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What If You Can't Sell Your Farm?

The IMF has a working paper that suggests that 1930's style recessions are very likely, and that even rich nations won't be able to avoid drastic cuts.

As farmers, we like to think that we've weathered and learned from the '80's and are not subject to the perils and pitfals that trapped our grandfathers.  But, how would we react if we were caught in a global or national financial crisis?  Could we weather the storm?

What seems to happen is the government looks for money and finds any way it can to take it.


"Financial repression can take many forms, including capital controls, interest rate caps or the force-feeding of government debt to captive pension funds and insurance companies. Some of these methods are already in use but not yet on the scale seen in the late 1940s and early 1950s as countries resorted to every trick to tackle their war debts.

The policy is essentially a confiscation of savings, partly achieved by pushing up inflation while rigging the system to stop markets taking evasive action. The UK and the U.S. ran negative real interest rates of -2pc to -4pc for several years after the Second World War. Real rates in Italy and Australia were -5pc.

Read more:"


Critics of the paper say it is off-target and sometimes confuses cause and effect.


Nevertheless, in a world where pension plans are increasingly being dropped in favor of 401K's, what will you do if you find your farm taxes are too high to pay and you can't even sell your land?  Just like the times of your grandfather.


For my part, I hope I would downsize enough to survive and do so before the bottom fell completely out.  It's a very sobering thing to thinka bout how we would act if corn was 10 cents a bushel again.

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4 Replies

Re: What If You Can't Sell Your Farm?

My Grandfather knew he was going to lose the farm if he didn't get the taxes paid.  Sold an 80, closed on a friday, was to pay the taxes monday.  The bank failed over the weekend and he lost the farm anyway.  Corn sold for 9 cents a bushel.  My Mother said they burned corn because you could get more heat out of the corn than than you could out of the coal it would buy.  They were in northern Iowa

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Re: What If You Can't Sell Your Farm?

The danger in much of these discussions concerning government and how bad everything is or might be, is these things tend to build on the fears of people, creating a self fulfilling prophecy of bad times ahead.  Rather than focus on how bad things might be, could be, why not we focus on ways to make it better?  If you clicked on the link I provided in another thread, this gives us something to consider, that what we fear can control our behavior, leading us exactly in the way we were afraid it might happen.


That said, the historical statement that those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them, is still good advice.  The contrast, however, is that we should take those lessons and proactively work to move in the other direction.  If abuses in the financial and regulatory system were responsible for the recession of 2007, let's implement proper oversight and ensure that accountability has teeth in the rules.  In fiscal policy, let's maintain a proper balance of revenue versus program spending that will maintain our stability.  Let's address the issues that creates poverty.  Let's balance the tax burden for all classes, not just the top 1%


If you want to sell your farmland in the future without fear of what might lie ahead, support policy that will assist in creating that environment that will provide the greatest opportunity for creation of wealth in every segment of society.


We cannot afford to expect everyone that seeks a job to become burger flippers for the rest of their lives.  That is a prescription for eventual social decay and perhaps revolution.

Senior Advisor

Re: A friend had a timeshare

that was costing him annual fees and he had difficulty selling it. He sweetened the deal up and gave the buyer $3000 to take possession of it. Who knows maybe we could give a bonus of $100k and someone would take that farm off our hands.

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Re: A friend had a timeshare

Capital controls, shmapital controls.


Virtual currency is going to be interesting.  If they get too crazy with the printing press, or savings taxes the money will simply find a more hospitible climate.



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