« On Agricultural Subsidies by Rich Countries-BECKER | Main | The Gates Foundation and the Estate Tax--Posner's Comment »

07/02/2006

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c031153ef0133efd0b5a7970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Reply on Agricultural Subsidies-BECKER:

» Farm from Farm
Located in Madison Offers stallion photos and information, show results and youngstock for sale. Story by ... [Read More]

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Arun Khanna

I wonder if there will be a future trend of living in suburbia with a backyard having a large fallow agricultural field for earning subsidies to pay off one's mortgage.

Zathras

There is no more basic cause, of anything, than inertia. It even explains why academic economists insist on looking for more complex explanations of various phenomena.

With regard to the two additional points Becker raises here: first, changes in the form of farm subsidy programs look much more significant from the outside than they do from the standpoint of the farmers receiving program benefits or the Congressional staff (and lobbyists) that write most farm legislation. What counts is the income support provided by the relevant program; more or fewer restrictions on things like what crops can be planted on cropland entered in the program are incremental changes only. If situations develop in which such changes result in greatly decreased income support to farmers, the force of inertia is behind Congressional efforts to restore the status quo ante. This actually happened when bad weather and foreign currency crises disrupted farm commodity markets after the passage of the 1996 farm bill.

Secondly, New Zealand's farm sector and that of the United States are not comparable. New Zealand produces vastly more of nearly every agricultural commodity than its tiny population consumes, and the number of other goods and services in which this country can maintain a trade surplus is very limited. Accordingly New Zealand, while deregulating the production side of agriculture (along with much else) as part of the Douglas reforms of the 1980s maintained a substantial government presence via unified marketing boards that controlled (and still do) how farm commodities are exported. In short, New Zealand defeated inertia through the application of great force, something possible because of the vital and widely recognized importance of the farm and fisheries sector to that country's economy. I do not believe such a thing is impossible in the United States, but for the reasons I laid out in my earlier post on this subject it would be substantially more difficult.

N.E.Hatfield

As for the OECD reports, after a quick review of the literature, it may appear that the conclusions drawn, may be in error due to certain problems surrounding it's measurement methodology. Especially surrounding the international pricing and price support methods used.

Much like the use of subsidies to remove arable land from production. In the long run, this actually creates more production by "land banking". It's one of the old methods of agronomy known as crop rotation or leaving land in a fallow state for a number of years to allow it's productive capacity to return. When the land is returned to production the acerage yields are once again higher.

But once again this points out the problem of a non-consistent and non-coherent measurement methodology that is international in its outlook.

Nelson

It all comes down to political economics. Farmers make an investment in politicians via campaign contributions and politicians pay back farmers many times over with subsidies and favorable laws. Consumers pay for this, but only by a little bit per person. The advertisments, etc... bought with the campaign contributions often influence voters by more than the increased cost in food and/or taxes they pay to support this political corruption.

The problem comes down to all or nothing voting. One votes for people, not for laws. You may only vote for at most one person per seat. Even if this canidate goes against your wish to abolish farm subsidies, that is only a small percentage of the total platform of that canidate. Perhaps the consumer/taxpayer funded political ads have convinced you to support this canidate on other issues. Or perhaps these ads have convinced you not to vote for the opposing canidate. Or perhaps both canidates are taking advantage of the system and agree in their support for farm programs. At any rate, these programs continue due to low political costs and large political benefits

Wyatt williams

Or perhaps these ads have convinced you not to vote for the opposing canidate

James

I don't see how it follows that "New Zealand defeated inertia through the application of great force, something possible because of the vital and widely recognized importance of the farm and fisheries sector to that country's economy." You would have thought the opposite would apply - that the importance of the sector would have given it leverage to extract subsidies. In sweeping aside the inertia of the subsidies, the Douglas government was coming up against a formidable lobby. It perservered nonetheless and NZ has benefitted greatly. The producer boards survive as a bizarre exception, operating as some sort of exclusive club protecting existing producers and hampering those who prefer to strike their own deals, as with the Geo. H. Scales group a few years ago. They were a company who wanted to export apples privately. They were rebuffed by the producer board because it wasn't "in the interests" of the other producers (presumably undercutting them). When asked if it was going to abolish the boards, the government said it would only do so if the boards themselves recommended it. The turkeys have yet to vote for Christmas, as far as I'm aware.

Joshua

I disagree with the assertions that subsidies are needed to keep prices of food and other farm goods down. In fact, the majority of the subsidies, such as acreage restrictions and export subsidies

Anonymous

مركز تحميل

Anonymous


thanks for your post.perhaps you will like ed hardy

Anonymous

بنت الزلفي

Anonymous

العاب
___
ÿ¥ÿßÿ™

Anonymous

ÿßÿ®ÿ±ÿßÿ¨
___
دليل

Anonymous

ÿØÿ±ÿØÿ¥ÿ©
___
صور

Anonymous

ÿ¥ÿßÿ™ ŸÖÿµÿ±
--
دردشة مصرية

Anonymous

RK7GXI

Anonymous

Thank you, you always get to all new and used it
ÿ¥ÿßÿ™

دردشه

Anonymous

Great site. Keep doing.

Anonymous

Great site. Keep doing.

Anonymous

Great site. Keep doing.

Anonymous

I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!

Anonymous

Excellent site. It was pleasant to me.

Anonymous

If you have to do it, you might as well do it right.

Anonymous

Excellent site. It was pleasant to me.

Anonymous

دردشة برق


دردشة الخليج

Anonymous

Great site. Keep doing.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31