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 Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister

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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 6:24 pm

youngdan wrote:
The ECB lent 348 billion, the bank of England was 50billion pounds, the Swiss were more, who can keep track, the bottom line was that if they did not the system would have failed completely

Everything you say is preposterous.

(but of course, I would say that, given that I've been duped by the conspiracy.)
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 6:58 pm

It is worse you are getting Seinfeld
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 7:01 pm

IMO we are in for a Big One - these things come around every so often that is for sure but this particular event has the hallmarks of something on the scale of the Great Depression about it.

Also the World of Capitalism was smaller then with less players - now places like China and to a lesser extent India are involved.

Pumping money into the Banks doesn't solve the problem it just delays the Burst...
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 7:07 pm

Brandubh wrote:
IMO we are in for a Big One - these things come around every so often that is for sure but this particular event has the hallmarks of something on the scale of the Great Depression about it.

Also the World of Capitalism was smaller then with less players - now places like China and to a lesser extent India are involved.

Pumping money into the Banks doesn't solve the problem it just delays the Burst...

If it was only Alex Jones saying there was a problem we might not be listening, but I agree with you Brandubh. A vast amount of assumed value has been wiped out in the last year.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 8:34 pm

10 years ago Wired predicted a 25 year boom in the world economy and I think this is happening it's just that banks haven't a clue what's happening and neither do governments or probably a lot of economists either.

Economics has shifted from production and services only to include information and entertainment as a massive and important part of the world economy now. Do any of you know that one video game released last week is expected to gross $400 million in its first week? The production of these things requires little natural resources and an infrastructure which DEPLETES NOTHING could be easily built around such product to support its existence.

Banks are throwing money at consumers in desperate perplexity at the weirdness of such an economy based on a product of which there can be effectively an infinite supply. Rack that one up.

I don't know if Joseph Stiglitz has any answers but from a quick scan it looks like he's using the right vocabulary anyway
http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Information.html
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 9:11 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
IMO we are in for a Big One - these things come around every so often that is for sure but this particular event has the hallmarks of something on the scale of the Great Depression about it.

Also the World of Capitalism was smaller then with less players - now places like China and to a lesser extent India are involved.

Pumping money into the Banks doesn't solve the problem it just delays the Burst...

If it was only Alex Jones saying there was a problem we might not be listening, but I agree with you Brandubh. A vast amount of assumed value has been wiped out in the last year.

True, but an awful lot more was created elsewhere. Look to the constituents of the ISEQ. While groups such as the banks suffered last year, Dragon Oil and Tullow benefitted and saw a significant rise in market cap. They have helped to cushion and diversify the ISEQ.

Also, we are coming to the end of the longest and strongest boom in global economic history for some time. It is against this context that we must place the current period of re-trenchment. 3% growth in global output may seem pedestrian compared to 4.5-5% expansion enjoyed since the turn of the millennium, but when placed against the context of economic growth over the past 100 years, it is quite respectable and represents a soft climb-down from boom territory.

Furthermore, high commodity prices are a sign of strength, not weakness in the global economy. This commodity super-cycle is different to the last since it is driven by demand, not supply. The high oil prices of the Seventies were artificial since they were supported by artificial supply constraints instituted by dis-satisfied Arab governments. The high oil prices today are very real since they are driven by tremendous growth from China to Colombia.

As well as that, the world economy has taken hits before and seen them off. The US economy contracted by about a third in the three years after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Did that kill the US's economy? Did that turn the US into one big Easter Island? No it didn't since the US enjoyed a prolonged economic boom from the 40s to the early 70s after this event. The US emerged strengthened and renewed from the Great Depression.

This holds true for other economies. The UK property bust of the early 90s presaged the longest continous growth in the UK's economy since the Industrial Revolution. Ireland's recessions of the 80s preceded the Celtic Tiger. The Asian Tigers bounced quickly back after their troubles in 1998. They even got over a massive bust in property values to register pacy growth rates over the past 10 years. Argentina got over its troubles with the peso and is growing by almost 10% a year while its neighbour, Brazil, has dealt with its hyperinflation and is delivering strong and sustained growth.

