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Bush just can't help himself.

Discussion in 'The OT' started by bobsupra, Aug 3, 2005.

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  1. Aug 7, 2005 #81 of 103
    Bogy

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    You stated that a nice Christian group could pay the tuition for kids whose parents can't afford to. My response, how about a nice group of atheists picking up the tab for a change, out of all that money you will be saving on taxes.
     
  2. Aug 7, 2005 #82 of 103
    Bogy

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    You are right Mark. I should have stated that the proper name for farm subsidies is the "Subsidies for huge agribusinesses selling cheap food to the cities program."
     
  3. Aug 7, 2005 #83 of 103
    Capmeister

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    Suggesting that a Christian charity, as an example, could help is bashing?

    WOW. That...is... interesting.
     
  4. Aug 7, 2005 #84 of 103
    Capmeister

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    You didn't answer my question. Did you want to explain how the farm giveaways get "cheap food for people?"
     
  5. Aug 8, 2005 #85 of 103
    Bogy

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    I never said it was bashing. You came back and said I said it was bashing. I said it would be nice if an atheist who wants lower taxes didn't immediately suggest that the Christians take over the job. You state it is something that society should do, but you don't want to do it through taxes, and you don't suggest an organization you belong to should pick up the tab. I'm sorry, but that sounds self serving and hypocritical to me. It's not Christian bashing, it just makes you look selfish.
     
  6. Aug 8, 2005 #86 of 103
    Richard King

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    A person doesn't necessarily have to belong to an organization to make a difference. For instance, Cap could easily contribute to my bail fund (before the end of the day today click on the MDA link below) and make a difference. :D For that matter a person such as yourself could belong to an organization and STILL make a contribution to an organization he doesn't belong to (like my bail fund, click on the MDA link below) and still make a difference. :D
     
  7. Aug 8, 2005 #87 of 103
    Bogy

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    I guess I missed that question. Sorry. I would think it would be self explanatory, but perhaps not for someone who has never been around people getting those "giveaways". Without going into the whole history of farm policy of the U.S., suffice it to say that the policy for decades has been to make farms bigger, with fewer farmers. Today, the bulk of farm subsidies do not go to family farms, but to huge corporate farms. A family farm might have a hundred pigs they are raising for market. A corporate farm owned by one of the huge agribusinesses will have a hundred thousand pigs. (Disease can be a real problem when that many pigs are kept in one place, so large amounts of antibiotics are given to the pigs in their feed.) Anyway, the agribusiness actually loses money on raising that pig and selling it, which brings a lower priced pork chop to your supermarket. At least they lose money until you factor in the subsidy they get from the government. That makes it possible for the agribusiness to bring cheap food to the people. And has been noted already, small/family farms no longer qualify for much of the subsidies, which means to sell at the same price as the agribusinesses, they also lose money, and can't make it up with a subsidy. The other problem is that the agribusinesses not only own the fields where the grain to feed the animals is grown, and the facilities where they are raised, they also own the packing houses. The farmer raising his own stock may have no place to sell the animals when they are ready to slaughter, unless the agribusiness is selling over their own capacity, and they need some more animals to slaughter. And when the agribusinesses really figure they will make money is in a few more years when two or three corporations control ALL of the food industry. It started with chickens, with a couple of companies controlling the market. They then moved up to hogs, and are getting close. The final step is to controll the beef market. At that point they may decide that with their monopoly they can make more money by charging what it actually costs to bring food to market than to take the subsidies.

    The main point is that Farm Policy in the U.S. has NEVER been about helping out the family farmer. This of course is seldom mentioned in speeches, but it is obvious from the focus of the policies, and from the occasional statement that comes out. It has been about providing a stable, inexpensive source of food for the people. If you don't think this policy has worked, check out the percentage of income that is spent on food in this country as opposed to many other nations in the world. Our Government, whether led my Democrats or Republicans, for over 50 years has felt that this is better served by corporations.
     
  8. Aug 8, 2005 #88 of 103
    Bogy

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    What a self serving post. :D
     
  9. Aug 8, 2005 #89 of 103
    Capmeister

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    Originally Posted by Bogy
    Great, once again Christians can pick up something you don't want to pay for, while you continue to bash Christians.

