Republicans: the party with a difference

We're finally getting some bipartisanship here: everybody loves subsidies.

We’re finally getting some bipartisanship here: everybody loves subsidies.

Although few can discern what that is. Midwestern governors, five Republicans, one Democrat, defend the ethanol requirement as “essential”.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard argue in defense of the ethanol standard. The letter stresses the importance of ethanol as it diversifies America’s energy portfolio, gives consumers choices at the pump, supports economic development in rural communities and reduces harmful emissions across the nation.

All of which is patently false, unless you consider forcing consumers to pay more for their gasoline and ruin their engines to be an exercise in “providing them a choice”.

Providing evidence of their claims, the governors point to an Iowa State University estimate that says “corn prices alone could drop 19 cents per bushel based on the proposed rule, which could bring corn prices below the cost of production for many farmers. The proposed EPA rule could also cause a ripple effect on agribusiness, our communities, and the entire economy.” …

Hmm – it would seem that if the price of corn were to fall, food prices would follow suit, but that’s old-syle economics.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Republicans: the party with a difference

  1. The other thing that old school economics tells us it that if the price falls below the price of production, supply will fall until a new price is reached above the price of production.

    I guess Iowa State dropped their economics department in favor of multicultural basket weaving.

  2. Fox

    I used to have a positive image of farmers, now I view them just another gang of welfare parasites.

  3. Guess it can be spelled J-O-B-S. But then again, how many farmers are really left anyway? Aren’t many farms corporate entities? There you have it, maybe caving to big business..??

    • Big Business long ago merged with Big Government and it’s now a single monolith.

      • AJ

        “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
        ― Benito Mussolini

    • Peg

      The J-O-B-S that these politicians are protecting (irrespective of party) are their own. Unfortunately, in states with high agribusiness, my guess is if you kill the cash cow for the farmers, these politicians will find themselves out of a job.

      Once upon a time, it seemed we had statesmen who either would suck it up and do the right thing anyway – or – they’d be able to craft a message to enough voters as to why this WAS the right thing to be able to keep their positions. Sadly, however, it seems that the days of some leaders with integrity and salesmanship are long gone.

  4. Chief Scrotum

    Some of the biggest agri-business firms openly flout US laws and have offices where mere mortals fear to even talk about.

  5. AJ

    “… The authors begin by quoting Jean-Philippe Levy, author of The Economic Life of the Ancient World,as noting that in Egypt during the Third Century B.C. “there was a real omnipresence of the state” in regulating grain production and distribution. “[A]ll prices were fixed by fiat at all levels.” This “control took on frightening proportions. There was a whole army of inspectors.”

    Egyptian farmers became so infuriated with the price control inspectors that many of them simply left their farms. By the end of the century the “Egyptian economy collapsed as did her political stability.”

    In Babylon some 4,000 years ago the Code of Hammurabi was a maze of price control regulations. “If a man hire a field-labourer, he shall give him eight gur of corn per annum”; “If a man hire a herdsman, he shall give him six gur of corn per annum”; “If a man hire a sixty-ton boat, he shall give a sixth part of a shekel of silver per diem for her hire.” And on and on and on. Such laws “smothered economic progress in the empire for many centuries,” as the historical record describes. Once these laws were laid down “there was a remarkable change in the fortunes of the people.”

    Ancient Greece also imposed price controls on grain and established “an army of grain inspectors appointed for the purpose of setting the price of grain at a level the Athenian government thought to be just.” Greek price controls inevitably led to grain shortages, but ancient entrepreneurs saved thousands from starvation by evading these unjust laws. Despite the imposition of the death penalty for evading Greek price control laws, the laws “were almost impossible to enforce.” The shortages created by the price control laws created black market profit opportunities, to the great benefit of the public.

    In 284 A.D. the Roman emperor Diocletian created inflation by placing too much money in circulation, and then “fixed the maximum prices at which beef, grain, eggs, clothing and other articles could be sold, and prescribed the penalty of death for anyone who disposed of his wares at a higher figure.” The results, as Schuettinger and Butler explain, quoting an ancient historian, were that “the people brought provisions no more to markets, since they could not get a reasonable price for them and this increased the dearth so much, that at last after many had died by it, the law itself was set aside.”

    Moving closer to modern times, George Washington’s revolutionary army nearly starved to death in the field thanks to price controls on food that were imposed by Pennsylvania and other colonial governments. Pennsylvania specifically imposed price controls on “those commodities needed for use by the army,” creating disastrous shortages of everything needed by the army. The Continental Congress wisely adopted an anti-price-control resolution on June 4, 1778 that read: “Whereas it hath been found by experience that limitations upon the prices of commodities are not only ineffectual for the purpose proposed, but likewise productive of very evil consequences–resolved, that it be recommended to the several states to repeal or suspend all laws limiting, regulating or restraining the Price of any Article.” And, write Schuettinger and Butler, “By the fall of 1778 the army was fairly well provided for as a direct result of this change in policy.” …”

    http://mises.org/daily/1962

  6. FenianForever

    Cf, you should rename the blog either “PITW” (for pissing into the wind) or “DYWACWTW” (do want any cheese with the whine?).
    All we seem to do is bitch and moan about how Washington, Hartford and the BOE is robbing and abusing us daily.
    Can we get any more positive posts??

    • Well there’s always real estate, which should return when our local market returns next week. For now, it’s holiday time! Enjoy the cheer. For instance, check out the video Chris R just supplied.

    • pulled up in OG

      They all swore they’d be in Texas by now but some rat fuck musta told ‘em about all the windmills. : )

  7. Fenian- here’s a positive statement, from the WSJ today: “A former City Council member and elected government watchdog, the new mayor has no experience managing anything as complex as New York with its 290,000 public employees.”

    That’s speaking truth to power.

    Which our media didn’t have the courage to do to B. Obama in 2008. So we elect these amateurs, and suffer the consequences………

  8. Cobra

    To combat ethanol’s destructive effects on older auto engines, lawn mowers, outboard motors, etc., Stabil Marine formula helps immensely.
    http://petelandrysrealgas.com/2013/02/why-marine-formula-sta-bil-should-be-your-fuel-additive-of-choice/