The point is that economies are stronger, more diverse, more adaptable and resilient than people give them credit and the prevailing economic conditions of 2008 are significantly better than those of 1908, 1808 and 1708. Based on the ineluctable advance of the human spirit, 2108 will again be a quantum improvement on current conditions. We'll be alright, Jack!
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 11:00 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
IMO we are in for a Big One - these things come around every so often that is for sure but this particular event has the hallmarks of something on the scale of the Great Depression about it.

Also the World of Capitalism was smaller then with less players - now places like China and to a lesser extent India are involved.

Pumping money into the Banks doesn't solve the problem it just delays the Burst...

If it was only Alex Jones saying there was a problem we might not be listening, but I agree with you Brandubh. A vast amount of assumed value has been wiped out in the last year.

True, but an awful lot more was created elsewhere. Look to the constituents of the ISEQ. While groups such as the banks suffered last year, Dragon Oil and Tullow benefitted and saw a significant rise in market cap. They have helped to cushion and diversify the ISEQ.

Also, we are coming to the end of the longest and strongest boom in global economic history for some time. It is against this context that we must place the current period of re-trenchment. 3% growth in global output may seem pedestrian compared to 4.5-5% expansion enjoyed since the turn of the millennium, but when placed against the context of economic growth over the past 100 years, it is quite respectable and represents a soft climb-down from boom territory.

Furthermore, high commodity prices are a sign of strength, not weakness in the global economy. This commodity super-cycle is different to the last since it is driven by demand, not supply. The high oil prices of the Seventies were artificial since they were supported by artificial supply constraints instituted by dis-satisfied Arab governments. The high oil prices today are very real since they are driven by tremendous growth from China to Colombia.

As well as that, the world economy has taken hits before and seen them off. The US economy contracted by about a third in the three years after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Did that kill the US's economy? Did that turn the US into one big Easter Island? No it didn't since the US enjoyed a prolonged economic boom from the 40s to the early 70s after this event. The US emerged strengthened and renewed from the Great Depression.

This holds true for other economies. The UK property bust of the early 90s presaged the longest continous growth in the UK's economy since the Industrial Revolution. Ireland's recessions of the 80s preceded the Celtic Tiger. The Asian Tigers bounced quickly back after their troubles in 1998. They even got over a massive bust in property values to register pacy growth rates over the past 10 years. Argentina got over its troubles with the peso and is growing by almost 10% a year while its neighbour, Brazil, has dealt with its hyperinflation and is delivering strong and sustained growth.

The point is that economies are stronger, more diverse, more adaptable and resilient than people give them credit and the prevailing economic conditions of 2008 are significantly better than those of 1908, 1808 and 1708. Based on the ineluctable advance of the human spirit, 2108 will again be a quantum improvement on current conditions. We'll be alright, Jack!

It took a World War and the consequent spread of influence and control to ge the US out of the Depression. We have a very rough few years ahead of us.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 11:27 pm

It is actually very simple. We are totally dependent on the burning of fossil fuels to power our lives; the inexorable force of ever increasing demand has just hit the brick wall of finite supply. As the cost of fuel goes UP, the value of non fuel related goods and services goes DOWN. When the value of highly leveraged things such as houses start to go down as a result of no-one being able to afford them anymore, plus an allied slump owing to increasing unemployment, foreclosures happen and the banks suffer. As the value of assets continues to plummet, bad stuff happens to banks to whome related monies are owed. As the energy price goes up, the financials will continue to go down (unless we are discussing the Saudi/Gulf/Venezuelan/Russian banks, of course). The solution is this: diversification of energy supply and reduction of demand for oil/gas/coal thereby reducing the price. Easier said than done though....
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 11:34 pm

Cyclical, but... the potential with environmental change is for something more - not sinister - just much worse. It's like the London elections, people haven't got the idea that there are, techno-fixes not withstanding, going to have to be significant changes to the way we live that will require considerable restructuring. We can be smart and go with this process, using smarter technologies to ameliorate some of the pain, or not. Looking at the London election I can't help thinking that part of what done Livingstone in was a sense by some that they simply don't need to change, that stuff like congestion charges, etc, are somehow an insult to them and their way of life... same too with the nonsense McCain and Clinton are peddling about tax holidays and fuel...
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 11:39 pm

WorldbyStorm wrote:
...Looking at the London election I can't help thinking that part of what done Livingstone in was a sense by some that they simply don't need to change, that stuff like congestion charges, etc, are somehow an insult to them and their way of life... same too with the nonsense McCain and Clinton are peddling about tax holidays and fuel...

