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YucaLandia


Sep 18, 2010, 3:12 PM

Post #51 of 64 (6184 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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Reeffhound,
"IF this assertion that increasing U.S. corn exports have damaged millions of Mexican farmers, WHY would the U.S. want to transfer that damage and losses to U.S. farmers?"
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WHY?: because there is no real damage or losses to US farmers. There would simply be the ending of US taxpayers paying for $3.75 a bushel corn to be exported to Mexico at the artificial NAFTA-subsidized price of $2.20.

Why not allow Mexican farmers to be paid the current market price that US farmers receive; $3.75 per bushel?

Why should US taxpayers continue to pay for USDA subsidies of $4 billion per year (2008 & 2009) on just corn?

Why dump 7 million metric tons of US Govt / US taxpayer subsidized corn onto Mexico's struggling agricultural economy, at the cost of an additional $3 billion in NAFTA subsidies? $7 billion total of US Govt. annual aid to US corn agribusinesses seems unnecessary.

Why not have US agribusiness compete in a free market, without the artificial interference of a government manipulating the prices? Only 10% of US agribusinesses/farms collect 65% of the govt. corn subsidies, while they have been recording record high profits (according to USDA figures).

Why not pay Mexican farmers free market prices, re-capturing millions of rural Mexican jobs lost during the past 16 years of artificial NAFTA agricultural commodity pricing that was forced upon Mexico? US'As spending $7 billion a year in combined USDA & NAFTA subsidies for just corn seems more like a socialized centrally planned economy than a free market system.

Does it not seem better to have former Mexican farmers return to agriculture, leaving illegal jobs in the USA and leaving the drug trade, to return to productive rural Mexican lives?

Just one man's opinion.
Cheers, steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Sep 18, 2010, 3:14 PM)


YucaLandia


Sep 18, 2010, 3:47 PM

Post #52 of 64 (6170 views)

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Re: [db52] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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donemry,
" "There seems to be lots of conflicting information. I still am stuck on square one, trying to figure out exactly what corn subsidies are and how they work!"
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I think you have hit on an excellent set of points.

donemry's excellent link from above helps describe some of this Gordian Knot of issues:
http://farm.ewg.org/...00&progcode=corn

Unfortunately, descriptions are not necessarily explanations. donemry's link to these official US Govt figures describe 22 different types of USDA Govt. subsidies to US corn agribusinesses, totaling $4 billion per year in 2008 & 2009. These figures do not include the additional NAFTA controls that effectively work as $1.75 per bushel subsidies totaling another $3 billion per year that dumps at least 7 million metric tons of US corn onto the Mexican markets.

Anytime there are 16 years of 23 overlapping govt. policies by several agencies, all focused on a single area, I suspect that simple logical explanations of specific details cannot capture the essence of the overall operations.

Going back to this thread's original premise:
Can we now agree that the USA is complicit in at least some parts of Mexico's problems?
Isn't it reasonable to expect that the USA could work to resolve & correct the effects of her complicities, working in ways that would help reduce Mexico's economic, immigration, and drug war problems that flow across our shared border?

Let's promote actions & solutions that ultimately benefit both countries?
Cheers, steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


Reefhound


Sep 18, 2010, 6:29 PM

Post #53 of 64 (6148 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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"WHY?: because there is no real damage or losses to US farmers. There would simply be the ending of US taxpayers paying for $3.75 a bushel corn to be exported to Mexico at the artificial NAFTA-subsidized price of $2.20."

You have GOT to be kidding me. The damage and losses is exactly the same as to Mexican farmers. A bushel of corn not exported is a bushel of corn not sold is income lost to the farmer.


"Why not allow Mexican farmers to be paid the current market price that US farmers receive; $3.75 per bushel? "

Just as soon as Mexican farmers pay their labor $8 USD per hour and property taxes of thousands of dollars per year. Mexico has a lower cost structure which is why the maquiladoras even exist, why do they need US price levels?


"Why not have US agribusiness compete in a free market, "

Why not have Pemex compete in a free market?

Once again, why look at one product in isolation? Let's talk avocados and the losses to California growers for the benefit of Michoacan growers.


Does it not seem better to have former Mexican farmers return to agriculture, leaving illegal jobs in the USA and leaving the drug trade, to return to productive rural Mexican lives?

Illegal immigration was booming long before NAFTA and even GATT. Are you suggesting that all these cartel sicarios are displaced farmers?

