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Thread: Farmers and financial aid

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    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Farmers and financial aid

    French, Dutch and Belgian people will probably know what this is about, but for those who don't:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33673197

    I've just read on a Dutch news site that the Belgian government, too, has agreed to provide their farmers with economic relief after a series of disruptive protests.

    My general opinion is that state subsidies for farmers are bad. Farmers sometimes seem to have a sense of entitlement, thinking that they should be shielded from economic hardships that other industries have to deal with. The French protests are an extreme example of that. (on a side note, the French government is liable for the damages that non-French businesses suffer from the actions mentioned in the BBC link, but that's another story)

    The only argument for economic relief that I think has merit is that the fall in prices is largely caused by the sanctions against Russia. That was a political decision and you could argue that it's not a normal business risk.

    Thoughts?

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    Member Member Crandar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    State subsidies for farmers are fine, given their instrumental role of their profession. It's necessary to encourage them, so we can assure a standar food productivity in times of need.

    The problem is that they usually don't match reality, because of the state's inefficiency and the temptation on behalf of unscrupulous politicians to gain their approval. To give you an example, sometimes farmers prefer to adopt low quality/ great quantity varieties, which they don't even sell (instead they dump them), so they can get more money.

    It's a terrible waste, that is responsible for the collapse of entire agricultural markets and severe environmental degradation (e.g. Cotton, which demands excessive amounts of water, is cultivated in barren areas, due to the extremely high subsidies EU provides). What we need is better educated farmers, who are aware of their long-term interests and a more efficient co-operation between the State and the agronomists.


    Also, subsidies make the Queen of England significantly wealthier.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Mixed feelings France and the Netherlands are among the largest exporters of agricultural products but maybe we produce too much, Russia being more reluctant doesn't help either.
    Last edited by Fragony; 08-31-2015 at 18:21.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    State subsidies for farmers should only happen if the state will also check to see that the farmers are actually growing crops for public consumption.

    Link

    I feel that if people want to drug test welfare recipients (which is pointless anyways), they better also be checking the farmers who are getting government money even if they arent doing any actual farming.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Add UK on your list. We had cows in supermarkets recently. UK Farmers start to adopt French way of striking. Much more efficient that to stay on the pavement with placards...
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Is it okay to bite the hand that feeds you?
    Is it right for the cook to spit in your soup if you don't tip well enough?
    Is it okay to pay the cook less because he can collect money through tips?
    Can we risk farmers letting us all starve because the gubmint don't tip them enough?
    Should the gubmint ensure that a country can feed itself if the neighbors should embargo it?
    Should we outsource all food production to China because it's cheaper?

    Tough questions guys and I do not have a definitive answer. As long as the EU is about to break apart every day it might be better to keep the local expertise.


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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Is it okay to bite the hand that feeds you?
    Is it right for the cook to spit in your soup if you don't tip well enough?
    Is it okay to pay the cook less because he can collect money through tips?
    Can we risk farmers letting us all starve because the gubmint don't tip them enough?
    Should the gubmint ensure that a country can feed itself if the neighbors should embargo it?
    Should we outsource all food production to China because it's cheaper?

    Tough questions guys and I do not have a definitive answer. As long as the EU is about to break apart every day it might be better to keep the local expertise.
    World War II provided all the answers you need - and we (the UK) have forgotten them.

    We subsidise farmers so that they will produce food crops and not oil seed rape. We used to control the price of milk for the same reason but we stopped doing that.

    The EU doesn't have a good history with this, they also produced quotas that effectively meant we were paying farmers to milk cows and pour away the milk - moronic.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Moronic and a wasted opertunity to make HUGE profits. The Chinese don't trust Chinese baby-powder, every day there are rows at my local supermarket, they can only buy one can a day because the demand in China is too high. They do the most rediculous things to buy more, even mug eachother

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Should we outsource all food production to China because it's cheaper?
    Seeing problems China has with its chemical plants that explode one after another - good luck to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Seeing problems China has with its chemical plants that explode one after another - good luck to you.
    Thanks, looks like the chemical industry may stay in Germany for a while.


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    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Crandar View Post
    State subsidies for farmers are fine, given their instrumental role of their profession. It's necessary to encourage them, so we can assure a standard food productivity in times of need.
    That's fine, but Europe's food security really isn't in danger, or even remotely close to being in danger. The farmers are protesting for the sake of their own financial wellbeing, not Europe's food supply.

    I realize that we need modest surpluses to ensure that there's plenty of capacity even when the going gets though. The keyword being modest.