Watch McCain, Clinton, Boris, etc, temporarily "relieve their pain"... they'll get elected, but then they will have to police the riots when the price rises proceed inexorably to actual shortages. I don't envy them. A child of the seventies, I remember squirming on the back seat of the car, while the mother was queuing at the local filling station.... the only difference between then and now is that this run of shortages will just get worse and worse..
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Mon May 05, 2008 11:53 pm

Who better to explain it than the Governor of the Bank of England Smile
Mervy King Link
We will have a lower standard of living.

I'm not sure whether that also applies to Mervyn.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 12:28 am

Ard T wrote
Quote :
Furthermore, high commodity prices are a sign of strength, not weakness in the global economy. This commodity super-cycle is different to the last since it is driven by demand, not supply. The high oil prices of the Seventies were artificial since they were supported by artificial supply constraints instituted by dis-satisfied Arab governments. The high oil prices today are very real since they are driven by tremendous growth from China to Colombia.

I don't really do economics. I know other people get turned on by it but it leaves me utterly cold. It strikes me as such an abstract and impersonal way of making sense of the world.

High commodity prices are a sign that someone is making a quick buck and lots of someone elses are getting screwed.

Where are the people in all of this?
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 12:42 am

Kate P wrote:
Ard T wrote
Quote :
Furthermore, high commodity prices are a sign of strength, not weakness in the global economy. This commodity super-cycle is different to the last since it is driven by demand, not supply. The high oil prices of the Seventies were artificial since they were supported by artificial supply constraints instituted by dis-satisfied Arab governments. The high oil prices today are very real since they are driven by tremendous growth from China to Colombia.

I don't really do economics. I know other people get turned on by it but it leaves me utterly cold. It strikes me as such an abstract and impersonal way of making sense of the world.

High commodity prices are a sign that someone is making a quick buck and lots of someone elses are getting screwed.

Where are the people in all of this?

Worrying, I think - I know I am. I've probably said it before, but part of my reasoning behind a Yes vote to Lisbon is that I think we really need a more efficient and effective EU. I don't give a monkey's about the sovereignty issues - Ireland's sovereignty is an irrelevant abstraction in the face of the current set of issues (both possible and certain).
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:03 am

[quote="Kate P"]Ard T wrote
Quote :
Furthermore, high commodity prices are a sign of strength, not weakness in the global economy. This commodity super-cycle is different to the last since it is driven by demand, not supply. The high oil prices of the Seventies were artificial since they were supported by artificial supply constraints instituted by dis-satisfied Arab governments. The high oil prices today are very real since they are driven by tremendous growth from China to Colombia.

I don't really do economics. I know other people get turned on by it but it leaves me utterly cold. It strikes me as such an abstract and impersonal way of making sense of the world.

High commodity prices are a sign that someone is making a quick buck and lots of someone elses are getting screwed.

Where are the people in all of this?[quote]

In the case of Somalia, out on the streets rioting because they can't afford food. Economics IMHO, since we stopped being hunter gatherers, learned how to count a surplus and invented money, has been the main driver of our lives and of social change.
Now we are at a historic stage where economics and environmental issues are colliding (I am thinking of the particle accelerator at CERN as a metaphor).
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:06 am

Quote :
Worrying, I think - I know I am. I've probably said it before, but part of my reasoning behind a Yes vote to Lisbon is that I think we really need a more efficient and effective EU. I don't give a monkey's about the sovereignty issues - Ireland's sovereignty is an irrelevant abstraction in the face of the current set of issues (both possible and certain).

