follow tovarichpeter following
follow tovarichpeter 2013 Nov 11, 10:35am
186 views 1 comments
When most people think about farm subsidies, chances are they do not immediately think "massive taxpayer money boondoggle that should be cut from the federal budget immediately." They've probably heard about how hard it is out there for small family farmers, doing honest work in the world, keeping everyone fed and maintaining our institutional repository of agricultural practices. Surely, these subsidies are helping to keep an important way of life alive for the True Sons of Soil and Toil ... like, say, multi-billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Wait. What? He's a farmer? Ha ha, yes. As it turns out, your...
If past administrations are compared, the cut spending/debt mongers are THE reason for excess spending in the ag industry.
In just one generation, the number of actual farmers has been reduced to a third of what it was, but yet the spending or the subsidies has remained almost constant. And, the spending is more directed with close to 90% going to the top 10% whereas in 1985 it was 67% going to the top 5%.
Various changes were tried over the years such as having nothing but small stop-gap measures for price plummets(that were wholly self imposed or due to the farmers own actions/behavior)and disaster payments. But it wasn't enough and the political backlash was high(again, by the cut-spend/debt monger crowd)and although crop insurance was available AND cheaper, participation was very, very low. So now, crop insurance premiums have .62 cents of every $1 dollar paid by the government(leading to drastically higher premiums), and disaster payments are unabated, leaving the total amount spent by the government hasn't decreased much even though the direct payment program(free money to just farm)has basically ended.
And take a wild guess what that has done to the prices of all the needed items to grow crops? 2012 was a total loss for much of the grain belt, but yet a record net income year. 2013 did experience a severe drought in some areas but due to spring rains and late planting the yields fared really well, but due to price plummets, the revenue protections of the crop insurance kicked in and another high net income year is coming about.
But the prices for NEXT years seed and chemicals are already breaking historical records. Big agri-corps using a "family farmer" as a conduit to pass monies from the government to big business is the norm, and that's why they lobby so hard for the subsidies, and the "family farmer" votes for those that maintain them, even though 90% of those "family famrers" get little to nothing, and pass on all of it to the agri-corps.
The above also leads to a lot of consolidation, which nescessarily isn't bad considering most of those "family famers" are nothing but a conduit, as described above. The fact that 12% of the total farmers, produce 84% of the outut proves that effiency works, but that subsidizing multi-millionaires is beyond stupid too.