The sad thing is this is all true about our local newspaper.
The staff is mostly made up of interns from Palmer High School who simply sit around listening to the police scanner, and write paragraphs ending with "updates to follow"...which they never do because the paper can't afford any reporters to do the follow up.
Most of the staff is involved in sitting at King Soopers trying to give away copies of the paper which most people refuse, except occasionally those will use them to sleep on around the corner later that night.
Their inaccuracies in stories and the failure of anyone on whom they report to recognize themselves or the events in the articles is legendary...the names are made public but the stories are changed to assure the arrest of the innocent.
By the way, Colorado Rancher, I commend your egalitarian attitude toward the farm bill. Far too many people who advocate cutting food stamps, including members of Congress, nevertheless want to continue receiving benefits from the subsidies and direct payments to farmers.
But I must reiterate, IMHO it will mean an end to family farming in the USA. Notice I do not mourn for the food stamp program under those conditions, because food prices will drop low enough to make up for the loss and then some.
You write, "We have the best farmers and ranchers in the world..." We also have the best factory workers in the world, but that did not prevent the off-shoring of manufacturing to China, where slave labor produces shoddy and often dangerous products for sale to America. We can look forward to a future where farmers who are not the best in the world will produce our food in countries where public health codes are not the best in the world and enforcement is either haphazard or totally non-existent.
I hope, Colorado Rancher, you are addressing the author of this article, Jim Hightower, when you ask, "What billionaires are you talking about with access to these services?" and, "Where do you get your information from?" because I never made the allegation, defended it, or commented upon it.
Since Mr. Hightower does not participate in this blog, I thought I'd take a moment or two to check it out for you. As it happens, the article very clearly recommends to readers, "...contact the Environmental Working Group: ewg.org." About two or three clicks from the EWG homepage I discovered the answer to your question. See:
Spoke to an employee of the federal government, here at our local farm service agency. He like I feel you are mis informing people, as far as who has access to farm programs. Again Where do you get your information from?
Exactly do away with the programs. Let people keep more of their money. The government should not be an answer all for everything. Again there are strict income limits to be eligible for farm programs. What billionaires are you talking about with access to these services?
Farm subsidies "are tax money taken from some to give to others." The money farmers pay in taxes and fees does not begin to cover all the pay outs to crop "insurance" beneficiaries. Otherwise private enterprise would be offering this insurance product instead of the federal government.
Now again with income limits to be eligible for farm programs. How are all of the billionaires that your talking about accessing these programs? By the way the income limit is much less than a billion dollars.
Without government programs many farmers would go broke. Production would be scaled back. Prices would rise. At that point it would not make sense to raise a crop at a loss. In a free market it would no longer be sensible to grow crops at a loss. Could you make money growing corn at the projected $4.00 corn this year?
I said nothing about unemployment insurance. The only insurance I referenced was crop insurance. Food stamps have nothing to do with excess food, and has nothing to do with insurance. Food stamps are tax money taken from some to give to others. Money the tax payer earned. A reduction in food stamps will not cause less demand for food, people will still eat. And no all our food will not come from Mexico. We have the best farmers and ranchers in the world, and that will never change.
"Put the mayor in charge of Utilities".... YIKES, no way!!! In that case, maybe Denver isn't a great role model after all. It wouldn't work with our Mayor for sure. Nobody that wins a political popularity contest is likely to have the experience or skill necessary to be in charge of a large, four service Municipal Utility like we have, in the way that Bach likes to be "in charge". The lack of respect or cooperation some perceive between Bach and the Council is an exercise of balance of power and Council's unwillingness to be bullied, in most cases. I say, bravo to that!
A cut in food stamps means a cut in demand for food means a fall in food prices. The new farm bill will not, I believe (correct me if I am wrong), raise subsidy levels for farmers, which means eventually farm income will decline. At that point farmers will ask for (or demand) higher subsidies or expansion of the food stamp program or both.
My guess is that the so-called "job creators" and their servants in the government are planning to stick it to farmers, like they did to workers, and will reduce subsidies instead, but slowly, over time, so that the bankrupt farmers do not all hit the labor market all at once. Within a decade or two all our food will come from Mexico, just as today all our manufactured goods come from China.
Displaced American farmers will not get food stamps.
There are so many things wrong with your analysis, Colorado Rancher, it is hard to decide where to begin to correct them.
You write, "The programs are a government ploy to keep food prices low." On the contrary, the program is designed to keep food prices artificially high, and by "artificially" I mean higher than the prices would be in a truly free market.
You write, "Without the programs food prices would raise [sic] to the level that they need to be at in order for a farmer to make a living." Without federal support food prices would fall, farmers would not be able to make a living and most would go bust.
Your most telling comment is, "Many years it doesnt pay to raise a crop, due to weather or price. That is what the programs and insurance are for." For many years now American jobs have been exported to China to take advantage of their enormous supply of slave labor. To paraphrase you, that is what food stamp programs and unemployment insurance is for. The food these "insured" workers consume is not "bread from our neighbors table," as you so sentimentally put it, but excess production that would otherwise be plowed under or destroyed.
So, you begrudge working families access to "programs and insurance" similar to those you enjoy because they might get to eat some food that would have been thrown away anyway.
There is a natural enemy.
That little food stamp flower does consume 80 percent of the funds in the farm bill.
By the way that little food stamp flower makes up 80% of the farm bill. Farm bill is a misnomer.
"...mandated to buy health insurance are not complaining about having to pay for homeowner's insurance, auto insurance, etc."
The government does not require mortgage insurance, home owner insurance, or any other property insurance. The mortgager does as a condition of a loan. If you pay cash, you have the freedom to be stupid and not insure your investment.
You are not required to carry comprehensive insurance on your car. The finance company requires it as a condition of the loan. If your house or vehicle is owned outright, you do not have to insure it.
Liability insurance IS required to insure that one person's stupid or negligent act is at least somewhat covered. Yet, how many people are not responsible enough to carry liability insurance?
Obamacare is an ill conceived, government mandated intrusion in to my life. I have provided for my family's healthcare, and they now provide for themselves.
It's called personal responsibility.
Exactly right Colorado Rancher.
It is amusing to me that liberals all have those little Darwin fish on their cars as a sign of their rejection of Christianity...and then when we get a chance to let survival of the fitness take its course, they reach their hands into our pockets to fund cutting the process short and prevent the gene pool from improving by natural selection.
One of the best flowers in the farm garden has been the food stamp program? Food Stamps should not even be in the farm bill. We are promised life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not bread from our neighbors table. Families take care of each other. It is not the governments responsibility. Why not drug test food stamp recipients? Im sure most taxpayers dont want the hard earned money going to drug users. Most people have to be drug tested for a job. Why not for food stamps?
Farm programs are not accesible to the well off. There are income limits. There are many programs for minorities, socially disadvantaged farmers, and women. What billionaires are you talking about? Many years it doesnt pay to raise a crop, due to weather or price. That is what the programs and insurance are for. The programs are a government ploy to keep food prices low. Without the programs food prices would raise to the level that they need to be at in order for a farmer to make a living. Sure there would be good years and not so good years but it would all level out. At the same time get rid of the food stamps.
Indeed, those of us who are old enough do not remember, and those who are too young do not appreciate the climate of the times. Southern segregationists despised President Kennedy for championing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., and for characterizing integration as a moral issue. A protester at the Dallas airport that day carried a sign that read, "Help Kennedy stamp out democracy!"
Great read, Ralph!
Rich, you write humor but your family pieces are the best. Thanks for sharing...your dad sets a high standard.
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