Yep, you've said it before and yep, I agree with you that we need a more efficient and effective EU but I don't think Lisbon is the way to get it. And when arms dealers and those who can sell milk powder in Senegal cheaper than the people can produce milk have lobbies as powerful as they do and will continue to have, then the little person continues to be screwed, just on a more global scale.

I was in college when TCD SU took all their Nestlé products off the shelves because of their treatment of African mothers and their babies by giving hospitals free baby formula. Breast milk dried up, babies died because mothers couldn't afford to buy it when they came out of hospitals and made up what they could with contaminated water. I could count on one hand the number of times I've bought a Nestlé product in the intervening years.

Europe has virtually no sugar industry. Consumers are paying 20% more for sugar than when we couldn't produce it viably and you can be sure that the little man in the field cutting sugar cane is getting no more than he did before Irish farmers went out of business.

The sheep industry here is on its way out - Mary Coughlan has done a huge disservice to sheep farmers by signing Ireland up to ridiculous procedures like electronic sheep tagging - while New Zealand can export lamb to Ireland with none of those very expensive constraints.

Peter Mandelson is blithely and brazenly overstepping his mandate at WTO and cannot (or will not) be reined in.

Pardon me, ibis, if I'm reluctant to have much faith in the EU to see us through an economic crisis.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:15 am

Quote :
Pardon me, ibis, if I'm reluctant to have much faith in the EU to see us through an economic crisis.

I appreciate we disagree on this - but are we poorer than 35 years ago? Could we have become richer while remaining an agricultural country? I'm not aware of any country that has.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:21 am

The Economist would appear to disagree with you Kate

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11293923


Quote :

Farm subsidies
The right time to chop



May 1st 2008
From The Economist print editionRich-country governments must ignore special pleading to restrict farm trade



Reuters

WHO says farmers are inflexible? In rich countries, they have long justified farm hand-outs by pointing to low world prices for food (never mind that low prices were partly caused by their own subsidised
overproduction). Without public cash, they said, farmers would desert the land, leaving meadows to brambly ruin. Now that the world is running short of food, the farm lobby has deftly changed tack. Prices for many crops are at record highs, the new line goes, and richcountries need to protect their farmers in order to ensure that their people get fed.

This mindless self-sufficiency is trotted out even in America, which is preparing a new farm bill. And it has been backed by the United Nations rapporteur on the “right to food”, Jean Ziegler, a Swiss professor who once applauded Cuba's agricultural policies.

But it is in Europe, with its notorious common agricultural policy (CAP), that farmers are bleating especially loudly. France, which has long scooped up more CAP money than any other country, leads the way. Not long ago, President Nicolas Sarkozy seemed to support CAP reform, asserting that farmers should live off their earnings, not from subsidies. But the French, who take over the EU presidency in July, are now pushing “community preference”—jargon for blocking food imports. To get round world trade rules, they are suggesting that imports satisfy EU environmental, hygiene or animal-welfare rules—which give ample scope to rig markets.


Michel Barnier, the French farm minister, wants joint European action on “food security”, and insists that feeding people is too important a task to be left to the market. Pledging “complete agreement” with French plans to recast the CAP, his German counterpart, Horst Seehofer, pours scorn on the idea that the developing world would be helped by reducing European farm protection. He says he does “not see how you can help the weak by hurting the strong.” Mr Seehofer thinks “food conflicts” lurk around the corner.

This is bad news for European consumers and taxpayers, who were promised a proper debate on CAP
reform later this year. They will have to continue paying (€55 billion last year) for this wasteful and wicked system. It is terrible for poor-country farmers, who have long suffered from being shut out of rich-world markets, and having rich-world products dumped on them. Now they can hear the gates of fortress Europe clanging shut just when
world prices should be triggering an export boom. And it is dreadful news for the hungry poor, because restricting trade in food exacerbates shortages.

The Europeans have made progress in reducing export subsidies and liberalising some markets; next year, for example, the EU should become a net importer of sugar for the first time. But reformers need to continue slashing import tariffs, which still average 23%. Now that European farmers are earning good money from what they dobest—farming—there has never been a better time to reduce support. If the EU sticks to its offer in the Doha trade round, its farm-import tariffs would drop by just over half. Cutting them further would do more to ease hunger in poor countries than any foreign aid.

