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America's grain stocks running short (food security and export control?)
The Grand Island Independent ^ | 02/24/08 | By Robert Pore

Posted on 02/25/2008 5:08:27 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster

America's grain stocks running short

By Robert Pore robert.pore@theindependent.com

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Global demand for grain and oilseeds is at record levels, causing the nation's grain stocks to reach critically low levels, according to Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt.

With a weak U.S. dollar and global demand so high, foreign buyers are outbidding domestic buyers for American grain, Hurt said.

"Food consumers worldwide are going to have to pay more," Hurt said. "We ended 2007 with our monthly inflation rate on food nearly 5 percent higher. I think we'll see times in 2008 where the food inflation rate might be as much as 6 percent."

Increasing food costs will ignite the debate on food security this year, Hurt said.

"We'll have discussions about whether we should allow the foreign sector to buy our food," he said. "Is food a strategic item that we need to keep in our country?"

The USDA recently released a revised forecast for agricultural exports, predicting a record of $101 billion for fiscal year 2008.

According to the U.S. Grains Council, a significant increase in feed grain exports buoyed the forecasts. Specifically, the forecast for coarse grain exports is raised to 70 million tons, up 2 million tons since November. Corn and sorghum exports are up $2.4 billion from November. Coarse grain exports are forecast at $14.1 billion, $4.3 billion above last year's level.

Hurt said the 2007 U.S. wheat crop is virtually sold out, while domestic soybean stocks soon will fall below a 20-day supply. Corn inventories are stronger, but with demand from export markets, the livestock industry and ethanol plants, supplies also could be just as scarce for the 2008 crop.

More than 70 percent of Nebraska corn crop this year could go to ethanol production.

But what concerns Hurt the most is weather. Adverse weather could trim crop yields this year and cause crop prices to skyrocket even further.

Last year, Nebraska had a record corn crop of nearly 1.5 billion bushels. But rainfall was exceptional last year, especially during the growing season, which helped increase crop yields.

He said recent cash prices for wheat, soybeans and corn are up dramatically from two years ago. Wheat prices have been near $10 a bushel, more than $6 a bushel higher. Cash prices for soybeans are about $13 a bushel, up more than $7 a bushel. Corn is pricing at almost $5 a bushel, an increase of greater than $3 a bushel.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agw; foodsecurity; grainshortage; lowstock; pricehike
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To: M. Espinola
It is a worrying trend.
201 posted on 02/27/2008 1:34:38 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (kim jong-il, chia head, ppogri, In Grim Reaper we trust)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

LOL! In the era of “free trade” we have hyper-inflated housing prices, massive inflation of energy prices, massive inflation of food prices.... LOLOL. This is all happening because of your phony “free trade” agenda.


202 posted on 02/27/2008 6:30:27 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a billionaire! Thanks WTO and the "free trade" system!--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer

Please explain how ending “free trade” will fix any of those problems. LOL!


203 posted on 02/27/2008 6:32:13 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Aha! You are now calling it “free trade” too! Clearly you understand it is a false name.


204 posted on 02/27/2008 6:40:48 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a billionaire! Thanks WTO and the "free trade" system!--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer
No. Just trying to speak in your language so I can get your answer. Confusing you with reality may slow you down.

So, how will raising tariffs and barriers to trade fix those problems? LOL!

205 posted on 02/27/2008 6:42:40 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

—So, how will raising tariffs and barriers to trade fix those problems?—

This will compel the United States to manufacture items it was formerly purchasing overseas. This will have 2 beneficial effects:

1. It will help reestablish our dying manufacturing base, thus recreating well-paying jobs for people lacking higher education.

2. If we produce these items ourselves, we will be less prone to price fluctuations for them on the world market.


206 posted on 02/27/2008 6:56:30 AM PST by paleorite
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Here is another view on soaring commodity prices. Jump on the market bandwagon by trading call/put options contracts and profit, which shall greatly ease the additional price shocks at the supermarket and gas pump.


207 posted on 02/27/2008 6:59:49 AM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is not 'free'.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
You would guess that an expensive, wasteful government program doesn't really save consumers (at least the taxpaying ones) money? Come on, you were a farmer, you're smarter than that.

