export of milk, wheat or sugar to the USA and EU? No it didn't. You cannot base a development strategy on low value-added commodity production. It makes sense to produce some grain and milk locally for local consumption and food security, but not for the export trade. For export, you need to produce higher valued-added goods in order to create a marketable surplus and to make the freight economics work better."

 

"A typical cotton-producing household in West Africa has about 10 family members, an average life expectancy of about 48 years, and an adult literacy rate of less than 25 percent. Cotton is often the only source of cash income for these families, most of whom live on less than $1 a day per person."

 

"Burkina Faso earned 57 per cent of its export revenue from cotton last year, while neighbouring Benin earned 75 per cent."

 

"Because the economies of many poor countries depend overwhelmingly on just one or a few products, they are especially vulnerable to declines in commodity prices."

 

"Countries such as Mozambique, struggling to revive its sugar exports following the end of a civil war, do not stand a chance. More than 23,000 people are employed in Mozambique's sugar sector, making it the single largest source of employment. The country's major economic goal is to rehabilitate its mills and increase the number of those employed in the sector to 40,000."

 

What is the real issue? The real issue is the lack of economic diversity within these few countries borders. And they want to invest more into the struggling area? Whats wrong with this picture?

 

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien told the annual Group of 8 Summit that the biggest favour the North could do for Africa would be to lower subsidies and tariffs.

The problem with the above is this particular PM will be voted out of office the next election. Taxpayers in the north do not feel (and rightly so) higher prices for food in their own countries is a favor to the people who matter, themselves. Additionally, there is no benefit for any country to become MORE dependent on outside sources for their food. An $8 dollar a month investment in food crops to keep my grocery prices down is a good investment of my tax dollars.

 

And it cannot be ignored, that the investment in marginal cropland has lead to better production. We HAVE learned from these attempts to go forth and conquer nature, make things grow in places they wouldnt otherwise. All of this is forgotten when the focus is on the dollars sign of the subsidy investment.

 

Back to the uneducated, unsupported features of these struggling nations. They dont educate their people, the dont provide resources to increase production, they dont invest in their future. I already posted information on the corn farmers of Mexico. 35% have tractors? We would have global starvation if the developed countries reverted back to these statistics.

"Despite all of the complaints, scientists of the "North" do have strong and relatively stable sources of funding for basic plant research, in particular for plant genomics. On the other hand, donors who support work on global agriculture are largely constrained to fund downstream applications relevant to the developing world."

 

"A large-scale farmer in subSaharan Africa can get a yield of 10 metric tons (MT) per hectare for maize, whereas a poor farmer using a comparable variety with little or no inputs will obtain a yield <2 MT per hectare (3)."

 

"Poor farmers increasingly recognize the benefits of hybrid maize and other high-quality seed. Yet there is little doubt that the current cost of good-quality seed, especially in subSaharan Africa, poses a real constraint for poor farmers. When technology fees for genetically modified (GM) crops are added on, the risk of purchase can often be considered too high for a poor farmer who is also burdened with excessive fertilizer prices and unpredictable rainfall."

 

"Because seed markets for poor farmers will grow slowly, it is not realistic to expect the larger private-sector companies to spend much in the short term to optimize their products for small-farm environments. Similarly, it is clear that they will be targeting few if any crops beyond cotton, maize,

canola, and soybean, even if they possess technologies that might be beneficial to other crops."

 

"There is a vast difference between what happens in the fields of a farmer growing just one or two different crops on 500 hectares in Iowa and another growing many more different crops on <1 hectare in Africa. The former will use varieties developed from highly inbred lines adapted to temperate climates, sophisticated agronomic practices, and optimal amounts of fertilizer and pesticides and, at least in most years, will operate with reliable and adequate rainfall. The latter, usually a woman, may live in any one of a number of diverse agroecologies (3, 6). She will also grow many different crops that will minimize her risk, growing for example some maize and beans in case rainfall will be plentiful and perhaps sorghum, cassava, and cowpea in case of drought. Cost considerations will prevent her from using even marginally acceptable levels of fertilizer or pesticides. These differences almost guarantee that any crop bred in the "North" will not be adapted to her growing conditions."

