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The crop insurance question

is really about whether the government should be continuing with the forever effort to consolidate agriculture.

 

"Agriculture" is as financially healthy as it has ever been and as consolidated as there is any purpose in its being. Declare victory, go home.

 

I think the conservative position would be to not overtly act to reverse the the situation but to quit actively promoting it.

 

A lot of public seed money went into creating a crop insurance industry. It is well established enough to sink or swin on its own.

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23 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: The crop insurance question

Excellent point about the conservative position.  DOn't change the laws just change who pays for it.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: The crop insurance question

Excellent post, Nox. I can see you have been thinking about this issue and looking down the road past the end of your own driveway to come up with a realistic solution to funding crop insurance with budget shortfalls looming. I listen to all the posturing about it, whether it should go to USDA or private, how you have to make it very cheap to get people to buy it, and I think we just lose sight of the issues of how much it actually costs and what the goals actually are.

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Advisor

Re: The crop insurance question

I would say that depends on how "conservative" you really are. I'm about as conservative as you can get, and don't really think the taxpayer ought to be paying for insuring my business. Not unless they're the only entity benefitting from it. We ask them to pay for insurance..so we can debate about how much corn China is going to buy...and how much wheat we can sell to Egypt.

 

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Senior Advisor

Re: The crop insurance question

If government is involved, Government should realize the profit. This is another example of privatizing the profits and publicising the losses.

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Re: The crop insurance question

Yes. So you've reversed your position?

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Senior Advisor

Re: The crop insurance question

No! Stop government involvement but if you are going to keep them involved make it a profitable enterprise for government.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: The crop insurance question

Please explain how you would make crop insurance "a profitable enterprise for the government", and give an example of something that government  already does and makes a profit, if you can . I have never heard of anyone arguing that government should "make a profit" doing something, and  would especially like to see how you would accomplish that in a program like subsidized crop insurance that hemorrhages red ink.

 

If the argument for subsidizing crop insurance is to get the fringe areas planted, maybe simply block grants would accomplish that for a lot less money. The current system would be like giving welfare benefis to all Americans, regardless of income or net worth, just so that the poorest ones could get food stamps and other aid.

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: The crop insurance question

FSA had it.  They completely fumbled the ball.  The program was a disaster when FSA had control.  The solution is quite easy.  Keep the insurance in the private sector and remove the taxpayer subsidies.  Without the subsidies, it's a forgone conclusion that participation would fall.  However, the way it is now it hasn't accomplished anything.  When the subsidies got to the extremes they are now, it was to get almost full participation.  The thought was there would be no more disaster payments paid if nearly every farmer was enrolled.  There has yet to be one year go by where the gov't didn't make a disaster payment.  In this regard, the program has been a failure. 

 

I'm still completely baffled how anyone can favor crop insurance subsidies but oppose Obamacare.  I'm all for keeping gov't as far from the insurance industry as possible.  Coincidentally, overseas in Europe there is at least one country trying to privatize part of their health insurance.  They cite greater efficiency by the private sector as the reason.  It's very typical actually that a gov't turns over something they can't manage themselves efficientyly to the private sector.  Once the private sector makes a success of it, the gov't then wants it back.  If FSA is ever given back federal crop insurance, it won't take very long for it to be a complete and total disaster like it was the last time they had it. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: The crop insurance question

As much as the FSA offices have been downsized, I don`t know if they could also handle the insurance, even if other programs are done away with. Crop insurance has gotten alot more involved, especially this year with the "enhanced yield option".  I favor getting the government out of everything but their Constitutional reponsibilty of "protecting us against enemies foreign and domestic".  However that ain`t the Republic in which Ben Franklin had given us, crop ins is some sort of deal with the devil.  You can favor crop insurance and be against 0bamacare because the two aren`t even "apples and oranges" more like "Moon rocks and Oldsmobiles".  See, with 0bamacare it`s a mandate that you are forced to buy health insurance, with crop insurance buy or not, no one cares(the IRS won`t fine you for not buying crop insurance).  Crop insurance bring stability and a lower cost of production to the farmer, 0bamacare raises healthcare costs and lowers the quality of healthcare to the consumer.  But in my perfect world there would be neither and only unicorns and rainbows.

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