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(Mother Nature Network)   Don't have a cow about the threats of milk prices going off the dairy cliff   (mnn.com) divider line 35
    More: Obvious, House Agriculture Committee, dairy cliff, Blue Dog Democrats, farm bills, milk, dairy  
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3147 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Dec 2013 at 8:04 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



35 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-12-15 08:06:37 AM
I'll just grab the breast milk from the fridge if needed
 
2013-12-15 08:28:33 AM
If the price of milk got that high, dairy farms would start producing milk like crazy to take advantage of it. The resulting glut of milk would bring the price crashing back down.
 
2013-12-15 08:32:03 AM
drink moar koolade
 
2013-12-15 08:36:23 AM
Not sure I understand what is meant by "permanent law" in TFA. What prevents the 1949 law from being modified such that we don't have to go through a dairy bill dance every year or two?
 
2013-12-15 08:42:22 AM
Does this effect Almond, Coconut, Soy or any of the other dairy alternatives?
No.
Carry on, then.
 
2013-12-15 08:47:12 AM

Lydia_C: Not sure I understand what is meant by "permanent law" in TFA. What prevents the 1949 law from being modified such that we don't have to go through a dairy bill dance every year or two?


I only read about half this link that attempts to explain it.  It seems like it's a somewhat misleading term.  If they don't pass a farm bill superseding it, the Agricultural Act of 1949 takes precedence.

http://www.milkproducerscouncil.org/092713permlaw.htm
 
2013-12-15 08:51:34 AM
s10.postimg.org
Just watch out when you drive under that cliff.
 
2013-12-15 08:56:18 AM
Not sure how 'going off the cliff' came to mean 'going up'.
 
2013-12-15 09:21:26 AM

gfid: Lydia_C: Not sure I understand what is meant by "permanent law" in TFA. What prevents the 1949 law from being modified such that we don't have to go through a dairy bill dance every year or two?

I only read about half this link that attempts to explain it.  It seems like it's a somewhat misleading term.  If they don't pass a farm bill superseding it, the Agricultural Act of 1949 takes precedence.

http://www.milkproducerscouncil.org/092713permlaw.htm


Thanks for this, it got me rolling on this topic. So... apparently the 1949 law requires that the US gov't buy dairy products at a rate that could be substantially above market, unless superceded by a farm bill. And in recent years, prevention of this substantial level of subsidization has resulted in "no safety net" for farmers (as per the Milk Producers Council link), who support the passage of a "Dairy Security Act" instead to help protect their profit margins.

Except that according to some, the Dairy Security Act as proposed would be substantially more expensive than an alternative plan (the Dairy Freedom Act, or Goodlatte-Scott), and would favor large (corporate?) farms, not small, and would institute supply controls: link

While Dairy Security Act supporters pinky-swear that any temporary price increases will have a negligible effect on consumer pricing: link

This seems like a pretty good summary of the perspectives of both sides.

/surprised no one has tried to tack some soshulizm comment on this yet
 
2013-12-15 10:02:33 AM

macross87: I'll just grab the breast milk from the fridge if needed


Contrary to popular belief, mothers LOVE it when you do this.
 
2013-12-15 10:09:25 AM

macross87: I'll just grab the breast milk from the fridge if needed


I take mine from the tap.
 
2013-12-15 10:14:51 AM
I can't drink milk anyway, unless I want to get sick.

Boo.
 
2013-12-15 10:20:10 AM
Good. Price controls and subsidies to farms are a huge scam the U.S. can ill-afford. I always smirk when I hear of U.S. right wingers (often from heavily agricultural states) barking "HELL NO SOCIALISMS!" about the flawed compromise that is "Obamacare" while screaming that the Stalin-type state meddling in the "market" for foodstuffs should continue forever.

A pox on all your houses. Maybe a cow pox.
 
2013-12-15 10:20:24 AM

leevis: If the price of milk got that high, dairy farms would start producing milk like crazy to take advantage of it. The resulting glut of milk would bring the price crashing back down.