 

"Nutrient-poor, degraded, and often acidic, soils limit crop production in many tropical regions. When coupled with the high cost of inorganic fertilizer, especially in Africa, much small-scale agriculture occurs under conditions of nutrient deprivation and/or metal ion toxicity. The unintended consequence of trying to do good by drilling large numbers of wells in Bangladesh and parts of India has resulted in extremely high rates of arsenic poisonings in humans; these wells have served as irrigation sources, resulting in high levels of arsenic in the food (8). Saline soils are found naturally in many locales and have been created in others by poorly managed irrigation. Most of the extreme poor depend upon rain-fed agriculture and, according to World Watch, drought is perhaps the biggest constraint to agricultural

productivity worldwide."

 

"Agriculture will never truly thrive in places like subSaharan Africa unless solutions are found for fundamental issues, such as lack of roads, weak input and output markets, the low level of general health and education of poor farmers, poorly functioning extension services, and gender inequity that

places a disproportionate burden on women in agriculture, all critical issues that cannot be solved by biotechnology and are well beyond the scope of this article."

Inaugural Article: Agriculture in the developing world: Connecting innovations in plant research to downstream applications -- Delmer 102 (44): 15739 -- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

 

To promote higher prices for the basic of food is disaster politics. Simply put, the people promoting a global social agenda should refocus the effort on something that is going to be palatable to the very people who's dollars they want to redistribute.

 

And we cannot sidestep the issue of exploding population in these very countries we discuss.

 

There are no easy answers I agree. But limiting the discussion to something such as subsidies, when the proposed answer results in HIGHER food costs, is going to get nowhere, and the proposals themselves are based on "we think it will help the poor of africa". Its a no-brainer. Would you vote for the guy telling you "I intend to Raise your cost of Food"? If the farmers cannot produce the quantity of food needed via their farming practices, this ISNT the answer.

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It is hard to find information sometimes, you can spend days running around just to find out the information you need was there all along you just didn't ask the right question, :(

It's like a game they play, I think they like to see how long they can make you chase your tail before they give you the information you need. :eek:

 

There is no game. I posted a link which is the same government source these guys get their info from, the USDA.

 

Of course the bigger farms get more subsidy dollars. They provide the majority of the food.

 

2002 numbers (Irrigated farmland only):

 

Farms of 1-139 acres: 176,295

Total Acreage: 5,787,939

 

Farms of 140-999 acres: 77,437

Total Acreage: 32,734,378

 

Farms of 1,000 or more acres: 45,851

Total Acreage: 204,920,079

 

http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2002/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/st99_1_009_010.pdf

 

Subsidy Payments (2002):

Average Per Farm (in whole Dollars)

$9,251

 

http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2002/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/st99_1_006_007.pdf

 

And you wont see a reduction in your taxes if they were to alter this to appease Africa, Jamaica, Brazil or any other places complaining. Nope, they will send this money into different pork projects. So you will pay the government the same dollars and you will see increased cost for food.

 

So what exactly is in it for me?

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  • 4 weeks later...
Interesting article They put world trade at Number Two!

Reason Magazine - The Top Ten Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems

The Top Ten Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems

 

Here we go again :esmoking:

 

Its not even interesting. Its the same old regurgitated garbage that spends all its energy blaming rich countries for the dismal conditions in developing nations.

 

"Since we live in a world of scarce resources, not all good projects can be funded."...

 

Success at Doha trade negotiations could boost global income by $3 trillion per year, of which $2.5 trillion would go to the developing countries. ... "Trade reform is not just for the long run, it would make people in developing countries better off right now."

 

Translation: redistibute the wealth so we can all suffer equally. Yep! I am gonna vote for that!

 

Crop prices have surged over the last two years and what are the developing nations screaming about?

