- --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "k_r_johansen" <kjetil.r.johansen@...> wrote:
> --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" <burns-john@> wrote:The support is to landowners, not country dwellers.
> > About right. Approx 50% of the EU budget is allocated to the Common Agricultural Policy. CAP is supporting a lifestyle of a very small minority of country dwellers in a poor performing industry, agriculture. In effect that is its prime function.
> I disagree that agriculture is a poor performing industry.European agriculture is typically not price competitive with imports in the absence of protections.
> Obviously it feeds us quite well.But expensively. Three of my kids toured Europe this past summer, and the prices of groceries shocked them.
> I guess I have a bias since I come from a farming background, but the idea that farmers are not performing or progressing is false. But progress have come in spite of the CAP, not because.True, as CAP subsidizes the owners of inefficient as well as efficient farms.
> It's just that farming will and always will be, extremely competitive, at least when producing straight commodities. However a small portion of the population, they are thousands of sellers competing against millions of sellers abroad. Add natural risks, and it's a pretty non-attractive business to be in compare with other jobs/investments.Right. Because the product is a commodity, competition eliminates profit to the producer, and the only ones making any money from it are the landowners.
> When subsidies were enacted into full force half a century ago, it was probably good intentions, as they saw the returns to farming fall in comparison with other sectors. But the experience is that farmer incomes are still lower than other workers, and that a large portion of the subsidies are just capitalized into land rents, and tradeable quotas/subsidy rights, that would plummet in value if CAP was abolished. So it's pretty much pointless.As with any other publicly funded or charitable benefit program, it's quite difficult to design farming supports that don't just go to landowners and other rent seekers. A UIE would help, of course, as would replacing the taxes on labor and capital with LVT, abolishing seed patents, etc.
> There are probably some support mechanisms that have external benefits, r&d, keeping hedgerows nice and tidy, some level of food security etc., but generally the CAP is just a subsidy to landownership.
-- Roy Langston
- The point is, Scott, that the little fields of Britain cannot compete with the mass production of the US.Harry
********************The Alumni GroupThe Henry George Schoolof Los AngelesTujunga CA 90243(818) 352-4141********************
On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 9:38 AM, Scott Bergeson <scottb@...> wrote:
Quoting Harry Pollard on Sat, 24 Nov 2012 09:06:15 -0800:
if we import our bulk foods, farm land is given over to animals,
which provide instant food while crops are being started (not
to mention they improve fertility rather than use it up).
Importing meat and animal feed needn't be a huge strategic
concern, if you're willing, when besieged, to slaughter
most of the animals (preserving the meat, of course) and
switch to a primarily vegetarian diet.
As you know, the combine harvesters in the US probably
work all day in a field, then stop until next morning
when they continue harvesting in the same field.
Many of them have lights. Combines are a separate business
from farming. They migrate, following the harvest.