    The EU CAP has historically focused on ensuring that what our farmers produce earns them a steady income, without much thought as to wether their produce is needed. I would be in favor of retooling the EU's CAP into better serving the long term interests (environmental and otherwise) of Europeans. That wouldn't just lead to a different kind of agricultural support than we now have, but in my view also less of it.
    Last edited by Kralizec; 09-01-2015 at 20:49.

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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Subsidizing food production is one of the best things government ever did. Why would you want free market economics to dictate what's on your dinner plate?

    As with all things, the subsidies need to be crafted more carefully and need to be more removed from politics.

    Make no mistake as to the education of farmers. Many (maybe most) farmers go to college (or have someone in the family who did) to get a degree in agriculture. Here in the US, Midwestern/great plains universities are known for their agricultural departments. The laborers who do the hard work have little to no education at all. I can't imagine Europe being any different in this regard.
    Last edited by a completely inoffensive name; 09-02-2015 at 01:22.
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    Member Member Tuuvi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Should the gubmint ensure that a country can feed itself if the neighbors should embargo it?

    As long as the EU is about to break apart every day it might be better to keep the local expertise.
    I was told in my political science class I took last semester that this is one of the main reasons for farm subsidies, to keep the agricultural sector in business so that the expertise isn't lost and the country doesn't become completely reliant on other nations for food.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    But you don't need any particular technology or skills to raise farmers for food, so why don't we do that?
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    Member Member Crandar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Make no mistake as to the education of farmers. Many (maybe most) farmers go to college (or have someone in the family who did) to get a degree in agriculture. Here in the US, Midwestern/great plains universities are known for their agricultural departments. The laborers who do the hard work have little to no education at all. I can't imagine Europe being any different in this regard.
    I'm not sure about the most developped states, like France or the United Kingdom, but the situation is very different in most European countries.
    Agriculture suffers from a very low prestige and, as a result, the people choose to become farmers, because they have no other option, due to their limited cognitive skills.

    Consequently, the majority of farmers is rather immature and close-minded, which makes any attempt by the state to teach them how to orientate their agricultural policies extremely difficult.

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Thanks, looks like the chemical industry may stay in Germany for a while.
    And be careful with the food you import from over there. Chemicals from exploding plants tend to disseminate at will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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    Hǫrðar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Make no mistake as to the education of farmers. Many (maybe most) farmers go to college (or have someone in the family who did) to get a degree in agriculture. Here in the US, Midwestern/great plains universities are known for their agricultural departments. The laborers who do the hard work have little to no education at all. I can't imagine Europe being any different in this regard.
    According to a survey (in Norwegian), 40% of Norwegian farmers are full-time farmers, 20% have a part-time job in addition the farm, and 40% have a full-time job in addition to the farm.

    Based on anecdotal evidence, I'd guess that most farmers here have similar education levels to the rest of the population; but how many have education within the field of agriculture, I don't know. Most farmers here do the hard work themselves (apart from those who deal in fruit, berries and similar; in those cases, the workers are typically foreign - sometimes from as far away as the Philippines).
    Last edited by Viking; 09-02-2015 at 16:56.
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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Are you guys telling me that European farmers don't have any education in agronomy, crop rotation/crop cycles, soil chemistry, water chemistry, business management, irrigation systems and techniques, microeconomics, or computer control systems (just to name a few)?
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  19. #19
    Member Member Crandar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Here, the majority of farmers hasn't even finished high school. In what concerns your list, I doubt that even a single agronomist is knowledgeable enough.

  20. #20
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Farmers and financial aid

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Are you guys telling me that European farmers don't have any education in agronomy, crop rotation/crop cycles, soil chemistry, water chemistry, business management, irrigation systems and techniques, microeconomics, or computer control systems (just to name a few)?
    http://www.landwirtschaftskammer.de/...rt/einsteiger/

    Thi is the info from the agricultural...."guild"(?) in Germany and it says that the education is basically the normal dual system that is used in Germany. Which means it is an education but not college. there are no requirements by law apparently but since you have to find a company (such as an existing farmer) who will take you in as a student, they usually require at least tenyears of schoolin practice. Which do not qualify anyone for college or university in Germany. If I'm not mistaken the dual system means that you go to school (I think there are schools for this dual system that offer the respective courses) but also work for the company that takes you in, you get both practical as well as theoretical experience/knowledge. This is done for 3 years and if you finish with the required grades you have your education.

    You can probably also study agricultural somethingorother but I suppose people who want to be basic farmers will often not do that and at a university one may not get the same practical experience, might be more for agricultural management or so.
    This site seems to say so as well, people who study this often work for the gubmint or in management of food production etc.:
    http://www.studieren-studium.com/stu...grarwirtschaft


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