 

"The World Bank estimates that higher food prices are pushing 30 million Africans into poverty. Zoellick said African leaders wanted action, not words."

 

U.N.: 50 percent more food needed by 2030 - World environment - MSNBC.com

 

Higher food prices and more starvation in the very nations whining about subsidies. Look at whats really going on. Zimbabwe. You have s. Africans attacking illegal aliens in less than 5 years over the impact on their economy. Africa will not take care of its own internal problems. Sudan, Somolia, Zimbabwe, Congo, etc. And you cant get these nations to lift a finger for their neighbors. Its an internal matter... Well, stable food supplies in the USA are an internal matter. Subsidies are an internal matter. If we want to grind up corn to sprinkle over all the US cities, its an internal matter (bio-fuels).

 

Look at Myanmar! Rather the people suffer than borders open up for Aid.

Rice hording. Export bans from various 'developing' nations.

 

BBC NEWS | Americas | UN food chief urges crisis action

 

They sure missed the mark with this article. The prosperity of a nation comes from within.

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OH, and to add one more thing:

 

If the USA is putting 20 -30% of its corn into its own internal bio-fuel, that means there is that much less out their competing in the global market for those food dollars. Where is the profits for these developing nations?

 

Its not the subsidies affecting developing nations, its the lack of ability to support their own farmers via electricity, machinery, etc. Develop the infrastructure!

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I have never seen the fairness, economy, or wisdom in paying someone not to grow food. As a US taxpayer and consumer I urge my congressmen not to vote for farm subsidies. Last week I asked the local baker how much the price of flour jumped since last year. She said it tripled. Yeah farmers need my tax dollars so they can grow less and charge higher prices. What is wrong with this picture?

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I have never seen the fairness, economy, or wisdom in paying someone not to grow food. As a US taxpayer and consumer I urge my congressmen not to vote for farm subsidies. Last week I asked the local baker how much the price of flour jumped since last year. She said it tripled. Yeah farmers need my tax dollars so they can grow less and charge higher prices. What is wrong with this picture?

 

You only investigated a portion of the answer. Next time you visit your baker ask how many ounces of wheat go into a loaf of bread. You will be surprised at how little of that money is going to the farmer. If I remember right, its around 8 ounces of wheat for a pack of hotdog buns.

 

You will need to do a bit of math. How many pounds of wheat does a bushel produce after milling? Usually the wheat your baker is using was harvested 3-6 months previously. So look at what the market was paying then.

 

The hike in your price did not result from the farmers profit taking. But, the top end of the subsidy is set, so thats not going to change.

 

Paying farmers not to grow is related to land and water conservation efforts.

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You only investigated a portion of the answer. Next time you visit your baker ask how many ounces of wheat go into a loaf of bread. You will be surprised at how little of that money is going to the farmer. If I remember right, its around 8 ounces of wheat for a pack of hotdog buns.

 

You will need to do a bit of math. How many pounds of wheat does a bushel produce after milling? Usually the wheat your baker is using was harvested 3-6 months previously. So look at what the market was paying then.

 

The hike in your price did not result from the farmers profit taking. But, the top end of the subsidy is set, so thats not going to change.

 

Paying farmers not to grow is related to land and water conservation efforts.

Give me a break! It is called price supports.

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Give me a break! It is called price supports.

 

no. The subsidies are price supports. Paying for land set asides is related to conservation of both land and waters.

 

Freeztar posted links in Post #15.

 

Now go back to your baker and ask how many ounces of wheat in a loaf of bread before you jump to conclusions on how rich farmers are getting off subsidies and where your actual cost increase is originating at.

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This type of thing has been going on for years and I don't think it will stop any time soon. :rolleyes: but times they are a changing.

 

New York Times

Tuesday' date=' June 3, 2008[/b']

LEAD: The United States and the European Community are deadlocked in their negotiations on how to eliminate the more than $200 billion spent each year on farm subsidies around the world.

 

The United States and the European Community are deadlocked in their negotiations on how to eliminate the more than $200 billion spent each year on farm subsidies around the world.

