Farmers and particularly dairy farmers are heavily subsidized. If those subsidies are removed, suddenly they have to start charging a "real" price in order to stay in business.
Then food at the retail level would have to start selling for what it does in the rest of the world. For years and years, both political parties touted the fact that in all of the industrialized world -- the G-20 nation states -- the average US consumer spent 18% of his income on food which is the lowest of the G-20.
This somehow got blended in with the idea that we were more prosperous than the rest of the world. However the only reason that fraction was so low -- at least 10% lower than any other industrialized nation as a percentage of per capita income -- was because of the $50 billion per annum government subsidies.
If you take away those subsidies, and then suddenly farmers and food processors and everybody involved in the food pipeline to stay in business, you'd have to start charging the real price.
Even the price of eggs has gone up in recent years, but that has to do with extraneous costs of production like feed, fuel, transportation and storage costs, which actually has to do more with pipeline costs less than it does with production costs. For years, you could buy eggs in this country for less than a dollar. At the same time they were two and a half dollars a dozen everywhere else.
The problem now is that none of the agriculture bills have passed. It should be remembered that the ag bill is the second largest entitlement spending bill outside of Social Security and Medicare. Then there's the Pentagon's defense contractors entitlement spending. In the United States system of government, everything then becomes entitlement spending because it entitles various groups to rape and pillage.
What people don't seem to understand -- and maybe they'll start to get a clue -- is just how dysfunctional government in the United States has become. People talk about gridlock and how you don't want gridlock when in fact it was gridlock that persisted in the last six years of the Clinton Regime that allowed that regime to generate fiscal surpluses.
That's why people think that gridlock is good because with gridlock you can't get any spending appropriations passed. What Congress is then forced to do is to pass a never-ending series of stop-gap spending measures.
But in these so-called stop-gap funding bills, the only thing that can be spent is what was previously appropriated because they're not appropriation bills. That's the way government works -- or doesn't... so to speak.
For the rest of this exclusive column by independent political/ economic analyst Al Martin, click on to Al Martin Raw.
* AL MARTIN, author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider," is an Independent Political-Economic Analyst with 25 years of experience as a trader on NYMEX, CME, CBOT and CFTC. He is also currently trading the commodity futures market day and night and has a teleconferencing service to facilitate transactions in the markets. This is a service for independent market-experienced traders.
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Also a Kindle eBook version of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider" by Al Martin is coming soon. And a Kindle eBook version of "One Nation under Fraud: The Collected Writings of Al Martin," a collection of Al Martin columns published on Al Martin Raw.com since 2000, is also in the works. Stay tuned...