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Posted by: thepinetree on 06/26/2018 12:55 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 06/26/2018 12:55 PM
Expires: 01/01/2023 12:00 AM
:

Farm Subsidies Make No Sense. By Congressman Tom McClintock

Washington, DC...New Zealand is four times more dependent on agriculture than the United States, and it once maintained extensive farm subsidies. In 1984, it ended them. What happened? Farm productivity and earnings rose. The Federated Farmers of New Zealand fought just as vigorously as their American counterparts to preserve their subsidies. Yet in hindsight, the same group now says that its experience “thoroughly debunked the myth that the farming sector cannot prosper without government subsidies.” In fact, it thrives.




It’s time to debunk that myth in our own country, but don’t hold your breath. Recently, my amendment to slowly phase out American farm subsidies over the next 12 years got just 34 votes in the 435-member House.

American agriculture is a tangled mess of price supports, insurance subsidies, commodity rules, quotas, bailouts, loan guarantees and other bureaucratic interventions that distort the price signals that are essential to maximize productivity in any market. The result? Higher prices for consumers, higher costs for taxpayers and ironically, lower productivity for farmers.

Prices, if left alone, convey a wealth of information that consumers depend upon to make rational decisions. Those choices, in turn, direct all production to the greatest need and all investment to its highest use.

The price of the cup of coffee that you bought this morning includes information on political conditions in Columbia, weather forecasts in Costa Rica, currency rates of exchange, insect infestations in Brazil, bribery rates in Mexico, inflationary pressures and what the guy down the street is selling it for.

Your response to that price – to drink more coffee, less coffee, or shift to tea – sends signals back to producers of what consumers want them to produce more of or less of.

When government interferes with the pricing structure, it corrupts the data that is necessary to ensure that every dollar in the economy is spent wisely. The cost isn’t just the agricultural subsidies paid by taxpayers, but the misallocation of resources that the subsidies are causing. The sugar support program alone is estimated to cost an average household about $30 in inflated grocery bills annually.

When government plays this game, risks are masked, inefficiencies go undetected and uncorrected, capital flows from productive to non-productive use and perhaps the most dangerous for a free society, producers pay less attention to what consumers want and more attention to what government wants.

When that happens, the productive sector becomes increasingly dependent on, and beholden to, the government. Our political and economic systems become riddled with cronyism, corruption and inefficiency.

In recent years, direct payments have given way to subsidized insurance. What is insurance? It is a way to put a price on the risk of any activity. If insurance is subsidized, the risk is disguised. We encourage behavior that our own common sense, as informed by high insurance rates, would otherwise protect us from.

In the agricultural sector, that risk may be choosing crops that the market is signaling it doesn’t want. In that case, the result of subsidized insurance is a glut of commodities consumers don’t want and shortages of those they do. High insurance premiums may be warning farmers not to plant crops in regions ill-suited to them. Mask that cost and more crop failures result.

Because price signals are no longer being sent by the market’s consumers, but instead by government, it shouldn’t surprise us that those with oversized political influence make out very well. Small farmers who can’t afford lobbyists don’t.

Some argue that because agriculture is at the mercy of the weather or foreign trade barriers, it is inherently more risky than other pursuits and thus requires “a safety net.” Yet 60 percent of American farms receive no subsidies and appear to do just fine. So do New Zealand farms. After all, every human enterprise faces unique risks and challenges which accurate pricing regulates and compensates.


American agriculture is too important to be consigned to the mismanagement of incompetent federal bureaucracies. By ending the subsidies and restoring the accurate pricing signals that a free market provides, the needs and wants of consumers can be better served. Taxpayers can be relieved of $20 billion of counter-productive costs. And producers can be freed from the gross inefficiencies that government command and control systems invariably impose.

Just ask New Zealanders.


# # #


Comments - Make a comment
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content. We value free speech but remember this is a public forum and we hope that people would use common sense and decency. If you see an offensive comment please email us at news@thepinetree.net
No Subject
Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:28:11   By: Anonymous
 
You ARE the problem. You and everyone in power. You created or help to create the mess. As far as I can see you are only interested in one thing-re-election. You have given yourselves all the perks imaginable. The people you serve could only hope that they can keep their medical, their dignity, roof over their heads and food on the table for their families. Shame on you.

[Reply ]

    Re: WTG President Trump!!!
    Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:31:35   By: Anonymous
     
    Thank you Tom McClintock for being a strong conservative voice in a California legislature filled with fruits and nuts. Tom is helping President Trump Make America Great Again and deserves your vote this November.

    The Big Red Wave Is Here!


    [Reply ]

      Re: WTG President Trump!!!
      Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:45:11   By: Anonymous
       
      as a democrat, I rarely agree with Tom M...but - he has a valid point re: subsidies for farms... at the least, the program needs an overhaul due to abuse, like most government programs.

      PS...tariffs are wrong

      [Reply ]

Winning!
Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:30:48   By: Anonymous
 
Thank you Tom McClintock for being a strong conservative voice in a California legislature filled with fruits and nuts. Tom is helping President Trump Make America Great Again and deserves your vote this November.

The Big Red Wave Is Here!

[Reply ]

    Re: Winning!
    Posted on: 2018-06-27 07:49:11   By: Anonymous
     
    GAG! BARF! re: Making America Great Again

    What Trump has accomplished is to drive Harley Davidson production out of the US, ignored the human rights guaranteed by our Constitution, turned our allies against us, made friends and given concessions to dictators, told lie after lie after lie, turned every day citizens into combatants. There is nothing 'great' about the results of the Trump administration.

    Regarding Tom and this article. We need more information on which farm receive what kinds of subsidies. It sounds like only a select group of products are subsidized; the larger percentage are not. There might be a good reason to help insure farms growing something critical to the economy.


    [Reply ]

      Re: Winning!
      Posted on: 2018-06-27 13:50:29   By: Anonymous
       
      You must be getting Fake News....Check the truth-

      Harley-Davidson Workers Praise Trump’s Tariffs: ‘He’s Just Trying to Save American Industry’
      By John Binder 26 Jun 2018 Menomonee Falls, WI

      The American manufacturing workers at Harley-Davidson are praising President Trump’s newest tariffs on steel and aluminum, blaming the motorcycle company for closing more U.S. factories.

      When NPR caught up with Harley-Davidson workers at the company’s Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin factory, all of the workers praised Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.

      “If you really look at it, it’s the people … that different countries that have been kind of burdening us with these unfair tariffs over the last decade and is trying to correct the course now is really who is to blame,” one Harley-Davidson worker said.
      Another worker said, “He’s just trying to save American industry.”

      “The president must have a good reason for doing battle against U.S. trading partners,” another worker told NPR. “He wouldn’t do it for no reason. I look at him as a very smart businessman and if he feels it’s what he needed to do, that’s what he needed to do.”

      At the Kansas City, Missouri factory for Harley-Davidson — which as reported is being shut down and outsourced to Thailand — a manufacturing worker blasted the motorcycle company for soon sending his job overseas.

      “Their tax breaks, their 20-year tax breaks, it’s gone,” the worker said. “So now they’re moving overseas so they can get a better tax break. That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about the dollar.”

      That worker said he supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election and would vote for him again.

      [Reply ]

TIME TO RETIRE!!!
Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:41:28   By: Anonymous
 
Way over due time for him to retire! Please vote him out!!!

[Reply ]

    Re: TIME TO RETIRE!!!
    Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:50:12   By: Anonymous
     
    Farmers have the highest rates of suicide of all jobs. This ought to keep that trend in place

    [Reply ]

      Re: TIME TO RETIRE!!!
      Posted on: 2018-06-26 17:51:16   By: Anonymous
       
      Farmworkers, not the actual Farmowner. And they are lumped together with other professions.

      The CDC's occupational suicide list:

      1. Farmworkers, fishermen, lumberjacks, others in forestry or agriculture (85 suicides per 100,000)

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/these-jobs-have-the-highest-rate-of-suicide/

      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6525a1.htm



      [Reply ]

    Re: TIME TO RETIRE ALL OF THOSE WHO WANT OPEN BORDERS!!!!!!
    Posted on: 2018-06-27 06:58:17   By: Anonymous
     
    I was going to vote for Jessica Morse then I looked at her view on our illegal immigrant problem. It seemed to me she didn't see them as a problem, another one of those "open border" people.
    Well sorry Jessica, I love my country and want my country and it's people protected, even the repukeilans. So I did NOT vote for you.
    Protect our borders and I will.
    A Democrat

    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:55:31   By: Anonymous
 
I'm rather surprised that Mr. McClintock came out with this position being as I thought he was pretty much aligned with ag and ranch. I once managed a large family property in the central valley where we were paid NOT to grow cotton so as to keep prices up. Never made sense to me but it basically paid to keep the place up, especially since the water rights dated back to Miller & Lux. Maybe a hundred bucks a year for flood irrigation that produced 7 or 8 alfalfa cuttings. McClintock's got this one right - there are many programs Californians are paying for that go far beyond welfare. Time to let a free market economy determine prices and profit.

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2018-06-27 10:33:00   By: Anonymous
     
    There is something wrong in paying someone not to grow a certain product. If there is no need for that product, then they should switch to growing something that is needed, not get paid by the tax payers to not grow it.


    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2018-06-26 13:57:36   By: Anonymous
 
Profanity

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2018-06-26 15:30:59   By: Anonymous
     
    Really nice tie!

    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2018-06-26 18:11:07   By: Anonymous
 
Move to New Zealand McTrump

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2018-06-26 18:38:31   By: Anonymous
     
    Profanity

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2018-06-26 20:08:50   By: Anonymous
       
      You're a retard.

      [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2018-06-26 20:17:21   By: Anonymous
       
      You need to see a psychiatrist about your latent homosexual delusions.

      [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2018-06-27 07:00:10   By: Anonymous
       
      You're really into gay porn I see, maybe we can hook up at the next democratic party? Do you wear fishnets too gayboy?

      [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2018-06-27 12:17:08   By: Anonymous
     
    We can't just move to New Zealand.

    Unlike America, they enforce their borders. You show up, they spin you around and send you packin. We take you in, feed you, house you, provide health care and a lawyer to determine if we should deport you. And yet CNN says we are soo mean.

    Canada doesn't allow felons in. You can't even cross the border if you have a DUI in your history.

    Hungary made it a crime to assist someone seeking asylum.

    And Yet, CNN says America is mean.

    Multiple European countries are erecting border walls/fences to secure their borders.

    And yet, it is the U.S. that is just soo mean.

    [Reply ]


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