Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The History of Subsidies Shows Why Joni Ernst is Wrong On Her Farm Belt "Self Reliance" Stance

Iowa cornfields in all their subsidized glory. Thanks to you, Taxpayer! (And thanks to flicker user Carl Wycoff for picture.  See permissions, full attribution, at bottom of page.)

I'm a little older than Senator Ernst though I dress younger, but that's not hard to do.

I remember the 70s though as a teen watching the horror stories coming out from the heartland on the news.  Various scams, crop failures, etc causing a mass exodus from agriculture, especially among minorities though I doubt MSM paid much attention to minorities losing their jobs, farms.  It sounded like another dust bowl, but one created by man, when loan officers either scammed farmers or were too inflexible in the face of crop failures, price drops, etc. 

Though subsidies had been given to farmers since the 30s according to The Library of Economics, substantial hikes in payments have have happened since the 90s (the time period I can find firm data on). I'm assuming that the 70s and early 80s in Iowa, the belle of the corn belt, were tough.

The point is that the reason that farm kids don't have to wear bread bags over their everyday shoes (probably sturdy, American made ones because of the time period of Ernst's youth) is because the government stepped in and boosted farm subsidies.

In fact, the the farm states are propped us by massive government handouts.

The New York Times posted a piece the other week about how much more affluent red states are than blue states.  It, of course, left out the fact that high per-capita government welfare in red states through the farm subsidies program is part of the reason.  So, in fact, blue states help prop up red states, and the calorie producing corn and wheat belts are the biggest winners though our modern populations need more fruits and vegetables.

I could only find a listing of farm subsidies since the 90s, but the growth has been substantial,  See chart on right from The history of American business

Calculator Soup says natural inflation from 1990- 2006 would make 9.7 billion equal to 15 billion. So the basic increased value of subsidies would have been 6.4 billion. If workers wages had fared so well we might not have half the problems that we do these days.

All thanks to government handouts to farmers those icons of self reliance.  We're reminded about that every Super Bowl it seems.

Back to you Senator.  Please make your information more complete,next time, and stop insinuating our kids should wear bread bags to school.

Further info on picture: Clipped and used via Creative Commons License CC by 2.0 thanks to flickr user Carl Wycoff (cwwycoff1 flickr id)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Former Right Wing Blogger, Now Working Fox, Admits She Was Doing it for Hidden Contributions

Lets say Blogger Heaven is somewhere out there in the sky.

We've all heard of blogger heaven, but few of us ever see it. Is that fair?

At least one blogger has acknowledged that blogging without extra C notes (beyond the small amounts creepy Internet ads bring) in are just not worth it.

I've heard about groups who fund bloggers and Internet news sites without ads showing up.  It seems a bit unfair that they get to pick and chose who gets money to survive and improve while the rest  of us bang away and hope someone reads.

I've been assured by other small time bloggers that Internet ads are not worth the effort  and Lauren Ashburn certainly seconds that opinion, but mostly secret elite groups certainly crammed with people who made big money in IT or news opinion and other businesses are handing the funding needed out left and right to favored people.

Until one of them falls through the "favored" cracks.  Of course, down here under the cracks one wonders how to get up there.

Having money invested would mean more time and resources to do a better job.

Luckily for her, Laura had a Fox News gig to fall back on.

But so much for the free speech on the Internet system the rest of us were counting on.

And we wonder why people are so extreme on the Web.

For big money, bloggers have to prove they can build the equivalent of a spaceship on the equivalent of a rowboat's cost.  Or make a big enough crazy enough splash (like Ed Snowden and co) to be lofted into blogger heaven immediately.

While I am dealing with my own problems with overwriting, I also have been working on finding new information, what others aren't already talking about.

Also I'm trying to figure out whether the good numbers Blogger reports are actually accurate.  (I never equaled them with any other blogging system, but are they true numbers or some vestige of how Blogger counts)?

And how and why are some bloggers lofted into money-pot heaven while the rest of us trudge through the mud.  Oh, and BTW is it ethical to write while having unacknowledged funders in the first place? (At least I don't have to worry about that one, since I have no funding).  At least with ads the source of funds and the reason they are offered are obvious.

But hidden donors?

That sounds creepy.

Picture at top is cut from a flickr CC x 2.0 offering by user VinothChandar (thanks so much) who has no connection with this blog or blogger). (I cut it  from a lovely composition showing Interlaken Valley, a place that this blogger though having traveled little since a child has actually been).