What's new

Why are America’s farmers killing themselves?

Hamartia Antidote

ELITE MEMBER
Nov 17, 2013
24,082
24
17,315
Country
United States
Location
United States
oh brother
  1. Ecuador
  2. Mexico
  3. Malta <- WTF??? Malta only has a population of 500,000. Not possible.
  4. Singapore
  5. Luxembourg
  6. New Zealand
  7. Thailand
  8. Panama
  9. Canada
  10. Australia

4M expatriates and 17M population Ecuador is the top spot...hmm

It seems every site has a different list. This one seems a lot more logical than yours...


1. Mexico
762,290 Americans

2. Canada
270,217 Americans

3. United Kingdom
215,915 Americans

4. Germany
127,218 Americans

5. Australia
114,549 Americans

6. Israel
76,904 Americans

7. South Korea
67,819 Americans

8. France
59,356 Americans

9. Japan
56,321 Americans

10. Italy
54,184 Americans


Now of those 10 countries do you really believe more people from the US have moved there vs the other way around?????? Well other than Israel maybe.


BTW it just says they moved there. That doesn't mean they renounced their citizenship.

I don't think any people in those countries feel tricked by Hollywood. Other than Mexico they are all developed countries. I think they know what's what.
 
Last edited:

IbnAbdullah

FULL MEMBER
Jul 26, 2018
1,157
9
2,017
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Salaam

The OP article was very interesting. Unfortunately, the thread took a different turn.


Farming is very much a neglected field in Pakistan as well. The stresses of it are often ignored. The article states clearly that the problem isn't limited to the US. It is a global issue and for some reason it's just not given due attention.

Anyways, I'd have liked if this thread was used to discuss the actual subject matter and how one could learn from it and appply lessons here instead of whatever happened.
 

Hamartia Antidote

ELITE MEMBER
Nov 17, 2013
24,082
24
17,315
Country
United States
Location
United States
Salaam

The OP article was very interesting. Unfortunately, the thread took a different turn.


Farming is very much a neglected field in Pakistan as well. The stresses of it are often ignored. The article states clearly that the problem isn't limited to the US. It is a global issue and for some reason it's just not given due attention.

Anyways, I'd have liked if this thread was used to discuss the actual subject matter and how one could learn from it and appply lessons here instead of whatever happened.
Well I tried that but you can see with his reply below that he wasn't interested. He has a definite alternative agenda...and having a talk about farming wasn't one of them.

In other words, countries such as China and Pakistan have nothing to envy of the US.

BTW only 1.3% of the US population are farmers compared to pre-1880 (pre-electricity era) when the vast majority (~70%) of the population were farmers.
 
Last edited:

IbnAbdullah

FULL MEMBER
Jul 26, 2018
1,157
9
2,017
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Salaam

Well I tried that but you can see with his reply below that he wasn't interested. He has a definite alternative agenda...and having a talk about farming wasn't one of them.




BTW only 1.3% of the US population are farmers compared to pre-1880 (electricity era) when the vast majority (~70%) of the population were farmers.
All nations have weaknesses and strengths. The US has a bunch of problems as well, John Oliver in last week tonight highlights them rather well, I think.

However, I do understand that if the US were just filled with problems and nothing good, it wouldn't be where it is. Even if one assumes it is in decline, it still is far ahead of most and it would be unwise to think there is nothing to learn from it.

Regardless, back to agriculture.

I was watching some farm videos a while back and one US farmer mentioned something. He'd bought a Massey Ferguson 240 tractor, used. I think it was a 20 years old model or something. The price was somewhere in the range of $15-20000. It was very surprising for me considering the same tractor brand new cost like $7000 in Pakistan.

Same think with a lot of other farm machinery, it was very expensive. Let me give another example. A JD combine harvester costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars but if you buy a Chinese one it would cost a fraction of that.

I am actually curious about why tractors and such cost so much there. I can seem why farmers have to take massive loans to have their operation running.