Fruit of the gloom

Defenders of the CAP and other rich-country farm policies cannot have it both ways. They cannot demand
more money when prices are low, and then ask for extra protection when they rise. High food prices further undermine their already rotten arguments for support, and offer a golden opportunity to dismantle rich-country farm protection. Governments would be mad as a British cow not to take it.



Not often I agree with the Economist - but I do this time


Last edited by Edo on Tue May 06, 2008 1:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:25 am

What reason is given to convince people of the necessity to electronically tagging a sheep. That is the best yet
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:31 am

Kate P wrote:


Pardon me, ibis, if I'm reluctant to have much faith in the EU to see us through an economic crisis.

This thing of taking individual parts of the EU economy (e.g. agriculture) and using its travails as an argument to criticise the EU and the WTO doesn't add up.

Sure, Irish farmers are having tough time re. non-EU imports, and the sugar industry is gone, but in my last company (software) we sold an airlines reservations system to TAM airlines in Brazil and a customer incentive system to NWA in Japan. This was company with an office in Dublin employing 50 software developers, all of whom were on annual salaries of > €40k. I'm also pretty sure that at least some of them came from farming backgrounds, and many of them grew in parts of Ireland other than Dublin.

These were deals that were made possible by trade agreements arising out of the WTO. Similarly, there are thousands of financial services companies, biotech companies, entertainment companies and even manufacturing companies all over the EU employing hundreds of thousands of people involved in providing goods and services to countries other than in the EU. By comparison, only 4% of the EU's workforce works in agriculture and CAP accounts for 40% of the EU's total budget.

I'm a big supporter of CAP, and I believe that farmers should receive financial assistance to produce high quality food at prices the average family can afford.

What I don't believe is that the EU should become an island of affluence in an ocean of want. We have a moral duty to trade with people who are less fortunate than we are. Yes, they may produce inferior quality food, but the only way they can start to produce quality food is if they have someone to sell it to.

For instance, how do you think Irish beef matched up to French or Austrian beef when we first joined the EU? Did EU consumers say that Irish beef shouldn't be allowed in their markets because it didn't meet the same standards? Did our EU neighbours cut the cord when we were found using Angel Dust to fatten cattle?

No, they realised that it was preferable for all if we lowered our trade barriers so that everyone could come up to the same standard, so that everybody could benefit from trade.

The EU has a duty to protect our food source. It doesn't have a duty to protect farmers. The EU also has a duty to ensure that everyone working in the EU has access to as many markets as possible, and that no industry should have a veto over trade agreements reached for the benefit of all EU citizens.

From my point of view, its doing a pretty good job.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:31 am

And BTW - if that article is anything to go by - I have absolutely no idea what our own lazy farming community are collectively having a tantrum over and throwing shapes over Lisbon on - they would seem to be very well taken care of by the EU now and into the future - probably to the deteriment of every other EU citizen and the poor abroad.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:32 am

youngdan wrote:
What reason is given to convince people of the necessity to electronically tagging a sheep. That is the best yet

It's a trial run, obviously.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:41 am

Kate P wrote:
Ard T wrote
Quote :
Furthermore, high commodity prices are a sign of strength, not weakness in the global economy. This commodity super-cycle is different to the last since it is driven by demand, not supply. The high oil prices of the Seventies were artificial since they were supported by artificial supply constraints instituted by dis-satisfied Arab governments. The high oil prices today are very real since they are driven by tremendous growth from China to Colombia.

I don't really do economics. I know other people get turned on by it but it leaves me utterly cold. It strikes me as such an abstract and impersonal way of making sense of the world.

High commodity prices are a sign that someone is making a quick buck and lots of someone elses are getting screwed.

In the short run, yes, but in the long run, those profits have to be re-invested in order to create a return. They are invested in areas like capital goods, government bonds, property, stocks and shares and so on. Eventually they trickle down to people on the ground who get jobs from the capital goods' manufacturers, infrastructure from the re-capitalised governments of their countries and so on. It's the circular flow of national income, and it benefits everyone if it is given the free reign it needs.

