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Honored Advisor

Re: ISU Prof Bad Mouths Crop Insurance

Jim, at the basis of your concern is whether or not this public employee can express an opinion publicly. I would agree with you that I held - and sometimes bit -my tongue, when teaching public school.

Usually, our perception of whether an opinion should be espoused or not depends upon our perception of whether it supports or diminishes our own welfare. Usually, this involves money, right?

I can think of numerous examples of academics weighing in on public policy decisions. Educators deal with this pontificating all the time. Just because everyone has been to school, they feel qualified to offer opinions on what educators ought to do, as well as how they should do it.

As a private person, anyone can state just about any position. Adding the stamp of imprimatur of the position he holds, especially in the name of the university, is a horse of another color. If that has been done as a hired gun, acting on behalf of a very biased anti-ag group, then working for them needs to become his new - and sole - paycheck.
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Honored Advisor

PS- the appropriate response

Jim, most importantly, the best -and really the only truly appropriate - response to the analogy is to show that those who can afford crop insurance least need it the most. If the smaller, less flush farming operations drop coverage, then concentration and transfer of their productive assets -predominantly land -accelerate in their transition into fewer and richer hands.

Perhaps there ought to be a sliding scale of coverage and subsidization of so much to so many acres, with diminishing subsidy once past that point. Farmers who can finance their own operating expenses could risk their own money, buying or not. Those who owe are subject to the terms of their lenders, who are, as has been stated, the eventual beneficiaries. Cannot let those banks fail, right?

Quite honestly, as we diversify a bit beyond ag, I can see where and why people in other types of business would want to have ag's deal here. When something is too good to be true, others resent it, especially if they can't join in, but have to help pay....

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Honored Advisor

Re: ISU Prof Bad Mouths Crop Insurance

What will we use as an incentive to plant without subsidized crop ins.? And how will small farmers back their financing?
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Honored Advisor

Re: ISU Prof Bad Mouths Crop Insurance

Does he hate the ethanol industry in Iowa? USDA support to production Ag has been so gutted and is so out of date, to be totally ineffective. Crop ins. Is the only incentive to produce or hang on if you are not competing on a scale of size as determined by economic reality. Take it away and the production of scale will keep planting in ever fewer numbers. Take crop ins. Away and you take away some of the support for ethanol. The only "environmental" idea that has come close to working economically. ----and even fewer farms will keep producing.
Always amazing how we will aim the complaint gun right at our own foot.
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Advisor

Re: ISU Prof Bad Mouths Crop Insurance

The Prof from a farm state University.  This found in the the 5 state areas biggest newspaper:

 

http://www.startribune.com/business/205701121.html

 

 

 

 

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Senior Advisor

Re: ISU Prof Bad Mouths Crop Insurance

" University of Iowa agricultural economist Bruce Babcock, "

 

The paper got it wrong.  Babcock is a proffessor at Iowa State University, the state's land grant university.

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