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Why do we subsidise farming?


Amnesiac

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Oct 27, 2011
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Irish farming relies heavily on state support in the form of subsidies and barriers to international trade. Irish farming receives in the region of €1.5-2bn annually. The Common Agricultural Policy makes up more than 40% of the budget of the EU. Is this a sensible policy for Ireland and other European countries to continue with?

Consumers pay more for food than would be the case without state restrictions on trade. Consumers also have to pay for the income supports farmers receive. Why?

Everyone's favourite right-wing, free-market-loving villain, Paul Krugman, has referred to U.S. farm subsidies as "grotesque". It doesn't make sense from an economic point of view to keep supporting the farming industry. How can the enormous cost of these programs be justified?

What are your thoughts on this issue?
 


neiphin

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ffs
 

Shqiptar

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Food security does matter. We can't be too dependent on imported foodstuffs. We can't live on gold or euros or software or Viagra pills.
 

Honecker

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The CAP payments essentially represent a transfer of money away from urban workers to big farmers. Of course you're not allowed say this in Ireland. We have to pretend the CAP is great.
 

Honecker

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Food security does matter. We can't be too dependent on imported foodstuffs. We can't live on gold or euros or software or Viagra pills.
So paying farmers not to produce food is good for our food security? Interesting theory that.
 

Twin Towers

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I think the idea is to keep Europe producing it's own food and not exporting it's agriculture in the way it has it's manufacturing although most of the money seems to be finding it's way to the biggest landowners.
 

Nermal

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Food security does matter. We can't be too dependent on imported foodstuffs. We can't live on gold or euros or software or Viagra pills.
We achieve security of supply through trading. The CAP is welfare, nothing more.
 

parentheses

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You have to have some understanding of european history.

Food security mattered to the european nations because they could never depend on overseas supplies. They had to be self sufficient. Britian could have a free trade policy because it controlled the oceans and could always import food.

For example Germany was food blockaded even after the end of world war I causing famine. Naturally self sufficientcy in food appealed to the european nations
 

patfitzbally

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I think the idea is to keep Europe producing it's own food and not exporting it's agriculture in the way it has it's manufacturing although most of the money seems to be finding it's way to the biggest landowners.
so it wants to sell Africa cars but not buy their agicultural produce
 

Harmonica

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I have always been interested how they decide which food to subsidise. I may be incorrect but I believe meat is subsidised but not market gardening? I like meat as much as the next person but it does not appear we get value for money - billions are spent subsidising directly & indirectly yet food safety scandals are a regular occurence. I don't remember the last time we had a scandal about contaminated tomato or lettuce.
 

Shqiptar

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So paying farmers not to produce food is good for our food security? Interesting theory that.
How many farmers get that out of the total?
 

Twin Towers

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so it wants to sell Africa cars but not buy their agicultural produce
Every country should strive to be self sufficient in food at least. Ireland is in a better position than most. Btw, do they make cars in Africa, don't think so.
 

Shqiptar

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We achieve security of supply through trading. The CAP is welfare, nothing more.
And how secure would that be when the next big international crisis hits? I mean a real crisis, something significantly higher on the Squeaky Posterior Index than that wee kerfuffle over the 9/11 attacks.

Europeans.....we've gone 70 years without a major war and we think it'll last for ever. :?
 

Shqiptar

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I have always been interested how they decide which food to subsidise. I may be incorrect but I believe meat is subsidised but not market gardening? I like meat as much as the next person but it does not appear we get value for money - billions are spent subsidising directly & indirectly yet food safety scandals are a regular occurence. I don't remember the last time we had a scandal about contaminated tomato or lettuce.
I disagree with the amount of subsidy devoted to meat. It's a very poor return considering the amount of land needed and some of the people in the production chain are as crooked as a road in west Cavan. I wouldn't trust them with yesterday's newspaper.
 

Mad as Fish

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I have always been interested how they decide which food to subsidise. I may be incorrect but I believe meat is subsidised but not market gardening? I like meat as much as the next person but it does not appear we get value for money - billions are spent subsidising directly & indirectly yet food safety scandals are a regular occurence. I don't remember the last time we had a scandal about contaminated tomato or lettuce.
It is subsidised indirectly through grain.
 

Mad as Fish

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Every country should strive to be self sufficient in food at least. Ireland is in a better position than most. Btw, do they make cars in Africa, don't think so.

Well Renault are busy in Morocco and Ford and Land Rover produce vehicles down the other end in South Africa.
 

devoutcapitalist

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well in ireland the cap is still in place as both fg and ff would lose a lot of votes if it was scrapped. The cap should be abolished but the political willpower isn't there to abolish such a grotesque handout scam.
 

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