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Today's conservative paradox comes to us from this morning's Houston Chronicle

It is not the searing Texas heat, stink bugs or threat of sheath blight worrying rice growers Linda and L.G. Raun. As they gaze over the 1,000 acres of submerged plantings on their farm outside El Campo, Texas, the Rauns are less anxious about natural disasters than what they view as a man-made one brewing 1,400 miles away on Capitol Hill: the farm bill before the US Senate.

"Most farmers are very conservative people," said Linda Raun, whose husband L.G. is a third-generation rice farmer in Wharton County, southwest of Houston.

"We want to do our part in balancing the federal budget. But if you want to continue to have the most affordable, safest food in the world, we need a safety net or folks cannot continue to farm."

OK. Let’s stop here for a moment. As a Progressive, I will be the first to admit that just don’t get what makes conservatives tick. I study them as I would any other alien species, but all I get for my troubles is a splitting headache.

When I think about agriculture, I think about conserving our precious and dwindling prime farmland, using only the necessary amounts of water, fertilizer, and pesticides, and ensuring that farming practices are carried out in a manner that protects the surrounding and underlying environment, now and in the future.

But when Linda Raun says that

“Most farmers are very conservative people”,

she probably has something quite different in mind.  Politically conservative folks believe that:

The Federal government should play as small a role in their lives as possible. Free markets, unfettered by government intervention and regulation, offer the best environment in which to create jobs and wealth. Business owners like L.G. and Linda know how to run their farm; they don't need the government's help.

Or do they?

Follow along below the logic gap for the rest of the story...

In Washington, the farm bill is a quadrennial ritual in which lawmakers scramble to protect home-state agricultural interests.
In other words: our top priority is cutting spending... right after we take care of the folks back home who sent us here to cut spending. Then we can cut spending on everyone else's pet projects.
The politics of farming cuts against the grain of partisanship in Washington. The Senate bill is the result of a compromise between Democrats and Republicans and would save $23 billion over 10 years by switching from direct payments to greater reliance on crop insurance and trimming $4.5 billion by revising the formula for receiving food stamps, a USDA program.

Some conservatives such as Texas Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, whose district includes Wharton County, are hostile to any agricultural subsidy. But the dividing line in Congress is less about conservatives vs. liberals than major farm interests based in the Midwest - corn, soybeans and wheat - against those in the South such as rice and peanuts.

"We believe the Senate bill was written for two or three crops and one region of the country,'' said Reece Langley, head of government affairs for the USA Rice Federation. "Rice is losing more than any other crop."

In other words, rice growers claim, we're the real victims here. Like the Rodney Dangerfield of agriculture, southern rice farmers get no respect.
Langley and other rice advocates say that while these programs work well for big soybean, corn and wheat farmers - who enjoy high prices and a federal ethanol mandate for corn, but are more exposed to the vagaries of natural disasters - they don't help rice farmers as much.

Because most rice fields customarily are flooded with underground water, they can be less vulnerable to natural disasters.

Compared with other commodities, prices for rice are modest and more subject to fluctuations of the world market.

"Price is our largest risk," Langley said, noting the U.S. produces only 2 percent of the world's rice. "We haven't had high prices like other crops, so if you have five years of low prices and low yields or both, it's going to bring down your level of protection."

Well, so much for those awesome free markets that the conservatives love so much.  
Rice farmers are calling for federal payments triggered when prices hit a floor of $13.98 per hundredweight - up from $10.50 under the current direct payment system.

Opponents say such supports would distort commodities markets and make farmers more reliant on government, not less.

Well, that can't be good, especially for conservative farming folks like L.G. and Linda. Reliance on the federal government is just plain wrong, unless of course it's a matter of maintaining a family business and making money. They it's just the way things work. Sure, we have to balance the federal budget, right after we deposit the check.
For Linda and L.G. Raun, the cost of production is $1,100 per acre.

With the price of rice now at $13.50 per hundredweight, "we are right at our budgeted break-even," Linda Raun said. "Under the proposed Senate plan, if prices stay where they are or if they decline, our operation stands to lose substantially."

She realizes things could be a lot worse. Because of the drought that plagued Texas last year, the Lower Colorado River Authority cut off water to rice farmers. As a result, overall acreage under cultivation this year is down by a third. The Rauns pump water from underground.

Linda Raun, who concludes emails with "have a rice day," remains confident.

"This year, the crops look beautiful,'' she said. "We are hoping for a good yield and a good resolution in D.C."

So, as Linda reminds us:
"if you want to continue to have the most affordable, safest food in the world, we need a safety net or folks cannot continue to farm."
Or in other words: keep those checks coming and nobody gets hurt. Why, that almost sounds like something you'd write on a ransom note.

Maybe I should look into this whole subsidy thing myself. I just lost my job, and I'm starting my own business. If I can make a go of it, great. Otherwise, maybe I can get my congressman to sponsor legislation to subsidize my operations. Maybe he'll overlook my Democratic voting record and cut me some slack.

[Note: the poll question should read "Why do people like this consider themselves to be Conservatives?"]

Originally posted to cassandracarolina's fossil record on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

Poll

Why do people like this consider themselves to be

0%1 votes
48%53 votes
6%7 votes
4%5 votes
14%16 votes
20%22 votes
4%5 votes

| 109 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The history of farming and conservatism is (4+ / 0-)

    very interesting. I know many farmers who are conservative but rather independent when it comes to voting.