It would if dairy was subject to the open market.  It isn't because of the 1949 farm bill.

You should go back and read TFA.
 
2013-12-15 10:26:26 AM
It sounds more like the 1949 bill needs to be repealed, because if there are constant new bills needed just to not "revert" to it, it must be a shiaty law to begin with, and thus has no place existing.
 
2013-12-15 10:34:31 AM
If we had a sane, non-corrupt congress the 1949 farm bill would have been repealed decades ago.

thesfile.com

We in this country all act like dairy is a critical part of the human food supply.  Well, it isn't.  In fact, most Americans consume WAAAAY more than is healthy.

Congress should take steps to make absolutely sure a few staple crops like wheat, corn, rice, potatoes and soybeans along with a handful of vegetables are kept cheap and plentiful.

All other foods are, in the end, luxuries and should live or die by the open market. Subsidies or price controls for those crops--including ALL meat and dairy-- is nothing more than corrupt corporate welfare and needs to be gotten rid of.
 
2013-12-15 10:39:47 AM
Politicians would never allow this to happen, the revolt would be so big. I am surprised there has not been one for other things yet.
 
2013-12-15 10:49:06 AM
Don't worry. The Gub'mint won't let the Dairy-Industrial Complex down. Remember the time of "Welfare Cheese"? That was because the Feds literally bought up seas of milk from producers in order to stabilize prices during a huge oversupply, converted all that to cheese, and literally gave it away.

The 2% must flow!
 
2013-12-15 11:08:21 AM
So how much would a gallon of organic milk be then?  Because, right now, it's $5.99/gallon.

/will continue to buy organic, even if the price goes up
 
2013-12-15 11:13:51 AM
Jesus, what's with all the dairy hate?  Did you guys get anally raped by a block of gov't cheese when you were younger?
 
2013-12-15 11:15:41 AM

Riche: If we had a sane, non-corrupt congress the 1949 farm bill would have been repealed decades ago.

[thesfile.com image 387x300]

We in this country all act like dairy is a critical part of the human food supply.  Well, it isn't.  In fact, most Americans consume WAAAAY more than is healthy.

Congress should take steps to make absolutely sure a few staple crops like wheat, corn, rice, potatoes and soybeans along with a handful of vegetables are kept cheap and plentiful.

All other foods are, in the end, luxuries and should live or die by the open market. Subsidies or price controls for those crops--including ALL meat and dairy-- is nothing more than corrupt corporate welfare and needs to be gotten rid of.


1.  Dairy really is a critical part of the human food supply going back a couple thousand years. It's sort of like clothing and shelter.  If we all lived in a tropical climate, we wouldn't need to wear clothes and we wouldn't need central heating.  Because we don't all live in a climate like that, we've adapted with means of shelter and food preservation and cultivation.  Dairy is a significant part of that.

2. Why stop at what you think are staples like wheat, corn, and the rest of your list?  Who are you to decide what should be staples and what shouldn't?  Farm subsidies should be eliminated.  You want to make sure there's an abundance of wheat, corn, etc?  Let the market decide.  One of the reasons the government gets into the whole subsidy thing is to raise prices because farmers have over-produced.  The government wants farmers to produce as much as possible but on subsistence wages so that we can brag about cheap food.  When the cost of subsidies, which we pay in taxes and federal debt, are included we don't have cheap food.  We just hide the cost.  Government interference in food markets has allowed the big producers and processors to take over the food industry and everybody makes more money than farmers off what you buy in the grocery store.

Farm subsidies should be eliminated completely and farmers should be given much greater opportunity to sell directly to consumers without so many middle men.  Food would actually be cheaper, farmers would make more money, and Monsanto, Cargill, ADM, Tyson, Smithfield, etc. would all take a hit.  I'm OK with that, however.