 

That is not surprising, since each side is standing by the position it staked out before the talks began. American officials said today that ministers of the European Community's 12 nations were vigorously resisting President Reagan's proposal to scrap all farm subsidies within 10 years.

 

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, said, ''To talk about the abolition of all forms of support by the year 2000 is unrealistic.''

 

And Willy de Clercq, the European Community's Commissioner of External Relations, said Washington had ''soured the negotiating climate'' by increasing export subsidies for American farmers, reducing quotas on sugar imports and taking other protectionist steps.

 

Some ministers view Washington's recent increase in export subsidies as brinkmanship aimed at putting pressure on the Europeans to accept President Reagan's plan. Officials From 24 Nations

 

The deadlock was confirmed as ministers from the 24 nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development began a meeting in Paris. Each spring the ministers gather to discuss economic cooperation. This year, largely because of American insistence, farm subsidies are dominating the debate.

 

Clayton K. Yeutter, the United States trade representative, said of the European officials, ''It is disturbing that they say they should have trade-related subsidies forever.''

 

At last year's O.E.C.D. meeting, ministers agreed in principle that farm supports should be eliminated eventually. But American officials complain that no significant progress has been made since then in developing a framework to abolish them.

 

Officials of the European Community have called on Washington to scrap its protectionist measures before they agree to a long-term phasing out of subsidies.

 

The European ministers say they have moved boldly to reduce subsidies, cutting wheat prices by 25 percent and reducing dairy herds by five million cows despite intense domestic political pressure. European Expresses View

 

''This momentum will not be possible if other producers do not make similar efforts,'' said Jacques Delors, president of the European commission, the community's executive branch. ''Even what has been achieved so far would be put into doubt if others undermine the measures taken by the community.''

 

American officials deny that Washington policy amounts to brinkmanship. Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Lyng said, ''The United States has found it necessary to expand export programs to offset the unfair trade practices of other nations.''

 

Abolishing farm subsidies has become a major priority of the Reagan Administration in trade talks. The Americans, in criticizing subsidies, say they cost taxpayers billions of dollars, contribute to farm surpluses and hamper low-cost food production in the developing world by subsidizing farmers in the industrial world.

 

Last summer the Administration formally proposed abolishing farm subsidies in negotiations carried out in Geneva under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Subsidy Growth Reported

 

In a study released Tuesday, the O.E.C.D. - a 28-year-old Paris-based organization that promotes economic cooperation - found that governments around the world provided $246 billion in farm subsidies in 1986, almost twice as much as in 1980.

LEAD: The United States and the European Community are deadlocked in their negotiations on how to eliminate the more than $200 billion spent each year on farm subsidies around the world.

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no. The subsidies are price supports. Paying for land set asides is related to conservation of both land and waters.

 

Freeztar posted links in Post #15.

 

Now go back to your baker and ask how many ounces of wheat in a loaf of bread before you jump to conclusions on how rich farmers are getting off subsidies and where your actual cost increase is originating at.

Whether land is used for conservation or any other non-farm use does not matter. The fact is that reduction of arable land means less supply and higher prices. The reference you suggested confirms this no matter how noble the motive.

 

"Even with reduced yields because of a dry year, Grimm made a profit of about $300 an acre after expenses. CRP would have paid just over $100 an acre."

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Whether land is used for conservation or any other non-farm use does not matter. The fact is that reduction of arable land means less supply and higher prices. The reference you suggested confirms this no matter how noble the motive.

 

"Even with reduced yields because of a dry year, Grimm made a profit of about $300 an acre after expenses. CRP would have paid just over $100 an acre."

 

Ah, Grimm and his 30 acres of wheat on steeply rolling land. 30 x 300 = $9000 dollars. But this isnt farm subsidy money so its irrelevant.

 

I did look up and 1 bushel of wheat produces around 50 lbs of flour. Should help you do the math on what the farmers take per loaf of bread is. Thats whole wheat, not wonder bread which is a mix of several grains.

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Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post.

Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm - washingtonpost.com

 

"The 2008 Farm Bill not only runs counter (to) the long-term process of reform in agriculture," it said, adding that it intensifies competition between rich nations and farmers in poor developing countries.

 

"The unfair competition, brought by subsidies, hinders the process of market liberalisation by developed and developing countries alike," it said.

Jamaica Gleaner News - Emerging economies slam new United States farm subsidy bill - Wednesday | June 4, 2008

US Farm Subsidies and the Farm Economy: Myths, Realities, Alternatives | Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

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Ah, Grimm and his 30 acres of wheat on steeply rolling land. 30 x 300 = $9000 dollars. But this isnt farm subsidy money so its irrelevant.

 

I did look up and 1 bushel of wheat produces around 50 lbs of flour. Should help you do the math on what the farmers take per loaf of bread is. Thats whole wheat, not wonder bread which is a mix of several grains.

No, it is not irrelevant! It clearly shows that by taking and reducing farm land the profit per acre has tippled. Now farmers can make more money by farming than by taking subsidies or other payments. It is the simple economics of supply and demand, when supply is down and demand is up then prices rise. It makes economic sense to grow more crops.

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No, it is not irrelevant! It clearly shows that by taking and reducing farm land the profit per acre has tippled. Now farmers can make more money by farming than by taking subsidies or other payments. It is the simple economics of supply and demand, when supply is down and demand is up then prices rise. It makes economic sense to grow more crops.

 

I dont see how you conclude reducing farmland caused the profit per acre to triple. Grimm never did take the farmland out of production, but was considering it at this one point in his (unknown) farming career. He was considering it due to commodity prices being so low there was no profit. His wheat profit is likely a temporary condition market wise and likely shifted greatly from last year for Grimm, due to an unusually cold and wet spring in MN.

 

One or two years of positive gains and profits does not negate the actual history of commodity profits for farmers and their downward spiral over the last 65 years.

 

Nobody with any experience in the world of commodities trading understands this margin of increase and will tell you the product is over-valued by speculators. This signals to me it is a temporary condition on that alone, without adding in the fact that more acreage (over 5 million acres) has been reintroduced into commodity growth between 06 and 07 in the USA alone.

 

I havent been following the weather in the Ukraine area this year to see if the drought there has been relieved yet (the start of the increased wheat run in the fall of 06 or 05 I cant remember which) nor have I followed the wheat conditions of australia (another supposed source of the wheat run by India).

 

I have spent no time on the falling dollar value making US commodity markets more attractive to other countries either. Another (hopefully) temporary condition.

 

BTW, a baker can produce around 70 loaves of bread per 50 lbs of wheat flour. This is pure wheat flour, and not a mixed grain breads.

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The Washington Post article was interesting. I dont know Texas property tax rules, but this state had no problem taking lands smaller than x-amount off their agricultural property tax (grandparented in existing smaller properties) but once it was sold, or the agriculture stopped, off the farmland doles it went.

 

This did not bar people from having agriculture on this land, and existing properties that were already used as agriculture but too small to qualify under the new rules were grandparented in as agricultural.

 

I am surprised that this subsidy was transferable (no rice growing), and I do wonder if these various transfers were legal but I dont have the time to look up the rules. I know why they are transferable, it is due to inheritance/sale issues surrounding the big picture of getting rice farmers to move to other crops. But thats not to say it cannot be abused or frauded.

 

from the article:

"Owners could do almost anything they wanted with their land, as long as they did not develop it."

 

Again and again the article quotes what a developer promoted to people as "your entitled to it" people who are collecting this knew they were not going to use it for agriculture and chose to collect the subsidy they are under no obligation to file for. Wonder how many of them complain about their taxes? Anyways it shows more about people than government.

 

When I worked for state government, I remember the length of time spent trying to word every sentence just right so people could not manipulate the law to something outside of the intent. We used to joke about hiring a criminal to figure out ways the wording could be manipulated so we get it right. Hard to write laws to cover things like this, when your basically an honest person.

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