U.S. Can Make A Difference At G-8 On World Hunger

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by JimofPennsylvan, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. JimofPennsylvan
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    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

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    One major agenda item for next week’s G-8 summit in Japan is what to do about the commodity price crisis facing the world especially in so far as it pertains to non-wealthy nations across the globe having trouble feeding their people. The U.S. has a real opportunity here to demonstrate to the world it takes this problem seriously and is committed to backing up its words with deeds. The opportunity here is to not let the world lose millions of acres of crop land this year that currently looks lost because of the recent Midwest flooding and so not let the world lose the millions of bushels of corn and soybeans this land could produce. As it stands now many experts expect large numbers of Midwest farmers to just call it a year and not replant, just take their flood insurance money and cut their losses; such an outcome would not be good at all for the world’s commodity needs. The U.S. should put forth a bold and aggressive plan to reclaim this land for crop production this year.

    Why doesn’t the U.S. government initiate a program where it will give each Midwest farmer whose crop land was lost through the recent flooding a grant of one dollar for each two dollars that Midwest farmer puts into repairing, reseeding, refertilizing and repesticizing that farmer’s crop land. This program would be a grant program not a loan program, participating Midwest farmers would not have to pay the monies received back to the government. This type of program would be a program that Midwest farmers could not pass up on with the almost guaranteed high commodity prices farmers will be getting for the crops they produce this year and the government with this program picking up a third of the cost in replanting. This type of program would practically guarantee that hundreds of thousands of acres of flooded Midwest farmland that would otherwise be lost for farming this year will be reclaimed for growing crops this year. The U.S. government should allocate $400 million dollars to this program; this figure is reasonable if one considers what this money could mean in terms of making it easier for non-wealthy nations to feed their people and avoiding some of the problems that will accompany populations in various countries throughout the world angry about the lack of food available to them or the unaffordable high prices of food available to them.

    The U.S. government could pay the $400 million dollar price tag for this program by selling some oil from our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), not much would be needed. Using a conservative figure, like $125 dollar for a barrel of oil, for how much the U.S. government could get for the oil it sells from SPR, the U.S. government would only have to sell
    3.2 million barrels of oil from SPR. Today, SPR has a total inventory of 706 million barrels of oil, a 3.2 million barrel reduction would only be a reduction of less than ½ of 1% of its inventory; the remaining inventory would be the same level of inventory which existed in April of this year (2008), this inventory reduction would not harm America. Moreover, this removal from oil from SPR would not set a bad precedent. The last time oil was removed from SPR was after Hurricane Katrina because of the damage from that hurricane, this would be a similar type of removal, it would be a removal because of an extraordinary natural disaster (flooding levels unseen in the Midwest for over a decade if not much longer) that poses significant harm to the country – if the world doesn’t get these commodity prices down the world could likely see serious public unrest throughout the world which could weaken or destabilize governments that are pro-democratic, pro-human rights and support the fight against terrorism, a scenario that would definitely harm the interests of America since for one reason America is often the principal target of terrorist groups.

    .
    This price tag of this program would not be out of line if one considers the costs the U.S. government will incur if there is widespread hunger in non-wealthy countries throughout the world this year. The American people won’t stand by while the U.S. government does nothing to alleviate that hunger. So if this hunger scenario occurs, the U.S. government will probably end up donating hundreds of millions of dollar to world food relief programs and it will probably end up utilizing its Air Force and Navy to bring food relief to these needy areas which will of course cost millions of dollars. So it is a situation like this for the U.S. government pay now or pay later.

    A program like this could bring about the replanting of 300,000 to 600,000 additional acres of Midwest farmland this year that would not have been replanted without this program and even with only a fifty percent of ordinary crop yield coming from these replanted acres, using conservative figures to factor in late in the season planting, the total bushels of corn and soybeans produced from these lands would be significant. If the replanting split was 20% corn and 80% soybean which makes sense because the planting season is later for soybean than corn the estimation on bushels produced from these replanted lands would be between 4.2 million and 8.4 million bushels of corn (ordinary corn yield =140 bushels/acre) and between 4.8 million and 9.6 million bushels of soybeans (ordinary soybean yield = 40 bushels/ acre). The world desperately needs these bushels especially for soybeans because American farmers have shifted their production mix away from soybeans toward corn because of ethanol production and the good prices it has generated for corn which is the feedstock for ethanol even though the world still has the same need for the soybean crop.