What people need to understand, however, is that farm subsidies are less about price supports for farmers or abundance of food for consumers than they are about controlling farmers and the control of money around food and agriculture.  When Farmer Brown has 80 acres with a few chickens, a couple hogs, a few cattle, and sells stuff directly to customers, Farmer Brown will only pay taxes on what he declares, which may or may not be what he actually takes in.  If, however, Farmer Green has control of 80,000 acres and participates in government subsidy programs, every transaction selling his corn, his thousands of hogs, his million eggs, must be recorded and the government must be informed.  Whether he's buying seed, buying fertilizer, or buying a tractor, every transaction is reported to some taxing authority or other.  Additionally, Farmer Green is going to have hundreds of employees who, instead of having their own 80 acres from which they sell eggs or sides of pork for cash, will get a W-2 form.  The government thus knows exactly how much they are due.  This is why subsidy programs favor large producers - so the government can control them.  Same reason government rules and regulations favor Walmart over Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery.  Ralph flies under the radar and may not report all of his income.  He may pay a couple of clerks in cash instead of putting them on a payroll from which FICA and payroll taxes can be garnisheed.  Remember that where the IRS is concerned, you are considered to be a liar until you can prove you are not and you are considered guilty until you can prove your innocence.  Most government programs, especially where handing out government money are concerned, are much more about controlling citizens than helping them.

My real question, however, is why they have a picture of what looks to be a Hereford beef-type cow in a article about dairy cows?  Idiot editor.
 
2013-12-15 11:29:25 AM
I can't wait till all those billboards screaming "EAT MORE DAIRY!!!!!!" are replace by "SMOKE MOAR WEED!!!!"

It's all the same anyway.
 
2013-12-15 11:44:34 AM
Yeah. I'd like to see what those Chick-Fil-A cows look like after a couple of bowls.
 
2013-12-15 11:50:20 AM

Jesus Farking Christ: Jesus, what's with all the dairy hate?  Did you guys get anally raped by a block of gov't cheese when you were younger?


It wasn't grate.
 
2013-12-15 12:35:33 PM

Mr. Right: 1.  Dairy really is a critical part of the human food supply going back a couple thousand years. It's sort of like clothing and shelter.  If we all lived in a tropical climate, we wouldn't need to wear clothes and we wouldn't need central heating.  Because we don't all live in a climate like that, we've adapted with means of shelter and food preservation and cultivation.  Dairy is a significant part of that.



cdn.shopify.com


You are saying we need dairy because we don't live in a tropical environment anymore?   You probably don't specifically mean that, but I can't make much sense of this.

Besides, w
hat about the other billions on this planet who do OK without dairy?  Dairy is NOT necessary, no matter what part of the planet you're living on.  Americans just think so due to decades of (very successful) advertising and propaganda from dairy producers.


As for the rest of your...lengthy post, you are right that most farm regulations and subsidies are to prevent overproduction, and that it would be possible to choose some other staples than I've selected (though why on Earth would you pick ones other than we're familiar with?)

The rest I disagree with you in the strongest way.  Like clean water, power, health care, and national defense, basic foodstuffs is just too damn important to leave to an open and unregulated market.  If you allow that to happen sooner or later a handful of sociopaths will try to set up an Enron of food. They will buy everything up, leave farming ground fallow, corner the market, and make vast fortunes on the jacked up prices of now scarce food supplies.

And they will not give two shiats how many people starve.
 
2013-12-15 12:59:29 PM
Milk is already eight bucks a gallon, five of that comes from your tax bill, the rest you pay at check out.
 
2013-12-15 01:07:15 PM
Riche:
And they will not give two shiats how many people starve.

To be blunt, I'm more or less already there. But I agree with you about the overemphasis on dairy. And yet I do likes me some quality cheese.

Mmm, cheese.
 
2013-12-15 01:12:10 PM
Farmers need their welfare!!!!
Can't have a free market without farmers getting welfare to artificially lower the end price while reaping in millions in welfare.
 