Wait a minute, what jobs would the illegals be leaving? Oh that's right, the U.S. farming jobs that would no longer exist because their employers (the US farmers) no longer have a market to sell all that corn. And you have the gall to say that there would be no real damage or losses to US farmers?

Look, not to be cold, but the fact is that every nation looks out for it's own interests first, even Mexico. Why would or should the U.S. be expected to act against it's own economic interests simply because it would help some other nation?


chris cooper

Sep 18, 2010, 6:37 PM

Post #54 of 64 (6145 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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Fact. The American consumer pays far more for a pound of sugar than consumers in most parts of the world. Fact. US sugar producers enjoy large government subsidies. Fact. Us sugar producers enjoy protectionist trade practices.

Without the subsidies and protectionist policies, US sugar producers would probably go broke.

Why should the American taxpayer subsidize their existence through direct payments of taxpayers money and through inflated sugar prices at the supermarket?


YucaLandia


Sep 18, 2010, 7:55 PM

Post #55 of 64 (6116 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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Reefhound,
It seems to me that in your perceptions, the USA has no complicity nor responsibilities for her past actions, which is ok, but a bit more narrow than most people's views.

"... You have GOT to be kidding me. The damage and losses is exactly the same as to Mexican farmers. A bushel of corn not exported is a bushel of corn not sold is income lost to the farmer. ..."
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I'm not kidding. You project that corn exports would magically end, if US farmers did not have USDA subsidies and the NAFTA rules forcing additional 34% subsidies, seemingly because US farmers could not compete with Mexican farmers?

I believe that US farmers can easily compete with Mexican farmers and Mexico will clearly continue to need the 7 million metric tons of corn per year that has been exported by US farmers: witness our 10,000's of milperos in the Yucatan, who still plant with sticks in fields hewn out of the jungle using 1,000 year old methods - these guys and their families (including my friends) live in abject poverty, heavily due to the 70% reductions in corn prices due to NAFTA - and even with shipping costs, US farmers can easily compete in a free market with our milperos. Changing NAFTA would not mean the end of US corn exports, just the payment of fair prices, and the end of government subsidies that are little more than corporate welfare.

"... Wait a minute, what jobs would the illegals be leaving? Oh that's right, the U.S. farming jobs that would no longer exist because their employers (the US farmers) no longer have a market to sell all that corn. ..."
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You've made an interesting link between illegal immigrant workers jobs and US farmers who sell corn.
First, commercial US corn farming does not use immigrant labor: it has been a highly mechanized operation since the advent of tractors, corn picker-shellers, and most recently combines, so, typical US commercial corn planting and harvesting has not used migrant labor or hand labor for roughly 80 years, so, positing that US farm jobs would disappear if NAFTA corn subsidy rules change, doesn't make sense.

Second, US farmers would have plenty of opportunities to continue selling their corn to the Mexican market, just at market prices + shipping costs = free trade / fair trade.
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cont.
"And you have the gall to say that there would be no real damage or losses to US farmers? "
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It seems you have imagined gall where there is none. Is receiving a fair price for some product or service, now somehow damaging and wrong? Is making a smaller profit, now called a loss, when all the corn farmers would lose is their current government welfare payments? In the same vein: I think both US businesses and US welfare moms & other welfare recipients should work to get off govt. welfare, to stop burdening US taxpayers and reduce our deficits. (Sidelight: these are not just esoteric points for me: I come from 370 years of US farmers, and I picked more than my share of corn when growing up on our family farms.)

Overall and on your other points, I think we simply need to agree to disagree.

I believe in free markets and free trade, but under fair conditions. You have taken some protectionist and socialist stands, which simply means that we see the world differently = time to agree to disagree. It is clear that there will always be inequities in trading between nations, but I believe we should not use inequities in one area as an excuse to not reform or correct problems in other areas, particularly when the heaviest flows of illegal aliens have come from corn-producing rural areas in Mexico's poorer states = a good partial solution to the shared illegal immigrant issues.

When there are many problems, it seems wise to first address the ones that give the greatest return for the least cost and least effort. In complex situations with layers of problems. it makes sense to address each layer at a time - working through them sequentially, one at a time?: NAFTA inequities, US Ag subsidies, temporary Guest Worker program, etc.