    I wanna visit Bogy's planet. There are marshmellow trees and polkadot skies.
     
  10. Aug 8, 2005 #90 of 103
    Capmeister

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    You mean me? The guy who went to Michigan State University? Uh...huh. Are you familiar with the history and current nature still of that college? Are you aware of where I live? Heh. Yer silly!

    How? You descibed the steps (kinda) but hardly how the price of food suddenly lowered on my pork chop (ick) because of what would have been a momentary spike in pig prices.

    Can you explain how paying someone NOT to grow a crop lowers the price of food?
     
  11. Aug 9, 2005 #91 of 103
    Bogy

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    Who said anything about NOT growing a crop? These are price supports. The price for a bushel of corn, used to feed livestock, is about a buck. That is the same price it was in the 80's, and less than it was in the 70's. I don't know if you have noticed, but the price of oil has gone up just a bit since the 80's. It not only takes oil to run a tractor around a field, but the fertilizer and pesticides/herbicides also use oil to make, and oil to put on the crop by running that tractor. It also takes oil, to harvest the crop by running the combine. That's just one step of the process. But the farmer is making the same amount. The money that the agribusinesses get are price supports so they can keep the cost of your pork chops low. Another aspect of how this works is that a lot of agribusiness is owned by corporations and investors with profitable operations in other areas. "Farming" makes a nice tax writeoff for them. That is where the money for "farm" subsidies goes. To guys running huge corporations, many who have never seen a farm or sat on a tractor, who get the millions in price supports and tax writeoffs, while the guys who grew up on farms can't afford to stay there if they want to.

    You want an idea of what is going to be happening in agriculture in the next few years? I am living in Iowa, a huge farming state. As I drive down the highways, farming looks good. I've lived in South Dakota, where it seems like 6 out of 10 farmsteads were boarded up and falling down. I don't see that around here. But, the people living in the "farm" houses are not farm families, they are people who work in the cities, who live on acreages. Increasingly, the land is owned by agribusiness. Right now, about 60% of the land is owned by people over the age of 65. A huge transfer of land ownership is going to take place very soon. Who's going to buy it? It won't be guys just starting out in farming. They can't afford it. It will either be farmers who are already huge or agribusiness. So what? If the big corporations can supply cheap food, what does it matter? First off, it is those huge corporations you are supporting through your tax dollars. second, some people realize that monopolies are bad. While some people think a perfect world would be Charley providing DBS to everybody, many people realize that competition is a good thing. I think particularly think that one or two corporations controlling the food industry from start to finish is a bad thing. When they controll it all, what do you think will happen to prices. Quality is already a loser. Living where I do, I can still find real, farmyard raised chickens. They taste a lot different than the plastic chickens you buy in the supermarket, shot full of hormones and antibiotics. I doubt that my little diatribe here will convince anyone that a change needs to be made. You still won't believe that you are getting cheaper food because of the farm subsidies, you won't care as long as food prices don't go up, and it doesn't impact you if more family farmers are driven off farms that have been in their families for a hundred years and more. It doesn't matter who is president, family farmers don't have the votes. People who live in cities and suburbs do. Things don't change, no matter which party is in charge. From my point of view, go ahead and do away with the subsidies. Let everybody play on an even playing field. Let the market determine prices, not artificial supports. Then you can all buy your groceries from South America, where they burn of the jungle, plant crops, and sell them cheap. We import everything else, might as well import ALL our food as well. Get rid of those cows Rich, Argentinian beef is the way to go.

    Cap, you are absolutely right, price supports make your food more expensive. How could I have been so stupid.
     
  12. Aug 9, 2005 #92 of 103
    Bogy

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    Sorry Cap. I really didn't mean that that particular post was bashing Christians. Its just in general, whenever you or Jon or another atheist talks about Christianity it is to remind us of how horrible Christians are, starting wars, etc. But when it is time for a charity to be undertaken, then its time for the Christians to do the job. I don't know if you figure we can do it because you don't think we are already charitable, or if you just figure we are patsies who can undertake any social responsibility you don't want to pay for. It just struck me as hypocritical. But of course I was wrong, you would never do anything like that. After all, only Christians, particularly Christian ministers do bad things. Just ask anyone around here. Basically at this point, I don't care. It's not worth it. Its not worth it going around in circles trying to explain everything I say to people determined not to understand.
     