2013-12-15 01:36:54 PM

Riche: The rest I disagree with you in the strongest way. Like clean water, power, health care, and national defense, basic foodstuffs is just too damn important to leave to an open and unregulated market. If you allow that to happen sooner or later a handful of sociopaths will try to set up an Enron of food. They will buy everything up, leave farming ground fallow, corner the market, and make vast fortunes on the jacked up prices of now scarce food supplies.


I didn't say that dairy was absolutely necessary.  But it is the most efficient means of providing many essential nutrients in a climate that does not always provide readily available foodstuffs.  You have to remember that transporting food around the world is a very recent development.  It hasn't been all that long, relative to human history, that we've had the means to transport oranges, for example, to climates where they were not grown.  In Minnesota, you can't grow spinach in December.  You can, however, feed Bessie some of the hay you put up last summer, harvest her milk, make cheese, butter, etc.  The necessity of eating during the winter in what would otherwise have been an inhospitable climate and man's ability to adapt to that climate is what drove the dairy industry.  Note that countries where dairy has always been prominent tend to be northern climates.  Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, England, etc.  That's where the best cheeses come from, for example.  It may exist, but I've not run across a cheese developed anywhere in the Amazon Basin.  They had a year-round supply of fresh food and didn't need dairy.  Dairy may not be absolutely necessary (unless it becomes too expensive to transport food because there's something like an oil shortage, just as an example), but for food independence in climates that are not always hospitable to fresh produce, it is pretty darned important.

But your real error is in not trusting the market.  The scenario you paint is monopolistic.  Monopolies cannot exist in a free market.  Enron was able to do what it did because of the regulations and limitations on the energy market.  Enron collapsed because of competition and the fact that their monopolistic prices were not supportable.

Bell Telephone had a monopoly, even though it was strictly regulated.  Look at all the innovations in telecommunications that occurred under their beneficent hand.  Compare that to the meager innovations that have occurred since Ma Bell was broken up and telecommunications were deregulated.  Would we have smart-phones if Ma Bell was still monopolisticly in charge?  Phone rates never dropped and innovation never took off until Ma Bell had competition.

The current state of ever-larger farms owned by fewer and fewer corporations is the result of regulation, not in spite of it.    The move to fewer and larger processors is the result of regulation, not in spite of it.

The farm-to-table movement exists almost as a subversive element in the food chain because it must skirt or avoid onerous regulations in order to survive.  A free market would permit an exponential growth of "real" food producers.  That is not to say that we don't need standards - they are absolutely essential.  But the government cannot issue a standard and leave will enough alone.  It always gets into the regulation of process down to the lowest level of minutiae and the cost of compliance is more than most small producers can bear.  It is the antithesis of free markets.  A monopoly such as you describe will be the end result of over-regulation, not free markets.
 
2013-12-15 02:07:49 PM

Day_Old_Dutchie: [s10.postimg.org image 251x478]
Just watch out when you drive under that cliff.


OK, is that sign for real?  Looking in the background, based on terrain and the rather unique oversize single panel reverse curve sign, I'm guessing this is in California.
 
2013-12-15 02:10:35 PM

Jesus Farking Christ: Jesus, what's with all the dairy hate?  Did you guys get anally raped by a block of gov't cheese when you were younger?


There's porn of that.
 
2013-12-15 02:43:39 PM

felching pen: Milk is already eight bucks a gallon, five of that comes from your tax bill, the rest you pay at check out.


Succinctly put.  All of our food costs a lot more than we pay the grocer.
 
2013-12-15 03:11:08 PM
Milk kills, nuff said.
 
2013-12-15 10:11:07 PM
Happened ages ago here in NZ.

Comes with the territory of making the best.
 
2013-12-16 12:18:21 PM

Primitive Screwhead: Does this effect Almond, Coconut, Soy or any of the other dairy alternatives?
No.
Carry on, then.


It does affect them. In that people will be encouraged to discover and enjoy healthier alternatives to something that nature originally created for livestock.

This could have a pretty significant impact on people who like cheese though.

1.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com
 
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