Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Hero´s Recommendation to Resolve the Immigration Issues. What do you think?

My Hero and Brilliant Friend, Robert Reich has written a new Blog. He has developed a recommendation that would solve the Immigration issues and "reduce global poverty, decrease the number of workers crossing our borders illegally, save American taxpayers money, and cut your supermarket bill."

Here is his recommendation:
"Get rid of US farm subsidies and tariffs"

Please read Robert´s entire Blog and let´s talk about it.

Here is more from his Blog:
Look, I have no problem insuring small farmers against major losses. But farm subsidies go mostly to big agribusinesses that hardly need them.

But the big problem isn't just the waste of taxpayer money. Americans -- including the US media and even Washington politicos -- tend to regard agriculture policy as the exclusive domain of legislators from farm states. Yet our farm policy is the single most damaging thing we're doing to the world's poor. Ending farm subsidies and tariffs would be the single most important thing we could do to reduce global poverty.

Fewer than 2 percent of Americans even work on a farm. Yet about half the population of the developing world depends on farming for their livelihoods. They can’t earn what the global market would otherwise pay them because America’s subsidized farm exports keep prices artificially low.

13 comments:

Liquidmicro said...

Haven't I been saying to get rid of the farm sub-sidies here and on MATT, for the past few months??!!

Dee said...

Liquid, No. Show me your urls and provide us your rationale.

Liquidmicro said...

Liquidmicro said...

OHHHHH the HORROR!!!! Farmers have their crops paid for by the government (subsidized), its called price protection. Vegetable growers get paid to plow the crops into the field.

Fruit rotting on the vines, damned wineries. No more Night Train. Barf.

Ag outsourced, one could argue its already happening as food is imported now more than ever.
September 3, 2007 11:17 PM

From your Blog

Liquidmicro said...

Liquidmicro said...

Dee, I have shown disputes to all your facts through LAW, you repeat news articles that you claim as fact.

AG shortages are the farmers own faults, they refuse to use and apply for the H-2A visa, besides they get subsidized for their crops by the Government.

Mirror, It is true that American Citizens vote the politicians in, done so for the fact that they are suppose to represent us, however, the politician is easily swayed by the Corporations/Business waving money in their face (greed and power). Remember, they can be voted out just as quickly and or as easily as they were voted in. Now who really has the responsibility? the politician who becomes corrupt, or the average American Citizen?
September 4, 2007 12:26 PM

From Your Blog

Liquidmicro said...

Patriot even brings it up on Sept 4, on your blog.

Liquidmicro said...

A Cash Crop Down On The Farm I even linked to this somewhere on your blog.

Dee said...

Ok Liquid. Good links.

Ok, now if these subsidies were stopped, what would happen? Would farmers suddenly outsource to other countries? Would the rich farmlands of MX be utilized and workers would stay in their own countries to harvest the crops? So I would like your feedback on three things (appreciate your thoughts):

1. Who would lobby against such a bill if it were presented before congress?

2. If it were passed, what would the result be? (e.g. Outsourcing Farming to other countries, Other countries workers staying in their countries, etc.)

3. What would happen to prices of fruits and vegetables, tobacco, cotton, etc?

Liquidmicro said...

Yet our farm policy is the single most damaging thing we're doing to the world's poor. Ending farm subsidies and tariffs would be the single most important thing we could do to reduce global poverty.

Fewer than 2 percent of Americans even work on a farm. Yet about half the population of the developing world depends on farming for their livelihoods. They can’t earn what the global market would otherwise pay them because America’s subsidized farm exports keep prices artificially low.

American cotton growers, for example, export cotton for just over half what it costs them to produce it. Which means more than 10 million African cotton farmers are stymied. If we stopped subsidizing our cotton businesses, world cotton prices would rise, increasing the value of cotton exports from Africa by some $300 million a year.

Meanwhile, the average American tariff on agricultural imports is 18 percent – much higher than the 5 percent average tariff on other imports. So not only do the world’s poor suffer because of our outdated farm policies, but Americans get hit with a double-whammy – we’re subsidizing US agribusiness with our tax dollars while paying some $35 billion a year more for our food than we’d pay if we didn’t also protect agribusinesses.