    Further, why doesn’t the Whitehouse come out with a major initiative besides this program which only addresses the financial assistance needs of Midwest farmers to help these farmers reclaim their land for farming this year? The White House could mobilize National Guard units across the nation to help these farmers. National Guard units across the nation regularly go on duty for two or three weeks during the summer. Why not change the work these guard units do this summer to helping Midwest farmers. Ask governors across the nation to allow their National Guard members to volunteer for duty for two to four weeks to help Midwest farmers. Why not ask the agricultural department to initiate a program across the nation to ask farmers across the nation to loan Midwest farmers their tractors to repair and replant their fields and the Agricultural Department would warranty to repair any damaged tractor. The National Guard units could be used to transport these tractors to the Midwest where Midwest farmers could use these tractors for repairing their fields. Such a comprehensive program as outlined above announced publicly before or at the upcoming G-8 conference would make America look good to not only other G-8 countries but also countries throughout the world.

    The U.S. government has other compelling reasons for implementing the above outlined initiatives to help Midwest farmers replant their fields. Many American families are experiencing real hardship when they buy groceries at the grocery store because of high food prices. These initiatives would be a meaningful step to try to stem food price increases thus providing relief to American families. The crop price increases being seen are hurting businesses throughout the food chain. They are hurting food processors or producers because it increases their costs which they can’t always pass on to their customers and they are hurting restaurant types of businesses for the same reason. In another direction, if the U.S. government could bring about a high percentage of Midwest farmers replanting their fields and the weather cooperates and these farmers can bring in a harvest this would inject significant amounts of money into these Midwest communities, from these Midwest farmers selling their crops at market, providing an economy boost to this region of our nation.

    Aggressive initiatives like proposed to help Midwest farmers replant makes sense from multiple perspectives. Let’s hope the U.S. government seizes the opportunity here to do some good. It would be a nice change from seeing major countries going to major world issue forums, like the G-8, and just doing the pointing the finger routine in the fashion of the problem is because of other countries don’t do this, that or the other things and we do good for this, that and the other reasons, otherwise known as the pathetic behavior routine.
     
  2. Taomon
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    Taomon Active Member

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    The US (The corporations, banks and politicians in their pockets...including Bush) does not care about people going hungry. They care only for the dollar.

    It is a cynical view, but it is the truth. Why do you think we have an oil cost issue and exploration issues? Because we obsolete the turbine engine but won't because oil is too profitable, regardless of what it does to our planet and to us.
     
  3. Swamp Fox
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    Swamp Fox Active Member

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    Why is the US the only country that can make a difference? WHy aren't some of the other countries in the world doing something? If this is such an important issue, why are they waiting for the US to take the lead and do something? Shouldn't they be doing something on their own?
     
  4. Gungnir
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    Gungnir Member

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    No one will loan out their tractor, the tractor insurance program will be a catastrophe, and the National Guardsmen won't be sufficiently trained in the Agricultural Sciences to be useful.

    I'm not sure that we shouldn't just let people starve and allow much of the third world to revert to a natural carrying capacity.

    Otherwise, I actually like your idea.
     
  5. Taomon
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    Taomon Active Member

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    Beca we control the banks.
     
  6. Charles_Main
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    Charles_Main AR15 Owner

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    Can somebody show me where in the Constitution it says we need to worry about feeding an ungreatful world? Why should we hand out food to a world who goes around bad mouthing us 24/7? Seems to me must of the world can't wait to see the US fall, I guess once were gone they will finally figure out how to feed themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    allow much of the third world to revert to a natural carrying capacity

    Ultimately that will be the answer to all our woes but unfortunately for now the ones who can get to America come here and decrease our natural carrying capacity.
     
  8. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Thank you for your input, Mr Scrooge.

    Give our regards to Mr. Malthus.
     
  9. Gungnir
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    Gungnir Member

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    I will since he was working off my post. Malthus had a good point, and I think it might do a world of good for them to go through such misery.


    And considering from our perspective alone;

    With 300 million people here and nearing 500 million people in Europe, I think its time to off load some of our population again, that only works when we depopulate a part of the world.
     
  10. Taomon
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    Taomon Active Member

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    Where in the Constitution does it say we should profit from misery?
     

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