I retract my statement about the programs not saving the consumer money at the grocery stores.

The farm programs do save consumers money at the grocery store. You can calculate the savings for yourself.

The real effect of farmers being able to financially leave the programs will not be felt at the grocery store until this this summer.

How much did you and your family spend in groceries last year? How more are you spending now? How much more do expect to spend by summertime, when the effect of the 2007 crop will have worked it's way though the system, with the price of milk, meat eggs etc. reflecting the new economics of a 'no farm program anymore'.

The farm programs cost about $20 billion each year. That’s about $70 per person, $280 for a typical family of four.

Calculate from that whether the farm programs have personally saved you money.

I'll make another guess. They have.

208 posted on 02/27/2008 7:00:49 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: paleorite
1. It will help reestablish our dying manufacturing base, thus recreating well-paying jobs for people lacking higher education.

Making gym shoes here will create well paying jobs here? How many?

2. If we produce these items ourselves, we will be less prone to price fluctuations for them on the world market.

Yeah, if you pay twice as much to make an item here, it is less likely we'll be hurt by price fluctuations. Doesn't mean it's a good idea.

What about oil? We import about 60% of our daily usage. Do we need to raise tariffs on imported oil? Would that create more high paying jobs here?

209 posted on 02/27/2008 7:01:31 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

—Making gym shoes here will create well paying jobs here? How many?—

Probably lots of jobs. Sneakers wear out all the time, and styles change.

—What about oil? We import about 60% of our daily usage. Do we need to raise tariffs on imported oil? Would that create more high paying jobs here?—

If it forces drilling in ANWR and off the coasts, and development of a synfuels program based on coal (the Germans did it successfully in WW2, with old fashioned technology!) then, yes.


210 posted on 02/27/2008 7:05:20 AM PST by paleorite
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To: Balding_Eagle
The farm programs do save consumers money at the grocery store. You can calculate the savings for yourself.

Yeah, all the consumers who don't pay taxes to support the farm programs might see lower prices. Some people think the subsidies actually raise the price of food.

How much did you and your family spend in groceries last year?

How much did we spend on Federal taxes to pay for the farm programs?

How much more do expect to spend by summertime, when the effect of the 2007 crop will have worked it's way though the system, with the price of milk, meat eggs etc. reflecting the new economics of a 'no farm program anymore'.

What do you mean by 'no farm program anymore'?

I'll make another guess. They have.

I'm stunned by the fact that you think a government program which distorts markets would somehow save us money.

I retract my statement about you being smarter than that.

211 posted on 02/27/2008 7:13:33 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: paleorite
Probably lots of jobs. Sneakers wear out all the time, and styles change.

Will these be high paying jobs? How much will they pay?

If it forces drilling in ANWR and off the coasts, and development of a synfuels program based on coal (the Germans did it successfully in WW2, with old fashioned technology!) then, yes.

Drilling in ANWR is a great idea. But you really think raising the price of oil would be a net plus?

212 posted on 02/27/2008 7:18:10 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Making gym shoes here will create well paying jobs here?

LOL!"free traders" only care about creating jobs in slave labor countries.
213 posted on 02/27/2008 7:19:33 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a billionaire! Thanks WTO and the "free trade" system!--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: hedgetrimmer

Feel free to make gym shoes here. I’m sure it pays big bucks. Maybe when you’re done trimming the bushes. LOL!


214 posted on 02/27/2008 7:21:21 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

How will drilling in ANWR raise oil prices?


215 posted on 02/27/2008 7:21:54 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a billionaire! Thanks WTO and the "free trade" system!--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

—Will these be high paying jobs? How much will they pay? —

As much as the market will bear

—Drilling in ANWR is a great idea. But you really think raising the price of oil would be a net plus?—

In the short term no. But as more domestically produced oil enters the US market, the price will drop. Besides there are hidden costs in imported oil such as military protection of oil producing countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia; the domestic security costs stemming from our involvement in these places; naval defense of sea lanes tankers use to transport the oil. If most of our energy was produced in the USA, with the remainder from Canada and Latin America, our defense costs (i.e. the hidden energy costs) would drop substantially.


