So, farmers are upset and claiming that the “trade war” with China is putting them out of business.
We don’t want to see any productive hard working people put out of business. Especially farmers. But we also think there may be foundational and structural adjustments to be made and that it’s not easy to do that without some pain.
The way things have been working, we run enormous trade deficits with China and other cheap labor countries so we can buy trinkets at Walmart for virtually nothing, while China buys up our food from our farmers, which is one of the only things ameliorating our trade deficit with them. One of the effects of all this is to sustain our relatively primitive agrarian economy while China builds up its relatively more sophisticated manufacturing economy.
There’s a sense in which this arrangement is sort of obviously, you know, unwise.
But there’s a deeper issue. We have grown very accustomed to cheap food and cheap consumer goods while at the same time we have incredibly expensive housing and health care, and pretty high taxation. Put another way, we transfer an enormous percentage of our national income to bankers for mortgages, government for taxes, and insurance companies for health care. This sustains in high fashion a basically parasitic managerial class that draw their income from government, or large institutions that feed off of government directly or indirectly, like banks and insurance companies. And defense contractors – you know, the MIC.
It’s only our opinion, but we think it’s more economically healthy to pay relatively more for food and necessary manufactured goods, and relatively less for housing and government and weaponry and troops. So we’d like to see farmers paid more by their own neighbors and countrymen for what would probably wind up being better food, but that won’t happen easily because the parasitic class in New York City and Washington isn’t just going to roll over and take a relative pay cut.
So, you know, it’s a difficult adjustment. Maybe we can bridge the gap with increased subsidies to farmers. We’ve been doing a lot of that since the New Deal anyway!
Just a little musing here.