Our farm policies are even encouraging illegal immigration into the United States. That's because many of the world’s poor who can’t earn enough by farming are desperate to immigrate – legally or illegally – to richer countries like America.


Directly from Reichs Blog, that you agreed with.
To answer your questions:
1. American Citizens!!
2. Crops are already imported, where do you think strawberries come from in the winter?
3. Nothing at all, have you seen a large increase in any costs of fruits and veggies at the local market other than the usual this time of year price change for food that is out of season?

Liquidmicro said...

Sorry I just re-read your questions:

1. Who would lobby against such a bill if it were presented before congress?

Farmers obviously, processors and buyers. They all benefit either directly or indirectly from the sub-sidies.

Dee said...

Thank you Liquid. The Ag industry must have a very powerful lobby. I should read about their current demographics.

When I was studying my Dad´s history, I came across some very interesting articles re: the Sugar Beet lobby. (Monitor Sugar Co) and their impact on the Immigration Act of 1924.

I imagine the lobby is much more powerful today.

ultima said...

Reich's idea may be worth exploring. Since so many of the illegals work in construction and hospitality as opposed to farm work the effect on overall illegal aliens may be minimal. Has anyone thought about the effect on U.S. farms if no temporary foreign labor is available because they are all back home raising crops that we now have to buy from abroad. We already import more food than we export. Why is that if our farm subsidies drive foreign agriculture out of business.

I suggest a small experiment to make sure we don't encounter unintended consequences. Let's do the cotton thingy by reducing the subsidy by 10 or 20 % a year and then review annually the effect on African cotton growers and American cotton growers.

Perhaps the subsidies should all be transferred to heavy industries like steel where our ability to produce what we need at a reasonable price has disappeared. I would even opt for some new government financed super modern plants which could then be turned over to private industry with a requirement for repayment over the long term. Then we could begin to import raw materials and export finished manufactured products rather than agricultural products.

Another thing we have to worry about are the subsidies paid by other developed nations to their farmers, for example in France where the farmers get up in arms and start demonstrating whenever the government suggests cutting subsidies. I also thought this is what the WTO is all about, reducing subsidies and encouraging free trade. Maybe in the heyday of the trade colossus, China, free is not such a good thing. How much of America does China already own through the debt instruments of our government it holds?

Liquidmicro said...

Which was it recently here in CA fighting for the AG bill, Boxer or Feinstein?

Big farmers have long dreamed of reviving Bracero, and they have a great deal of clout. During the past two years, the industry has funneled about $1 million to members of Congress. The National Council of Agricultural Employers, a leading trade group, is spearheading the current drive on Bracero. The Council's federal lobbying budget for 1997 was more than $200,000. That money has paid for a number of top lobbyists. More than $60,000 went to four lobbyists at the firm of McGuiness and Williams, Tim Bartl, Jim Holt, William LaForge and Monte Lake. All learned the legislative secrets of agricultural policy from stints on Capital Hill or at the US Department of Agriculture. Bartl was the former legislative director to Rep. Steve Gunderson, the conservative Republican from Wisconsin. Before joining McGuiness and Williams, LaForge spent seven years working for Sen. Thad Cochran, the Mississippi Republican, as legislative director and chief of staff. Before that LaForge served as the staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on agriculture, one of the most powerful staff positions on the Hill.

Another experienced Washington hand hired by the Council is Anthony Podesta, the brother of White House deputy chief of staff John Podesta. "The growers and their lobbyists have been working the Hill and district offices on this issue for more than two years", says Bruce Goldstein of the Farm Workers Justice Fund. "It's a nationwide campaign that has cost millions and millions of dollars."
This from the Clinton Admin. of 1998-2001

Slyhunter said...

If the subsidized stopped other countries would have less leverage against us via the WTO. True more of the farming would be done in third world countries. Thus job creation in those countries. This might help reduce the illegal immigration problem.

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