216 posted on 02/27/2008 7:22:26 AM PST by paleorite
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To: hedgetrimmer

Raising tariffs on oil will raise prices. I’m all in favor of drilling in ANWR and offshore Florida and California.


217 posted on 02/27/2008 7:23:27 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Feel free to make gym shoes here. I’m sure it pays big bucks.

Let's see now, "free traders" pay Vietnamese slave laborers pretty much nothing. Yet they sell the goods here at the same or higher prices they've always been. The only economy that's good for is the globalists making the sales.

You "free traders" have sold out the American economy and now it's in shambles. All it took was two decades of "free trade". LOL. The old soviet communists must be jealous, they have worked on destroying the US for almost a century.
218 posted on 02/27/2008 7:27:04 AM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a billionaire! Thanks WTO and the "free trade" system!--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: paleorite
As much as the market will bear

You mean the market after you raise tariffs.

In the short term no.

Yeah, no kidding. Think that might cost jobs?

But as more domestically produced oil enters the US market, the price will drop.

Would it drop back to the level before you hiked tariffs?

219 posted on 02/27/2008 7:27:22 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: hedgetrimmer

—You “free traders” have sold out the American economy and now it’s in shambles. All it took was two decades of “free trade”. LOL. The old soviet communists must be jealous, they have worked on destroying the US for almost a century.—

The Bolsheviks were too unimaginative and downright stupid to destroy the US economy. Such a task took Yankee ingenuity to pull off!


220 posted on 02/27/2008 7:29:21 AM PST by paleorite
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To: hedgetrimmer
In the era of “free trade” we have hyper-inflated housing prices, massive inflation of energy prices, massive inflation of food prices

So, how will raising tariffs and barriers to trade fix those problems? LOL!

221 posted on 02/27/2008 7:29:33 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

—Yeah, no kidding. Think that might cost jobs?—

Economies bounce back from job loss. We had 25-30 percent unemployment in the US ca. 1932. By 1941 it was down to 9 percent. Germany was even worse; it had 50 percent unemployment when FDR took office here. By 1939 it had virtually full employment. Unemployment reached over 10 percent in 1991-1982; by the mid-90s it was below 5 percent.

—Would it drop back to the level before you hiked tariffs?—

Yes, because energy procured locally would be immune to the speculation and price hikes that oil on the global market is subject to. Also, the hidden costs I mentioned (and you ignored) would no longer be a factor.


222 posted on 02/27/2008 7:34:29 AM PST by paleorite
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To: paleorite
Economies bounce back from job loss.

Higher prices and lost jobs is no problem, because we'll bounce back? LOL!

Yes, because energy procured locally would be immune to the speculation and price hikes that oil on the global market is subject to.

First of all, oil is priced globally, so even if we produced 80% of our oil here, we'd still pay the market price. Second, any oil we produce in ANWR or offshore has a higher production cost than oil in the Middle East.

Also, the hidden costs I mentioned (and you ignored) would no longer be a factor.

Great, you want to spend less on the military. Maybe you should make that recommendation on a new thread.

223 posted on 02/27/2008 7:44:53 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Put some numbers with all that.
I did.


224 posted on 02/27/2008 8:27:35 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Farm subsidies cost Americans $25 billion in taxes and another $12 billion in higher food prices annually and lead to environmental damage when farmers over-plant crops in order to maximize subsidies.

Source

Put some numbers with all that. I did.

Milk programs make my milk more expensive. Ethanol mandates make my corn more expensive. It also makes all the products fed by corn or including corn more expensive. Sugar tariffs and quotas make products that include sugar more expensive.

Which products are made cheaper by government programs?

225 posted on 02/27/2008 8:34:28 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Ronald Reagan once said,

"If you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert,,,in 10 years there would be a critical shortage of sand".

Enough said.

226 posted on 02/27/2008 8:36:12 AM PST by stockstrader
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To: Toddsterpatriot

—even if we produced 80% of our oil here, we’d still pay the market price—

If we produced 80 percent of our oil here, we could uncouple domestic oil markets from global speculation. Thus, oil prices would be SOLELY determined by DOMESTIC supply and demand.