  13. Aug 9, 2005 #93 of 103
    Capmeister

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    Never assume with me. Allow me to link you to a post that I wrote some time ago:

    http://snarkbait.com/archives.php?ID=841

    You see, when I was thinking about creating Snarkbait, the first idea that struck me was to create an "Atheists for Religious Freedom" site. ;)

    Christians, like Jews, like Muslims, like Hindus, and so on, are all just people. Some bad, some good.

    The last few days I've just been tugging your chain, Bogy, because some of your posts were getting more and more weird.

    I love ya, man. I wouldn't have fun with you if I did. Honest. I hope I've not made you so jittery by yanking your chain that you're going to swear off coffee or anything.

    :)
     
  14. Aug 9, 2005 #94 of 103
    Capmeister

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    I did. :)

    I dunno. :) Here:

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Agriculture/BG1510.cfm


    http://www.answers.com/topic/agricultural-policy

     
  15. Aug 9, 2005 #95 of 103
    Bogy

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    Do you happen to know what rich fertile acres are left idle through CRP? Pretty much none. The Heritage foundation dismisses the Conservation in CRP, but most of the money from that program goes to pay "farmers" not to farm land that never should have been plowed in the first place. Corporations will come in, buy a huge tract of land, plow it and plant crops for the required time period, and then apply for CRP money to stop planting on ground that can't support it anyway. What should have remained pasture/grazing land has now had the prairie grass root system that held it together for thousands of years ripped out, and it is subject to wind and rain erosion. It's a common problem in western states which do not have the rainfall to support row crops.

    Do a few handpicked crops, like sugar, get a great deal through pork barrel legislation. You betcha. But the number of farmers who grow those crops are limited, and if you haven't been producing sugar for decades, don't think you can start now and cash in.

    As far as the headline on the Heritage Foundation article, that the average farm gets a million dollars a year, remember what average means. It means ADM gets a billion or two, and the farmers in my congregation get nothing.
    This quote proves what I have been saying. It costs more to produce the carton of milk than you pay in the store. If you paid what it costs to produce, without the subsidies, you would be paying 40% more. You can pay it in taxes, or you can pay it at the store, but I'm in favor of cutting what huge monopolistic corporations get completely. If you want to do some more checking, find out what these agribusinesses pay in political contributions. To both sides.
     
  16. Aug 9, 2005 #96 of 103
    Capmeister

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    Did you see this part: "about 40% of the cost comes from tax money"
     
  17. Aug 9, 2005 #97 of 103
    Bogy

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    Yes, do you understand that I have been saying the subsidies, which come from tax money, are given to make up the difference between the cost of production and the price you pay in the store? Obviously not. You can pay it in taxes, or pay it at the store. The reasoning, from a national defense point of view, is that doing it with government subsidies keeps the price of food commodities somewhat stable. The government policy in regard to defense contracts for jet fighters/bombers, is that they want to keep two companies solvent. To depend totally on one company takes away all competition, and most people figure we are going to have to build and maintain some planes in the future, so we need at least one company, and preferably two. That's why one company doesn't get ALL the contracts, or is at least included as a major subcontractor. During times like the depression, when these programs started, the government decided having all the farmers go bust would not be good for the nation. It was considered better to help the farmers through the rough times, to keep as many as possible on the farm, and stabilize prices for those living in the city. That is still the primary focus, stable prices. And the government feels that a few big corporations are the best way to stabilize prices.

    IF the "Freedom to Fail at Farming" act would have worked, you would have seen a great deal more fluctuation in food prices than you are used to.
     
  18. Aug 9, 2005 #98 of 103
    Capmeister

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    Well, let me see--at the store only those who actually BUY pay for what they're buying. Sounds right to me.
     
  19. Aug 9, 2005 #99 of 103
    Bogy

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    Are you saying that you do not eat? Or that you steal all the food you eat? Or does your momma still buy all your food for you? As I recall from your picture, you appeared to have eaten recently and often. (and I mean no aspersion, so do I)
     
  20. Capmeister

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    Six weeks after being diagnosed, my mother suffered and died from gall bladder cancer, one day after her 66th birthday. Thanks for asking.
     
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