Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:23

Agric.’s ‘permanent’ disaster

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Editor:


 If one walks into the desert without a canteen let alone an overall backup plan, this is not a disaster, but rather kind of dumb. The public should not be backstopping dumb. Especially for the wealthy who have the resources, but pretend to not get it.
Farming is a risky business. Most managers in risk-prone businesses account for risk and plan accordingly. For example, building and managing net worth. They accept that failure to manage risk could mean the end of their business, including forced liquidation.
Not farmers or fishers in Canada.
The risk mitigators here are taxpayers manifesting almost every year in billions in farm subsidies.
If things were so bad in the farming business, then the value of assets and net worth should be falling. Yet the opposite is the case — if anyone cares to pay attention to the facts, it is very obvious. Farm and ranch land and assets simply do not sell. Meaning holders of agriculture assets are doing quite well. “Thank you very much” kind of well.
An additional observation: Farmers and ranchers, particularly in Alberta, hold vast tracts of land, usually inherited, apparently in “permanent” disaster mode — yet they deny access to responsible citizens and recreationists, taxpayers all, who have been bailing them out for decades with billions (not millions). Go figure? Honestly, public — go do some figuring.
This is the fall “whine” season. There are invariably at least two farm whine seasons — seeding and harvest — intermittently interspersed with election-cycle whiners. Addendum: The president of Alberta’s sole subsidy administrator, subsidy policy-maker — self-professed banker for the agriculture sector, the AFSC — draws a taxpayer salary almost twice that of the president of the United States.
Go figure. Really, citizens should wake up and do some figuring.
Darcy Willis, Lethbridge, Alta.

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