-Higher prices and lost jobs is no problem, because we’ll bounce back? LOL!—

I just showed you historical examples proving we would bounce back. You choose to ignore them.

—Great, you want to spend less on the military. Maybe you should make that recommendation on a new thread.—

With fewer defense responsibilities we could spend less and still have as good if not better defense than we do now.


227 posted on 02/27/2008 9:03:56 AM PST by paleorite
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To: paleorite
Thus, oil prices would be SOLELY determined by DOMESTIC supply and demand.

Markets don't work that way. Sorry.

I just showed you historical examples proving we would bounce back. You choose to ignore them.

I ignored your point because it was stupid.

228 posted on 02/27/2008 9:08:19 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: paleorite
1. It will help reestablish our dying manufacturing base, thus recreating well-paying jobs for people lacking higher education.

We don't need to do this. Economies bounce back from job loss.

229 posted on 02/27/2008 9:10:45 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Let me summarize. The farmers are now happy, because the prices they receive at market finally allow them to exit the farm programs, something they’ve wanted to do for decades.

You’re happy, because now the farmers are no longer in the farm programs.

With everyone happy, there’s no fuss.


230 posted on 02/27/2008 9:23:08 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
The farmers are now happy, because the prices they receive at market finally allow them to exit the farm programs, something they’ve wanted to do for decades.

Excellent, we can finally end the programs.

You’re happy, because now the farmers are no longer in the farm programs.

I'm unhappy because the ethanol mandates, milk programs and sugar quotas are still inflating the price of food.

If the ethanol mandates were removed, you and the farmers would start whining again.

Government interference makes food more expensive, not less expensive. I'm sorry you don't realize that. I'm sorry that you can't admit that.

231 posted on 02/27/2008 9:27:08 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

—Economies bounce back from job loss.—

Technically that’s true. But better the jobs be well-paying manufacturing jobs than low-skilled service sector jobs in fast-food, retail etc. Those jobs don’t really produce anything tangible, and in the case of retail jobs, merely sell goods produced overseas (especially China).


232 posted on 02/27/2008 12:08:02 PM PST by paleorite
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To: paleorite; 1rudeboy
But better the jobs be well-paying manufacturing jobs than low-skilled service sector jobs in fast-food, retail etc

Let's make all our gym shoes in America. Those are gonna be some high-skilled, high paying jobs sewing those things together. While we're at it, we need a good domestic plastic lawn flamingo industry in America.

If those ever get cut off in time of war, we'll never be able to make them here. Once the skills are lost, they're gone for good.

233 posted on 02/27/2008 12:15:45 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
I'm sorry you don't realize that. I'm sorry that you can't admit that.

Over 50 years experience of the Cheap Food for Consumers Program refute your position.

Current food prices reflect what they would have been for the last 50 years without the programs.

Get used to them, farmers are no longer obligated to present you with cheap food.

234 posted on 02/27/2008 4:36:00 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Over 50 years experience of the Cheap Food for Consumers Program refute your position.

Please, if you can, walk thru step by step how the Federal interference with the market makes food cheaper. Don't forget to include the taxes that are spent on the programs.

Current food prices reflect what they would have been for the last 50 years without the programs.

They reflect the distortion of the ethanol mandates, among other things.

Get used to them, farmers are no longer obligated to present you with cheap food.

I don't want them to present me with cheap food. I want them to present me with food without government mandated market distortions.

235 posted on 02/27/2008 5:20:44 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: businessprofessor
When all else fails, ethanol boosters result to the “oil is subsidized” line..............The defense budget is not a subsidy to the oil industry as many left wing websites claim.

I agree that calling the defense budget a 'subsidy' to oil is incorrect.

However, Gulf War I was fought specifically to allow the oil companies to continue to operate in area, and continue the free flow of oil to the world. That clearly was a subsidy to the oil companies, one that benefited the oil companies and the American public both.

If we hadn't fought that war, the oil companies would have been forced to negotiate with Sadam, and while the outcome might have been acceptable to the oil interests, they would not have accrued to the best interests of the United States.

