[p2p-research] Post-Depression first: Americans get more money from government than they give back | csmonitor.com

J. Andrew Rogers reality.miner at gmail.com
Tue Nov 24 01:38:55 CET 2009

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 7:25 PM, Paul D. Fernhout
<pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
> This is an example where people may just think that if you have the cash you
> can magic the food into existence. That works for any individual, but it
> can't work (in the short term) for a society.
> We need some sort of planning system that does not destroy all our food
> reserves because it is not profitable enough to maintain them.

Something to keep in mind is that reserves are depleted in part
because they have been working as intended.  When several countries
instituted export and price controls on food last year, along with
some natural disasters in a couple key countries (e.g. Australia), a
significant portion of the global trade loss was buffered by increased
exports from the US. In order to make this work, the US was exporting
many agricultural commodities at greater than replacement rate for the
reserves.  It has been good for US agricultural profits but it takes a
while to spin-up production when e.g. food trade breaks down between
South America and Europe.

Dubious agricultural policies in the US such as turning grain into
ethanol notwithstanding, US agricultural exports have been
significantly increasing in recent years.  It has not helped that
poorly conceived regulations in many countries have frequently caused
total production to decrease in those countries.

The more complicated part of this is that it is truly a global system.
 If several major food exporters suddenly stop exporting at the same
time, you are essentially depending on countries with strong reserves
like the US to make up the difference. This has been happening in
recent years and it looks to only get worse.

J. Andrew Rogers

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