I just checked and the wheat price in the US is lower than in Pakistan. Btw I know the average yield in the US for corn (and I assume it is true for other crops as well) is about 25-30% higher than Pakistan. So the techniques are certainly better.

So there is certainly much to learn from the US in terms of agriculture simply by the fact of their better yields.

Anyways, I was a bit saddened about the part mentioned where it said they couldn't secure the $18m funding for that helpline project. I hope things improve.
 

Hamartia Antidote

ELITE MEMBER
Nov 17, 2013
24,082
24
17,315
Country
United States
Location
United States
The price was somewhere in the range of $15-20000. It was very surprising for me considering the same tractor brand new cost like $7000 in Pakistan.
I'm going to take a wild guess as I think it may be the same issue with used cars. Most older cars are traded into auto dealers to discount the price of a new car. The dealers instead of reselling them all back to the public ship them overseas. This limits the used inventory forcing people to buy expensive new cars. They could be playing the same game with tractors.



BTW this line in the article tells the story
At $3.27 per bushel (60lb), Giessel says, “The grain I produce and harvest is my ‘currency’ and it is less than one-fifth of what it should be priced.”
Unfortunately for him "should be priced" is the same as all workers saying "this is what I should be paid". Unfortunately things don't work that way.
 
Last edited:

SalarHaqq

FULL MEMBER
Dec 29, 2019
861
2
1,907
Country
Belgium
Location
Netherlands
oh brother
  1. Ecuador
  2. Mexico
  3. Malta <- WTF??? Malta only has a population of 500,000. Not possible.
  4. Singapore
  5. Luxembourg
  6. New Zealand
  7. Thailand
  8. Panama
  9. Canada
  10. Australia

4M expatriates and 17M population Ecuador is the top spot...hmm

It seems every site has a different list. This one seems a lot more logical than yours...


1. Mexico
762,290 Americans

2. Canada
270,217 Americans

3. United Kingdom
215,915 Americans

4. Germany
127,218 Americans

5. Australia
114,549 Americans

6. Israel
76,904 Americans

7. South Korea
67,819 Americans

8. France
59,356 Americans

9. Japan
56,321 Americans

10. Italy
54,184 Americans
Well, next time you would gain by reading the source more carefully. There's a reason I quoted that particular excerpt from the webpage, namely that the rest is simply not relevant to the discussion at hand.

Indeed, what you copied above isn't the list of destinations American emigrants have actually chosen to settle at, but the results of a 2015 survey asking a limited number of people what their favorite country for emigration would be! As it reads: "In 2015, the most popular countries for expats of all nations to move to are"... And if you click on the featured hyperlink, things will become even clearer. Which is why Malta comes second despite having only 500.000 inhabitants.

Either way, the survey in question is beside the point. The point being simply that the number of emigrants from the US has more than doubled over the past 15 years, to reach an unprecedented 9 million people (4.1 million is the figure for 1999, today estimates put that number closer to 9 million).

Now of those 10 countries do you really believe more people from the US have moved there vs the other way around?????? Well other than Israel maybe.
When taking into account the fact that about half of those emigrants (on average) have left the USA during the past 15 years, then it becomes well possible that within this time frame, more Americans moved into some of these countries than the other way around.

But again, I fail to see how these statistical comparisons are supposed to invalidate my point. Your statement was that "hundreds of thousands move to the US" and that "if they aren't happy they can always leave but they don't". To which I replied, among other things, that the number of emigrants from the US has indeed been on an uninterrupted rise for the past two decades. Which is underscored by the figures I quoted.

BTW it just says they moved there. That doesn't mean they renounced their citizenship.
I never claimed that the source is saying they renounced their citizenship.

This is another topic for which statistics exist, and what they show is that this phenomenon too, although still very confined, has been strongly on the rise. In fact, between 2019 and 2020 the number of Americans who gave up their citizenship leaped by no less than a staggering 260%!


Please do not retort that 6.705 people is not a particularly large figure - I already acknowledged it twice, but what I also reminded everyone of, is that oftentimes social mass phenomena tend to start off modestly.

