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  1. #1
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    Default Farm subsidies - I don't get why

    So now the senate is dealing with a "dairy cliff". If the dairy farms subsidy is not renewed we will see milk prices double within the year. Is that a bad thing? Can we not cut back on milk products. Hell, most Americans are too fat anyway (myself included).
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  2. #2
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    It's like the reasoning that yay, gas is too expensive so FINALLY people will quit buying SUVs!!!! Hooray for the environment, screw the guy who needs to get to work and is now paying $40 a week in gas even for a car. Save the health system a fortune, screw the person who just wants to buy ice cream after working a 50-hour week for the same pay as they made in 1990 for a 40-hour week. It's troubling that both sides of the fence appear to see putting it to the average American - seen as obese, lazy, entitled and hateful - as the way forward.


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  3. #3
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    I'll let Jed Bartlett explain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4h0_bz2Qew

    Granted, different situation, but the gist of it is, increases in milk prices will hurt a lot of people.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


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  4. #4
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    Default

    I think the original rationale for these subsidies was to damp out swings in the price of milk that made the capital-intensive family-farm based dairy cattle business more risky than those in farm states wanted, given the possibility to artificially manipulate prices by political action and transfer the market risk to the federal government.

    My sense is that as with other ag activities, much of the dairy business was carried out with borrowed funds which created great leverage and sensitivity to market price swings. So in good years, everything was grand. In bad years, the money fetched by milk sales wasn't enough to cover the operating costs and the loans. The banks in dairy states didn't want to be exposed to the market risk any more than the dairy farmers did.

    Of course once there was a way to stick the government and the federal treasury with the risk of low prices that wouldn't cover costs, politically gaming the mechanism to enhance 'profitability' seemed irresistible.

    The subsidies became baked into the permanent equation for economic calculation for that and other kinds of agriculture.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


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  5. #5
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    Default

    What about the single mother trying to take care of her kid with her EBT card? Kid doesn't need milk anyway because milk is the scourge of the American diet? She can buy Snapples and SOBE's and Pepsi with that card for much less money, I'm sure that's better.

    Or the dairy farmer trying to hang on to a family business in the kind of economy that destroys family farms... just kiss it goodbye, huh?

    You want to just get milk from China now? No more dairy industry, really? Of all the things our taxes are wasted on in this country the DAIRY INDUSTRY can go down in flames without so much as a shrug from you?

    sometimes I think I live on a different planet. Actually, I probably do.


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  6. #6
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    Default

    vacation, I don't understand your post. If you can't afford high fuel costs you buy a vehicle that gets good mileage. Is milk an absolute necessity? SNL, thanks for the link, I'm going to check it out now.


    Cowboys mom, I in the 60's my families small dairy farm folded. We survived without the government giving us money. Many children don't drink milk because of allergies, so drink water instead. And while I'm being the xmas grinch, no one gave my folks money to feed us kids, it's called doing with out and making the best of it.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  7. #7
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    Default

    There are always the alternative milks such as rice, almond and for some, soy. Cows milk has been shown to not be particularly compatible with human digestion, and really the biggest reason to drink it is the calcium, which can be gotten elsewhere.
    Laurie
    Finding, preparing, showing and training young hunters, in hand and performance.
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  8. #8
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    Default

    OK, I liked the Jed Bartlett thing, but I still don't get it. YEs, it keeps milk proces down, but how is that free market and capitalism like so many people claim we need?

    Shouldn't we get milk for China or come up with some other substitute rather than subsidize an industry that can't compete? Isn't that the whole right wing mantra? And shouldn't we stop subsidizing the corn industry so high fructose corn syrup isn't artificially cheap so sodas aren't cheaper than good stuff?


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  9. #9
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    Yeah, that's the right wing mantra, but there are real life consequences. If we drive agriculture out of this country, we will face a depression the likes of which we can't even imagine. Unemployment, poverty, starvation...

    And what happens if we drive all agriculture to China and then piss off China? There goes our food supply...

    I'm afraid it's far more complex than free markets. We need food to live.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


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  10. #10
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    I drink almond milk myself.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
    There are always the alternative milks such as rice, almond and for some, soy. Cows milk has been shown to not be particularly compatible with human digestion, and really the biggest reason to drink it is the calcium, which can be gotten elsewhere.
    They all have their place.

    FWIW rice tends to be high in arsenic. Worldwide, almond production isn't that great and there are concerns about the phytoestrogen content of soy.

    Cows can graze land that is not suitable for row crops and hay can also be harvested from fields that are not suitable for crops that require tilling.
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    vacation, I don't understand your post. If you can't afford high fuel costs you buy a vehicle that gets good mileage. Is milk an absolute necessity?
    My comment was about your reasoning. The idea that we might as well let milk prices rise since Americans are all fat isn't just a callous line of thought, it's beside the point. The effects of rising dairy prices encompass more than the slimming of an average ass, and throwing obesity into the conversation is just a false conclusion.

    Should the government subsidize the American dairy industry to artificially protect it from pure market competition? Can this industry survive without subsidies, and what are the potential risks of letting it collapse? Personally, although I admit to being somewhat galled at the idea of subsidies, the reality is that I don't want to drink Chinese milk because I really don't trust that country to not accidentally poison me.


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  13. #13
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    Part of the problem once subsidies for anything become ingrained and habitual and generations pass such that few if any yet living ever have known any other approach, they become political sacred cows.

    Very often one artificial distortion becomes stacked upon another until there are so many with tendrils every which way, dismantling the mess and replacing it with something rational becomes almost unthinkable.

    But finding alternatives to ideas that aren't working isn't a matter of trying to "turn back the clock" (by which I believe people mean going to a dangerous primitive time), but rather to "turn back the clock of corruption" which has cumulated all the misallocation and malinvestment into the current day's mess.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


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  14. #14
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    Default

    Would this also blast the price of cheese, sour cream, butter etc. out of reach? Or is it just milk?

    There are a lot of food items that contain milk or milk products. How would this effect them? Does anyone know?
    Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!



  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    I'll let Jed Bartlett explain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4h0_bz2Qew

    Granted, different situation, but the gist of it is, increases in milk prices will hurt a lot of people.
    Oh man, that was the first thing I thought of when I started looking at this thread!

    I am on the fence about the whole issue of government subsidizing the farming industry. On the one hand, the claim is that it keeps the cost of foods to an affordable leve. On the other....capitalism....

    I don't know...I just know I like to drink whole milk...



  16. #16
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    Default

    People, the reason the prices will rise is because the price supports will go back to the 1940 era supports. The government will have to pay price supports that will bring the price up to $7 to $8 dollars. So we, as taxpayers will be paying more for the governmen to buy milk, which will make the milk in the supply more expensive.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  17. #17
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    Default

    No worries. The whole fiscal cliff thing is a media charade. Whatever the budget deal, it won't pass the House without the usual farm subsidy scheme extended. It's not like either the Democrats or the Republicans have any serious interest in doing anything other than rolling the budget mess over and posturing about who will keep the deficits growing but at a slower rate.

    And it doesn't even have to be passed by NYD, since they'll make whatever they come up with retroactive. Pure cynical political theater.
    \
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein



  18. #18
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    I'll let Jed Bartlett explain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4h0_bz2Qew
    Umm, you're using a fictional TV drama as a source? Seriously?

    Although failure to pass a new US farm bill by Dec 31 would mean reverting back to a 1949 dairy price support scheme that some warn could cause milk prices to soar to $8.00 a gallon, First Capitol Ag broker Mike North says dairy producers still may not have incentive to sell to the government. He says dairy processors would have to retool their plants to meet certain government specs, which is a hassle. They’re unlikely to take that step unless they think it’ll be a while before a new farm bill is passed, he says. “I don’t think it will be a January 1st issue,” North says of higher milk prices. “It could show up in the middle of January.”
    SOURCE:

    There's a lot of political rhetoric and posturing going on here resulting from what has become, over a half-century, crony Capitalism and corporate welfare being crammed into one big pork barrel.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  19. #19
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    I support the agricultural businesses and the subsidies. Farming and raising animals is extremely risky. Impacts come from weather conditions from all over the states along with fuel prices. To my mind having food grown in the US assures us safer food products. For example Mexico still uses DDT and food from out of this country (not so much Canada) does not always meet our standards. It is a safety net for the people of this country.

    I am happy to support the farmers any way I can since I don't want to see farms going out of business and although we can do more with less land, we need to keep agricultural land in ag or at least not developed. I would hate to have all or even most of our food come from other countries where the standards are so much lower. There have been outbreaks of illness from Mexican foods watered with non-potable water.

    Just my opinion.


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  20. #20
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    Yes a rise in the price of milk will impact EVERYTHING containing milk products.... yogurt, cheese, butter, etc.

    For anyone wishing to just let our agriculture industry and our farms collapse rather than pay subsidies to our food producers, enjoy your melamine tainted food items courtesy of China. Seriously, you're out of your mind if you think allowing all of our food to come from other countries is a good idea. Thats already the case with our fuel and how is that going? Our food prices will go through the roof! Do you seriously want all of your food imported? Gross!! We have already managed to become a country of consumers rather than producers. Why would we further sell ourselves out to other countries so that they can control our entire food supply? Americans are so far removed from the reality of the importance of our agriculture industry that its really, really frightening.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

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