By demanding a scenario where no individual problem should be solved until all problems can be resolved in some sort of grand fiat, seems un-productive, un-workable, and short-sighted = trying to "eat the elephant in one bite". Reforming US ag welfare policies would benefit both the USA (as a whole), and would include some peripheral ancillary benefits for Mexico & their jointly shared immigration and drug smuggling problems.

Free-trade, free markets, and fair trade are not mutually exclusive goals - and the combination of the 3 is worth pursuing, (with sufficient regulation to inhibit cheating and fraud).
Cheers, steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Sep 18, 2010, 8:11 PM)


Reefhound


Sep 19, 2010, 7:22 AM

Post #56 of 64 (6077 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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"It seems to me that in your perceptions, the USA has no complicity nor responsibilities for her past actions, which is ok, but a bit more narrow than most people's views."

If you want to say that there are consequences to her actions, I'll agree with you on that. What I won't agree to is using terms like "complicity" that have a negative connotation and suggest deliberate wrongdoing. From square one you start off in a hostile and aggressive posture. Perhaps you were really after backslapping attaboy agreement rather than discussion?

Countries always act in their perceived best interests. Seems it is understandable and acceptable when other countries do it, evil and despicable when the U.S. does it. But I really don't think corn exports are part of some nefarious plot to destroy Mexican farmers anymore than Mexico began building maquiladores in some plot to destroy American manufacturers.

It's amazing that you don't think raising the price of American corn would result in less American corn sold. Corporations are greedy by nature and unfortunately often collude to drive up prices. If they could sell all that corn at the higher prices you seek they would certainly do so. Not often that businesses leave money on the table.

Subsidies exist in most countries, certainly both Mexico and the U.S., and they are intended to protect domestic agricultural industries and incomes and jobs. I don't see anyone complaining about Procampo.


DavidHF

Sep 19, 2010, 9:37 AM

Post #57 of 64 (6057 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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US corn price is the highest it's been in years, over $5/bu. Steadily increasing corn consumption by US ethanol makers has driven up both demand and price for corn. US Corn inventory is the lowest it's been in 15 years.


YucaLandia


Sep 19, 2010, 9:44 AM

Post #58 of 64 (6057 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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Reefhound,
"If you want to say that there are consequences to her actions, I'll agree with you on that. What I won't agree to is using terms like "complicity" that have a negative connotation and suggest deliberate wrongdoing. From square one you start off in a hostile and aggressive posture. "
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Ahhhh, now I understand a part of your resistance to the proposals that the US has the power and opportunity to make changes that would benefit both countries: You have chosen to infer the negative secondary meaning of complicity.

As I wrote earlier, Merriam Webster reports complicity means:
Association or participation in

or

as if in a wrongful act.

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As I wrote in an earlier post, I chose "complicity's" primary positive meaning of association or participation in, but maybe you didn't read that part.

In my less-than-perfect understanding of English: the "or as if" means that the alternative secondary meaning includes 3 key words. Since we seem to be having misunderstandings of English, I offer my crude understanding of Merriam Webster's alternate definition of complicity:

"or" means that the item that follows the "or" is different from the first mentioned item;
"as" means that it is like or similar to, but still different from; , and
"if" communicates the possibility-of, but not certainty-of, being part of a "wrongful act",

So, Webster has put 3 slightly squishy qualifiers in front of the "wrongful act", which means that there is no certainty of negativity with complicity. Again, we can agree to disagree on the meaning of complicity, but I prefer the primary positive meaning:
"association or participation in".

This usage expresses my personal hope and recognition that the US has opportunities to change her policies in ways that can benefit both countries' common people, and that she has the power to improve things with the shared drug war/smuggling and immigration problems. I believe that we should work towards solutions and not just complain about how horrible things have been and may continue to be. I do not accept Reefhound's projections that the US has historically intentionally acted malevolently, which point to simple differences between our opinions which may arise from different personal world views.

I see things as improving gradually over the past 100 years through the efforts of many people: many improvements in the treatment of women around the globe, more democracies & republics & fewer totalitarian countries, more education and opportunities for ordinary common people, less institutionalized racism, more opportunities for common people voting, more economic opportunities as banks and micro-finance organizations loan money to common people (where historically only the rich or powerful had access to borrow capital to start and operate businesses & factories), more rights for common people (the best of the things that Unions fought for), a huge reduction in the death rates and injury rates in western industries (Carnegie JP Morgan had roughly a death a day in their mills), less slavery, higher standards of living for common people, and on and on.