I don't think any people in those countries feel tricked by Hollywood. Other than Mexico they are all developed countries. I think they know what's what.
Because citizens of developed countries are less likely to be enticed by US soft power? I don't think so. Propaganda affects every nation, people aren't immune to it by virtue of their material wealth or their average education levels.

Well I tried that but you can see with his reply below that he wasn't interested. He has a definite alternative agenda...and having a talk about farming wasn't one of them.
The entire evolution of the discussion is visible to readers. And what happened is that ever since the opening post, all I've been doing is to respond to your follow-on comments. In other words, if someone has taken the discussion off track, it cannot be me.

In your first reply, you posted links to articles dealing with the situation of farmers in other countries, while commenting that this isn't unique to the US. When I highlighted what in fact makes the US quite unique with regards to the farming crisis it is experiencing (at least when compared to the two developing nations you cited), you engaged in some off-topic talk about Hollywood films and about my supposed place of residence, while accusing me of "envy" in post #6. In post #8 you went on about "my country" vs "your country", in addition to more ad hominems (including questionably discriminatory ones such as: "Until then you should be happy that you are third rate...better than an Asian fourth rate I guess" - but no offense taken). And finally refocused in post #10 on immigration into the US.
.

- - - - - - - - - -


Salaam

The OP article was very interesting. Unfortunately, the thread took a different turn.
Because a user felt the need to introduce international comparisons as well as other topics (such as Hollywood), when the thread intends to focus on the dire situation of US farmers in particular. At any rate, I'm genuinely glad you found the article interesting and thought-provoking.

The article states clearly that the problem isn't limited to the US. It is a global issue and for some reason it's just not given due attention.
True, however there are perhaps two important aspects to this which in my opinion should rather not be obfuscated:

1) Given the much superior amount of resources at its disposal, the US regime has far fewer excuses than the average developing nation (and even than the other developed ones) for allowing local farmers to suffer in such ways.

2) Where does the ultra-liberal economic model, along with its debt-based approach to growth, its constant reduction of supportive public policies, its dominance of financial institutions (and loan sharks), its promotion of oligopolies and monopolies over small businesses etc, originate and globally expand from, other than the US?

I believe these issues should be kept in mind, not least because they aren't completely unrelated to the fact that pressures on farmers have increased elsewhere too in recent decades.
 
Last edited:

jamahir

ELITE MEMBER
Jul 9, 2014
21,533
17
19,455
Country
India
Location
India
In India, more than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995.
The number is incorrect. Actually just between 1995 and 2017 more than 300,000 Indian farmers committed suicide. Most of these will be because of India's extremely capitalist socio-economic system.

About USA, taking vacations and taking up painting will not solve the problem of farmer suicides.

It's tough to be a small farmer here.
You are up against farms that are hundreds of km wide, fully mechanized, AND have multi-year contracts with large food wholesalers.
The remedial steps should be non-interest loans, possibly banks becoming temporary partners during the term of the loan and progressive agriculture such as Vertical Farming, Hydroponics, general Urban Farming and Collective Farming. Especially the last where small farms can combine labor and thus take on the large farms.

---

@Goenitz
 

Goenitz

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 28, 2014
4,368
1
5,161
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Vertical Farming, Hydroponics, general Urban Farming and Collective Farming
that should be first.... for that proper land allotment. However, bank always need profit. The govt should step in.. See the banking/islamic system of mortgage.
 

SalarHaqq

FULL MEMBER
Dec 29, 2019
861
2
1,907
Country
Belgium
Location
Netherlands
About USA, taking vacations and taking up painting will not solve the problem of farmer suicides.



The remedial steps should be non-interest loans, possibly banks becoming temporary partners during the term of the loan and progressive agriculture such as Vertical Farming, Hydroponics, general Urban Farming and Collective Farming. Especially the last where small farms can combine labor and thus take on the large farms.