Quote :
Where are the people in all of this?

There are people, there's the millions being lifted out of poverty in China and Vietnam and the millions of people in Latin America enjoying, for the first time, a middle class existence. A lot of growth still needs to occur, but a definite change is occurring across the developing world which means that millions now have the realistic hope of a better life.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:46 am

youngdan wrote:
What reason is given to convince people of the necessity to electronically tagging a sheep. That is the best yet

Its so they can only be counted once.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:47 am

cactus flower wrote:
youngdan wrote:
What reason is given to convince people of the necessity to electronically tagging a sheep. That is the best yet

Its so they can only be counted once.

Exactly cactus. I thought that would have been obvious.
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PostSubject: Re: Economic Crisis: A Cyclical Event or Something More Sinister   Tue May 06, 2008 1:54 am

Quote :
Now that European farmers are earning good money from what they dobest—farming—there has never been a better time to reduce support. If the EU sticks to its offer in the Doha trade round, its farm-import tariffs would drop by just over half. Cutting them further would do more to ease hunger in poor countries than any foreign aid.
Yeah, I've never understood the argument why we should join the race to the bottom rather than support poorer nations to rise to the levels that European farmers are at.

Are all Economist articles as under-sourced as this is? I only ask because, taking sugar as an example this clearly has not been the case.

No Irish consumer goes to his local car dealership and says 'Show me the cheapest car you have.' That person doesn't go to his travel agent and say 'put me up in the cheapest hotel you have' or expect two for one every time he buys a pair of shoes, or 33% extra free when he buys a book.

Yet, you'll find that that is what people do about food all the time - we spend a smaller proportion of our household budget on food than ever before and still the consumer wants more for less.

When we sell lambs to factory we do so at the same price they were at 20 years ago - is there anyone else operating at the income of 20 years ago with the outgoings and overheads of 2008? No. Those people go to the wall.

If economics and the Economist say that we should decimate our chief natural resource (the one we've left), its workforce and the ancillary industries because it's going to make poor people richer, I beg to differ. It won't. It will make companies and middlemen richer and instead of having farmers working for nothing in the developing world alone, we'll have them doing the same in the once-developed world.

Quote :
It is terrible for poor-country farmers, who have long suffered from being shut out of rich-world markets, and having rich-world products dumped on them.


Agreed. But reducing Irish and European farmers to 'poor country' level is going to help who, exactly?

What people forget is that our 'rich world' market has obligatory standards within which farmers have to work. So if the people of Europe decide that they no longer want food that's traceable farm to fork, that they can live with endemic foot and mouth and find that angeldust enhances the natural flavour of their beef, then we can drop all the restrictions that are currently on Irish and European farmers and open the gates.

Quote :
This is bad news for European consumers and taxpayers, who were promised a proper debate on CAP
reform later this year. They will have to continue paying (€55 billion
last year) for this wasteful and wicked system. It is terrible for
poor-country farmers

The EU spent apparently between 60 and 80bn on arms last year and that hasn't improved my quality of life one whit. When are we planning to have that debate? I've heard the figure at a number of Lisbon discussions - no one has disputed it.

Quote :
Without public cash, they said, farmers would desert
the land, leaving meadows to brambly ruin. Now that the world is
running short of food, the farm lobby has deftly changed tack. Prices for many crops are at record highs, the new line goes, and rich countries need to protect their farmers in order to ensure that their people get fed.

I imagine that the argument was that without prices that reflect the EU standard of living, farmers would do something else with their land other than farm it, so for the sake of food security (which is what CAP was all about), we'll subvent farm incomes.

Prices for crops were high last year - prices for inputs this year are astronomical. Last year was a lucky year. This year our fertiliser cost 40 E a tonne more than last year. Diesel has gone up as has the cost of a pile of other inputs.

And Edo, apart from all that, it's a shit article. There's little sourcing and it's deliberately provocative and biased. It also ignores anything to do with, em, farming.
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