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Old 03-16-2015, 12:46 PM   #21
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It's economic suicide to allow the percentage of the population on government assistance to continue to grow. Compassion is helping those trapped in the system. Insanity is not reversing the trend before the system collapses. In the USA we are promoting government dependence that is unsustainable.

Ted
I think there are two separate issues.

Welfare: I people are genuinely unemployed the state has 'some sort of obligation' to give them shelter and food so that they don't starve to death.

Subsidies: some forms of business are not economically viable, but are strategically important to a nation for social and self sufficiency reasons.

Eg: England was not able to feed itself in WW11 and had to import goods across the atlantic. If Hitler had built more submarines instead if attacking Russia it is accepted by most historians that the conveys would have been cut off and Britain defeated before the US joined the war.

Lesson is: make sure you can sustain your own population from home produced food and manufactured goods .
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:52 PM   #22
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Seems to me we are confusing this "farming" issue.

For old-timers like me, most of us had family roots in (subsistence) farming at one time; much like we are all immigrants. The cities overtook the farming populations some hundred years ago.
During the Depression, most small farms were abandoned or sold off to "corporations" - there are but a small percentage of successful family farms - mostly "organic" or boutique farms. It's all agribusiness these days. I have little sympathy for government subs for agribusiness even if it tends to stabilize prices - let them deal directly with their investors!

Although largely a free-marketer, I don't have any trouble with some protection and support for boutique farms. I would hate to see agribusiness do to them what Rockefeller did to small oil entrepreneurs.

BTW, I can definately see where 16 to 1 leverage on oil futures is way out of line and can clearly distort the oil markets. This has been demonstrated for generations. Wish I could buy real estate with leverage like that. Heck, I would be tickled with just 10 to 1. And you can see where that recently got us....
In the uk and Ireland profit from futures trading is income tax free; it's considered gambling!

Betting on horses is also 'margin trading', as most favourites are quoted at about 2/1 or more. ( 'even money' bets are normally reserved for classic winers)
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rustybarge View Post
I think there are two separate issues.

Welfare: I people are genuinely unemployed the state has 'some sort of obligation' to give them shelter and food so that they don't starve to death.

Subsidies: some forms of business are not economically viable, but are strategically important to a nation for social and self sufficiency reasons.
Nobody is arguing against temporary assistance. Sorry, I don't think wealth redistribution in the form of subsidies solves the problem. Problems need to be solved, not perpetuated. Farmers need to be able to earn a reasonable income (raise prices). The bottom 30 to 40% of consumers may need some assistance paying for higher food costs. There is no reason to subsidies the price of food for the top 50% of consumers.

Ted
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:11 PM   #24
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Nobody is arguing against temporary assistance. Sorry, I don't think wealth redistribution in the form of subsidies solves the problem. Problems need to be solved, not perpetuated. Farmers need to be able to earn a reasonable income (raise prices). The bottom 30 to 40% of consumers may need some assistance paying for higher food costs. There is no reason to subsidies the price of food for the top 50% of consumers.

Ted
Ah yes, nice idea but...

If American food cost more than foreign imports then the US would have to impose import tariffs to stop the cheap imports flooding the market.

Then.....
Foreign countries would impose import taxes on American products to counter the loss of export revenue from their trade to the USA.

Then....
The US would lose out on export business.
The foreign countries would lose out on export business.
World trade would decline.

Free trade Plus local subsidies for uncompetitive industry is inefficient, unfair, and a waste of tax dollars....but what alternatives are there?
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:28 PM   #25
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Rusty,

I hope you are being sarcastic.

With all respect, I am with Ted, there is no excuse for subsidizing Warren and Hilliary's banquets - that's BS!
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Rustybarge View Post
Ah yes, nice idea but...

If American food cost more than foreign imports then the US would have to impose import tariffs to stop the cheap imports flooding the market.

Then.....
Foreign countries would impose import taxes on American products to counter the loss of export revenue from their trade to the USA.

Then....
The US would lose out on export business.
The foreign countries would lose out on export business.
World trade would decline.

Free trade Plus local subsidies for uncompetitive industry is inefficient, unfair, and a waste of tax dollars....but what alternatives are there?
Peter, I'm not worried about a tariff dust up. Last time I checked we don't have trade surpluses with anybody. It's about time the playing field was releveled. While it pains me to say this, I would like to see a tarriff on crude oil that raised the landed price in the USA to $75 per barrel. We all know that the price of crude is going to go back up once the Saudis throttle back the spigot and a bunch of the domestic frackers have gone out of business. Would much rather see the frackers stay in business than $50 crude now, and $125 crude a year from now.

Ted
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:20 PM   #27
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Once again, those that can stock up on crude or futures will do well at $125 barrel, those of us who can only fill our tanks at $3 will once again get screwed.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:27 PM   #28
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Rusty,

I hope you are being sarcastic.

With all respect, I am with Ted, there is no excuse for subsidizing Warren and Hilliary's banquets - that's BS!
I heard that warren goes to the local Burger king and isn't into the 'haute cuisine', and as far as I know Hillary is busy scoffing free kosher sent over from Israel in return for the 'Jewish subsidy' costing $billions every year with no return!
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:43 PM   #29
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Peter, I'm not worried about a tariff dust up. Last time I checked we don't have trade surpluses with anybody. It's about time the playing field was releveled. While it pains me to say this, I would like to see a tarriff on crude oil that raised the landed price in the USA to $75 per barrel. We all know that the price of crude is going to go back up once the Saudis throttle back the spigot and a bunch of the domestic frackers have gone out of business. Would much rather see the frackers stay in business than $50 crude now, and $125 crude a year from now.

Ted
The age of America being a disconnected isolationist is over as we all live in a globalised world. Although there may not be a ' on balance sheet' trade surplus, large US companies are abroad earning huge quantities of revenue which is not repatriated back to the states. If This 'off the books' revenue was included in the export figures it would show a large US surplus, and would be of course included in the gross national produce and balance of payments calculations as 'Exports'

Low oil prices should give a massive boost to economies all over the world; unfortunately fracking companies and tar sand operations are going to feel the pain.
It seems that there's always someone left holding the baby.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:33 PM   #30
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The age of America being a disconnected isolationist is over as we all live in a globalised world. Although there may not be a ' on balance sheet' trade surplus, large US companies are abroad earning huge quantities of revenue which is not repatriated back to the states. If This 'off the books' revenue was included in the export figures it would show a large US surplus, and would be of course included in the gross national produce and balance of payments calculations as 'Exports'
Sorry, we're not part of the collective suicide that is the EU. Farming is big business in the USA. There are a great many industries that are impacted by farming. When the subsidies are eventually removed, all concerned will make sure farming stays profitable. There seem to be a great deal of young optimistic farmers in the USA, definitely a good sign.

Ted
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