Friday, May 16, 2008

Obama and Clinton's pork stinking up world trade

So while the agricultural sector should be raking it in from record commodity prices, CNN reports the US Congress has voted to spend an additional US$40 billion (yes you read right, billion), with another US$30 billion to "allow farmers to idle their land" and offer so-called environmental programmes. Oh and it has been bundled into an increase in food stamps and food aid for the poor, so you can't oppose the whole bill without looking like you're mean to poor people.
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Yes, so those that continue to farm, who benefit from record commodity prices are to get more money from US taxpayers, which of course reduces the ability of efficient farmers elsewhere in the world to compete and produce. Meanwhile, forget the need for more food, they'll pay some farmers to not produce. Imagine if you paid manufacturers to let a factory lie idle, or a bank to not loan money, or airline to not fly. Actually don't because taking taxes to pay for this pork helps do just that indirectly.
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However, before you go "Oh not Bush again", the Bush Administration is opposing this.
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It's the Democrats, the party more people overseas want running the USA. However, there are undoubtedly plenty of Republicans cheering this on too, if they have large rural constituencies. This Bill will help reduce the incomes of farmers in New Zealand, Australia, Africa, Latin America and Asia, it will help keep up the price of food to people worldwide by subsidising poor producers and subsidising non-production.
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In short the US Congress has voted to screw the world over. Bush has threatened to veto it, but there are so many in Congress supporting it the votes are there to override it. You see this is about the 2008 Congressional elections, it is stinking fly infested pork of the worst kind. It doesn't just screw over American taxpayers and consumers, it screws over farmers the world over. It has been done in a way that means that agricultural subsidies can't be opposed without Democrats screaming "you're opposing food stamps for the poor too". It's filthy, unprincipled politics of the worst kind.
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So where do the main Presidential candidates stand on this. Associated Press reports Hillary Clinton castigating John McCain because he opposes it. USA Today reports Barack Obama supports the Bill.
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Hillary Clinton has said "I believe saying no to the farm bill is saying no to rural America", no Hillary it is saying yes to efficient farmers, consumers and taxpayers. It's not your money you thieving harpie.
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Barack Obama has said "I applaud the Senate’s passage today of the Farm Bill, which will provide America’s hard-working farmers and ranchers with more support and more predictability". No it rewards non production you vapid flake, it rewards inefficient farmers and steals from hard-working taxpayers AND consumers by taking from their taxes AND inflating food prices, and it punishes farmers in developing countries. So much for the poor.
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John McCain said "It's a bloated piece of legislation that will do more harm than good for most farmers and consumers". Quite.
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So leftwing activists around the world, who claim to give a damn about farmers in developing countries, who care about the increase in global food prices. Still going to cheer on Barack Obama like sheeple? Which Presidential candidate would be better for New Zealand and world trade in agriculture? It's a no brainer.

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