---

@Goenitz
Very good proposals I believe. However, I would tend to be skeptical about the capitalist ruling elites of the US (the 1% oligarchy) acquiescing to these sorts of measures, such as non-interest loans (virtually the entire US economy, in practice, is running on usury) or collective farming capable of challenging the oligopolistic or monopolistic hegemony of major agro-industrial corporations, which represent sort of a "mafia" unto themselves, backed as they moreover are by their powerful lobbies (think unscrupulous industrial giants such as Monsanto-Bayer AG and the likes).

- - - - - - - - - -

However, bank always need profit. The govt should step in..
That's correct as well. A key factor, state intervention is a must. Provided there is sufficient political will to this effect within the US regime, which for the time being I can't discern.
 
Last edited:

jamahir

ELITE MEMBER
Jul 9, 2014
21,533
17
19,455
Country
India
Location
India
that should be first.... for that proper land allotment.
Agreed.

However, bank always need profit. The govt should step in..
Agreed. Hence items like housing and banking should be the job of the governing system. Additionally the bank should not exist to make profit but to give loans. Money is anyway an artificial construct.

See the banking/islamic system of mortgage.
I watched the first five minutes. His explanation was a bit complicated for me :D so can you write in a few points what he says ? But I agree that the Islamic economic system, whether it be about non-interest loans or about estate inheritance, is quite superior to the old or modern capitalist system.

And please read this proposal of mine for a new, simplified economic system.
 

Goenitz

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 28, 2014
4,368
1
5,161
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
I watched the first five minutes. His explanation was a bit complicated for me
Basically, the mortgage institute offers money to customer to buy houses. Say 100k contracts for 1 billion$. The customer will pay back 2 billion say in 20 years. So the institute will sell that 100k contract to another finance company or bank at 1.3 billion$, stating that the company/bank will get extra 0.7 billion$ but in 20 years. So this swapping continued until 2008 houses crisis occurred.

So bank only transact in money. Even they don't buy property and sell to customer. They are completely out of loop of buying goods//acuity.

So suppose, if bank give you mortgage about 200k on a house. You pay 50k in 2 years etc. But now, you cannot pay more so the bank is only interested in recovering its 150k. So it will sell at 150+, say at 155k. The bank will get its 150 and give you back 5k.

In Islamic system it cannot happen as the customer owns 25% share (after paying 50k). So the bank is forced to sell the house at 200k or more, as to recover its 150k (75%), it must sell it at that price. Else, both bank and the customer will be in loss..
And please read this proposal of mine
Read it before.
 
Last edited:

VCheng

ELITE MEMBER
Sep 29, 2010
40,789
55
34,746
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
I'm glad you are concerned more about my country than yours. Someday maybe your country will become important enough that others here will be concerned enough about it that they too will be scraping Google for articles to post. Until then you should be happy that you are third rate...better than an Asian fourth rate I guess.

You gotta love it when people are far more concerned about American ills and propose solutions for what the dumb Americans should or should not be doing, while ignoring their own plight, while pining to get here somehow, or benefiting from being a part of it themselves. If their proposed solutions are so potent, then how come their own countries cannot present a better way of doing things? It is easy to criticize, but very hard to present a better solution.

What they cannot comprehend is the sheer amount of persistent hard work with a well-designed system of checks and balances that lies behind the justified American confidence in the destiny of their nation.
 

Hamartia Antidote

ELITE MEMBER
Nov 17, 2013
24,082
24
17,315
Country
United States
Location
United States
The remedial steps should be non-interest loans, possibly banks becoming temporary partners during the term of the loan and progressive agriculture such as Vertical Farming, Hydroponics, general Urban Farming and Collective Farming. Especially the last where small farms can combine labor and thus take on the large farms.
Unfortunately just like the vacations and painting loans aren't going to solve their problems.

I already showed that quote where a farmer wanted the price of his product to be 5 times the going rate. That's great for him but not great for the rest of us. Not to sound mean but his line of thinking isn't much different than what OPEC does...and we all know who are the winners/losers in that.

There's all sorts of farm subsidies but then that leads to other countries crying foul over tariffs.

If people want a society of cheap food and nobody going hungry the little farmer is going to get really hurt.
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom