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Senior Advisor

Re: Government Handouts

"shame on you that abused the programs. But then that seems to be what is becoming the American Way. Get as much as you can off the backs of as many below you as you can. And it looks to me as if our stellar elected officials want to continue in the "American Way"."

 

What are some examples of abusing the system? People like huge corporations taking money for farm programs? They are legally entitled to the money. I don't think they are morally entitled to it, but how do we judge when a person is entitled to participate in the system if they follow the rules? I say, shame on the rule makers.

 

Subsidies are put in place for what seem to be good reasons but sometimes they don't work out well.  Maybe that means we shouldn't have them at all.  No tax deduction for business or home interest payments.  No depreciation allowances that encourage a business to invest in more efficient, safer, more environmentally friendly equipment.

 

Livestock feeders say they get no subsidies, but they get the benefit of cheap grain prices caused by grain subsidies.  This stuff never ends.

 

I'm perfectly willing to not take any subsidiees, but if there is a subsidy I am legally entitled to and it makes businesses sense to take it, I am not going to depvrive my family of a certain standard of living out of false price.  So, drop all the subsidies and, as my mother said, "root, hog, or die." 

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Government Handouts

I think we all get frustrated when it looks like someone else is having an easier go of it than we are...their payment is a handout, but ours is earned. Over the past fifteen years, since moving to a very economically disadvantaged region, I have taken a more forgiving approach in many ways...
It is cheaper to just give some people everything they need to live than it is to set up a system of training and policing their work ethic to make them earn anything.
What bothers me more than anything is watching our kids work hard, and have to learn to deal with the inequity of this fact on top of it all.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Government Handouts

Maybe I should have said "shame on you IF you have abused the system"  Every body hears stories of hidden assets and such.  Like I said I don't know about the programs so I couldn't say how or if they can really be abused.

 

My point was that perhaps the programs were intended to keep a cheap food supply for the Ameican people.

 

I also find frustration in greed.  We don't have a lot.  Sure our net worth may be one of the highest in our area but that goes with farming when you need many valuable assets.  But as far as disposable income that can be  another matter much of the time.

 

What I'm saying is I just don't understand the mentality of I need to have more and more and more. 

In the context of the needs of our goavernment right now I don't understand the people that have more than they need to live a good life worrying about paying a little more in taxes to get and keep a strong government.  Why do they think those that have less should be the ones to carry the load.

 

 It is not a  right to never cook a meal at home, to only wear clothes that need to be dry cleaned, only wear shoes that cost mucho bucks,have a work wardrobe that cost 500.00 an outfit, have a home with a bath and 1/2 for every person living in it.  Yet these are the people that say "don't ask me to pay more taxes",.  They seem to me to be saying that the schmuck that shops at WalMart, or JCpennies, Kohl's or Sears, has vehicles that are 5 or more years old and  vacations by going camping are the ones that should foot the bill to balance the federal budget.

 

But then maybe I don't have any kind of understanding of the way most people in this country live.  I think maybe farmers have a some what different  view just because of the nature of farming.  Face it most of my neighbors would drop their teeth if they knew the amount of money that goes through this place in a years time.  I do know how my college educated kids (4 of whom are teachers) live and it is not high on the hog.

A rather simplistic view on a very complicated subject. Not taking any gray areas into concern and in America every one has their own gray area.  It just feels like there is very little honesty in the discussion and even less from our governing officials.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Government Handouts

On the note of policing the work they do ---before the factory jobs left there where several people working due to the fact they would show up at 7 am and do the job expected--also paid taxes every time the paycheck was cut---then came the idea we---the tax payer would  ""retrain these folk to get a good job in the """service"""""  industry  world--good luck---also be careful about your consumer customer being railed at  ----- lots of equip  $$$ thrown  at the farm and livestock industry even though NCBA says we don't use government subsidies like ethanol  etc. ---- also seeing some conservatives talking about cutting government spending "after" having stood at the farm subsidy window themselves ? ? 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Government Handouts

People forget the role that labor unions played in obtaining good pay and benefits for many workers. My husband was a railroad brakeman and conductor for over 23 years, and the UTU kept full health insurance, dental coverage, and excellent hourly wages over our entire family at zero employee contribution the entire time. That era is in it's sunset phase, I believe.

As for this discussion of subsidies, I think we forget that not all commodities followed the pattern of payments that grain and soybeans did. We were farming in flue- cured tobacco and peanut country, and those cash crops stayed under price support stabilization structures that limited either acres planted or pounds marketed. You could plant all of either you wanted to, but you would have no price supports if your exceeded your quota.

There is no perfect system, but the one we have, which has provided consumers with the illusion of cheap food, has been dependent on taking money from them in thir tax bills for supporting farm prices instead. The real fantasy that is coming to an end may be that taxpayers will still be working a large portion of the year to meet the tax burden, and putting in overtime to foot the expanded grocery bills that are showing up at the checkout counter.

I haven' t really paid much attention to grocery prices since we stopped feeding three teenagers every day; but, I have noticed prices have risen steadily lately.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Government Handouts

Just an offshoot of your post. The farmers' price will become more determined by  what the retailer and wholesaler wants to give than the current system. Do you think there will be an even greater trend towards vertical integration since we'll be more reliant on what the wholesaler is willing to give for a price?

Direct payments are the result of WTO since they filled the definition of green box subsidies. The other types of non-conservation subsidies had to be limited or the EU could have filed a claim against us. Price supports are good for farmers, however our suppliers have taken them into consideration for their pricing. I don't think many common folk realize that the Farm Bill portion for farmers has built the pharmaceutical, chemical, fertilizer, fuel, food processor industries in this country. How many of THOSE JOBS would have been exported by now if not for the farm subsidies?

And oh yes, the unions have helped build this country up to the 80s. Actual money was transacted, not credit. Maybe it was inflated money, but the private sector's labor price hasn't kept up with standard inflation. Service jobs only pay so much, somebody else has to make up that difference.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Government Handouts

It is all pretty much a power game to me...the fewer retailers there are, the more power those that remain wield. With less and less option mix in the way of markets, and with wholesaling cut out by some of the huge retailers ( think Sam Walton's hatred for sales reps), each buyer at that level can throw more weight around in negotiations.

Integrators are nailing down producers to multi-year contracts, but producers have no ability to lock in their costs for contract's duration. It is going to be a tough row to hoe going forward, unless you can really make it on a small margin on each unit of a large production entity.
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Advisor

Re: Government Handouts

The "illusion" of cheap food is an assumption based on a misunderstanding of the economics of food production and federal policy governing program payments.  According to sources I've seen, food costs an American consumer less than 10 percent of their household income, and if you would add the cost of farm programs, from the data I've seen in the past, you would add around 25 to 30 cents per person per day to that cost..  For decades since Nixon, a cheap food policy has been the political wish.   Nixon told his advisors to pursue a cheap food policy that would garner votes. 

 

Anyone living in third world countries spend half to more than three quarters of their income on food.  In Europe and developing countries, it ranges between 15 and 40 percent, depending on where one lives.

 

The cost of food is only expensive from a personal perspective.  Perception is reality, so if one believes food is expensive, it is. 

 

Having said that, one exception to cost of food in America would be in the inner cities where access to affordable sources is limited and access to fast food places are readily available, not to mention, that most residents living in these areas are largely dependant on public welfare to begin with.

 

So, even if we eliminated program payments, it would not even make a dent in the federal deficit, let alone solve the debt crisis. 

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Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: Government Handouts

Does this answer the question of government handouts best?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/#43228707

Agree or disagree?

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