It is for these reasons that I often question and sometimes challenge the status quo, since I still see opportunities for positive mutually beneficial change, which puts me out of step and sometimes at-odds with people who want to maintain things as they "have always been".

My apologies for not communicating more clearly, and for using the primary - but seemingly confusing definition of complicity.
Cheers,
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


Reefhound


Sep 19, 2010, 11:04 AM

Post #59 of 64 (6036 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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All of the dictionaries infer it to be association in a negative connotation. Your parsing of MW's definition is incorrect, the definition "association or participation in or as if in a wrongful act " is listed as one interpretation, to suggest either a wrongful act or an act that is apparent as a wrongful act. Neither clause could be applied as positive and none of the examples provided or positive. Also be aware that there are many dictionaries out there and one should not assume that all parties are using MW.

Good to know you weren't meaning it as a negative but perhaps a better word choice would have simply been "involvement" or "participation"?

Now if I kew that corn subsidies could be ended and would result in no economic damage to the U.S., and great economic benefit to Mexico, well that's a no brainer. I guess I just don't believe it. A lot of smart people who have made careers out of formulating agricultural policy apparently don't believe it either.


Hound Dog

Sep 19, 2010, 1:55 PM

Post #60 of 64 (5999 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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The all time nightmare I feared has materialized on this thread and takes me back to the days when I first joined the federal regulators as a young man in 1966 when I accepted employment with the (get this) Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the regulatory arm of the Federal Home Loan Bank System only later to graduate to (get this) become a national bank examiner with the Comptroller of the Currency, Regional Administrator of National Banks, 12th National Bank Region San Francisco, Santa Rosa Sub-Region and by the time one finished citing what it was one actually did for a living (my French nephew-in-law Xavier nailed it when he called me "Examiner of Finished Work" - a precocious kid, that) one had forgotten what ones charge was, in the creed of the traditional bureaucrat, to protect ones turf and bi-weekly allowance so the really smart and crooked c*********s as personified by Gordon Gecko could walk circles around you and the public you were pretending to protect when all you really wanted to do was collect that paycheck and then graduate to collecting that pension so you sould buy that cottage in the Sierra and go fishing every day to get away from the wife and, lo and behold, here on MexicoConnect we have the statisticians Yucalandia and ReefHound throwing useless spitballs at each other and confusing the rest of us with "facts" that are non-facts and here I have fled to Mexico and am living on the shores of Lake Chapala and in the confines of the Alpine Jovel Valley in Chiapas and, by God, they have found me here and I ask what, after 40 years of onanistic self-indulgence has become of my fate? Am I to go to bed at night with Mexican and U.S. corn futures dancing through my head and making value judgments among Monsanto and corrupted governments and slothful farmers on the dole and self-inflating statisticians spouting babble until I have to run again to, perhaps the Kenyan Highlands as a good escape point. How about some trailer park back in South Alabama the land where I started where the reprobate high school dropout morons we left to spend their lives re-treading tires while we drank wine on the Left Bank are now living like kings off of meth sales and you can take that University of Alabama degree and that piece-of-crap "Rolex" watch you bought from a street vendor in Times Square down to the pawn shop and when you are a block away they put up the "Sorry, We Are Closed" sign and pull down the awnings.......

Too bad Mommie and Daddy have been dead nigh these many years. They said they would be there to protect us. Lies. Its all lies.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Sep 19, 2010, 1:58 PM)


db52

Sep 19, 2010, 1:55 PM

Post #61 of 64 (5997 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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Yeah, "involvement" or "participation" might work better than any of the synonyms suggested by Merriam Webster (collusion, connivance, conspiracy).


Rolly


Sep 19, 2010, 2:14 PM

Post #62 of 64 (5994 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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Yes, Bubba does put it all in a more useful prospective.
Thanks Dawgie

Rolly Pirate


YucaLandia


Sep 20, 2010, 7:32 AM

Post #63 of 64 (5912 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?

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All good by me.
Cheers, steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


DavidMcL


Sep 20, 2010, 10:57 AM

Post #64 of 64 (5873 views)

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Locking the thread

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As the thread has now reached 62 responses, for the sake of reader simplicity i am suggesting that further comment be in a new thread and I will lock this one.

David
David McL
WebJefe

(This post was edited by DavidMcL on Sep 20, 2010, 11:03 AM)
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