236 posted on 02/27/2008 5:21:40 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

See post #208


237 posted on 02/27/2008 5:23:36 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Calculate from that whether the farm programs have personally saved you money.

No. They haven't saved me money. Show me that I'm wrong.

238 posted on 02/27/2008 5:32:13 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Since I don’t know your personal situation, and I don’t pay much attention to the detail of just how much we spend at the grocery store either, I’ll speak generally.

Based on the outrage expressed on FR and elsewhere about food costs; I’m thinking that grocery cost for an average family of four is going to go up much more than $280 in 2007 compared to recent years past.


239 posted on 02/27/2008 5:57:46 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Based on the outrage expressed on FR and elsewhere about food costs; I’m thinking that grocery cost for an average family of four is going to go up much more than $280 in 2007 compared to recent years past.

Yeah, prices are going up. Why aren't the farm programs you love keeping food cheap?

240 posted on 02/27/2008 5:59:43 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Because the farmers are voluntarily staying out.


241 posted on 02/27/2008 6:02:05 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
??? I'm confused. This sounds like great news for our economy as a whole since we make tons of bucks exporting food overseas. Keep prices high, encourage more production and ship even more grain.

Maybe we can start lowering the trade deficit.
242 posted on 02/27/2008 6:05:44 PM PST by StolarStorm
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To: Balding_Eagle

Why would they stay out? I thought it was free money.


243 posted on 02/27/2008 6:07:58 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

I know you think that, it has blinded you to the reality of the situation. Like all government programs, nothing is free, the money comes with an enormous chain.

Briefly, in order to qualify for the money you must agree to stay poor.


244 posted on 02/27/2008 6:19:52 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: StolarStorm
The point is that foreigners are willing to pay a lot more than Americans want to. As a result, Americans have to pay more. Food gets really expensive. If it is not day-to-day necessity, it won’t be much of a problem.
245 posted on 02/27/2008 6:24:43 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster (kim jong-il, chia head, ppogri, In Grim Reaper we trust)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Briefly, in order to qualify for the money you must agree to stay poor.

Like the guys who live off Central Park? Those millionaires who get payments?

246 posted on 02/27/2008 6:25:18 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

There are always exceptions to the rule, but those guys are also critical to the success of the programs.

To see who is producing our food, drive through farm country, the midwest, the south.

You will see real farmers, and you will see real farming towns. There is a reason those town are small, people live there for the simple lifestyle, not the money. There is no money. Just old buildings.

All of those towns are poor, just like the farmers.


247 posted on 02/27/2008 6:40:35 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

Yeah, farmers are great people. I just don’t want to give them my tax dollars for programs that don’t work.


248 posted on 02/27/2008 6:47:25 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Well, you can take satisfaction in that they have to greatly humiliate themselves to qualify.

THAT’s why they are avoiding it this year.


249 posted on 02/27/2008 6:49:26 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

This may help.

You are so focused only on the ethanol subsidies tree that you are unable to see the forest of supply and demand.

Forget the damn ethanol subsidies. I know, I know, but try. Those subsidies just happen to be the trigger.

That price increase trigger could have been any one of dozens of things.

Just imagine something; instead of ethanol lets use a trigger that farmers have been denied for decades. Lets just use world demand for our farm products as the triggering factor. That’s one that the American farmers have struggled for years to develop, only to be cut off at the knees time and again.

I myself, along with most farmers, lost thousands and thousands back in the 70’s when US crop exports to Russia where suddenly cut off . Existing delivery contracts were canceled by our government, and crop prices plummeted overnight, leaving us with crops that were worth 25 to 75 cent a bushel LESS than they were at 3 pm the day before. When there are several 30,000 bushel bins full at stake it hurts. This was done in response to a short US crop.

So, if the world demand allows farmers to export as much of their crops as they can grow, domestic food is going to have to compete directly with China etc.

As a result of that increased demand, the resulting com petition will drive prices up. In this example, prices will rise to the point that farmers will voluntarily leave the government programs. In other words, they will rise to where they are today.

Production levels will be where they are today.

Food prices will also be where they are today.

There would be no government programs.


250 posted on 02/27/2008 6:53:57 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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