    As far as gov't support and farming, since the guys I know are in "minor crops"and get very little support from gov't, they tend to look askance at grain subsidies, though most understand it's a system that served a useful purpose at one time.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:29:37 AM PDT

  •  It's a great point (5+ / 0-)

    These family farms are systematically taken over by big ag. They are driven out of business or forced to use Monsanto seed.

    Why they would want to promote the republican culture of oppression by corporations is beyond me. I'll never get it.

    While many minority groups are the target for discrimination, few face this hostility without the support and acceptance of their family as do many glbt youth.

    by azrefugee on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:46:49 AM PDT

    •  It's paradoxical (0+ / 0-)

      and your point about oppression by corporations (who are really becoming our government, based on their infusion of billions of dollars) is a very perplexing one.

      Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:57:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It would be interesting to ask them. Maybe they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina

      don't see the landscape the way we do here. The growers I know (again NE small to mid sized family farms) while of course competing against industrial farming elsewhere, tend not to see that as their biggest problem. They are more concerned with gov't regulations, production loan interest rates, issues like workers comp, farm worker advocate calls for overtime pay, and the growing paperwork load just to stay in business.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  depends on how big the farm is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the fan man, cassandracarolina

        for a family living on land their ag operation won't quite pay for (i.e. somebody needs a job in town to keep the mortgage paid) ... it's a trap...

        LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:57:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're VERY fortunate to have a population (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cassandracarolina, BlackSheep1

          able and willing to pay the freight to keep farmers in business. Yes, many farmers need some family member working "in town", mainly for health benefits, as well as additional income. The NY Hudson Valley should be a model for what ag could look like.

          Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

          by the fan man on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:59:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Poll: because they are conservative (4+ / 0-)

    in the most traditional sense of the word; wanting to continue to live as they and their family have always lived. On a farm, growing crops.

    So since Federal money helps them do that, they welcome the Federal money. It preserves their traditional way of life.

    If you think of them as being somewhat similar to native people wanting to continue to harvest from the salmon run up the river through their ancestral lands they start to make sense.

    Their failing is in not seeing that the money that maintains their traditional way of life is needed more elsewhere.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:49:27 AM PDT

    •  I agree, blue aardvark (4+ / 0-)

      but before I moved to Texas, I lived in a small town in New Hampshire that was home to many family farms. Those folks, unable to secure the big ag money, faced the heartbreaking choice of continued harscrabble existence and passing the farm down to the next generation, or realizing that they couldn't compete against the big factory farms and selling their land to developers.

      Farmers and ranchers here in Texas faced similar heartbreaking choices during the drought last year. Unlike L.G. and Linda, some don't have the option of "free" groundwater for their crops and livestock.

      When I imagine the pain of giving up a family business that has been the only way of life for generations, it irks me all the more that if you can farm at a big enough scale, the government can protect you from your downside risks.

      Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:56:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If they changed the farm subsidies (7+ / 0-)

        so that they only went to farms under a certain size (with real protections against corporations dividing big farms into small ones) they'd be a lot easier to chew.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:57:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd be okay with that (5+ / 0-)

          but I imagine that the folks who run small family farms can't afford lobbyists.

          There are plenty of government programs that could give small businesses a leg up for say, three years. After that, the only government aid would be for disaster relief.

          When I think of corporations getting farm subsidies to grow tobacco while simultaneously paying health care benefits for people with emphysema, I think we've lost our collective minds.

          Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:02:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But It Doesn't Have to Be Zero Sum, the Fact That (3+ / 0-)

      money is needed elsewhere doesn't mean that we don't need programs that prevent famine, which is the ultimate purpose of farm protections. A few bumper years and the prices fall too low for many of the farmers, then a bad year comes along and in a few weeks there's an existential crisis for society.

      If the rich individuals and businesses are taxed and regulated in the proper compressive way, most of the wealth of the country is not tied up in their coffers as it wasn't during the prime of the New Deal Anomaly, and there's a money enough to afford a full-featured healthy civilization.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:36:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget about cognitive dissonance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, cassandracarolina

      They don't see a connection between farm subsidies and other government programs, especially those that help the poor. Moreover, they don't see how they've become dependent on government subsidies while criticizing people on unemployment, welfare, WIC, etc.

      •  There's got to be a harsher term for this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, Diana in NoVa

        than cognitive dissonance, which evokes an orchestra tuning up or some other annoying phenomenon that's only temporary.

        This kind of idiocy is deep seated and permanent.

        Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:17:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find the term apt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cassandracarolina

          It calls up an image of thoughts smashing into each other like the violins in B-flat and the horns in C-sharp.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 12:55:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They feel they deserve it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina

        because they work hard. they don't think that folks on welfare work hard.

        •  I think you're right about that (0+ / 0-)

          but think of all the non-agricultural lines of work where people are adversely affected by natural disasters and financial perils, and they have no recourse at all other than going on unemployment if they lose their jobs altogether.

          Those people work hard, but aren't eligible for subsidies.

          I doubt that the farmers think much of them either.

          Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:51:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Needed more elsewhere? Maybe, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina

      They are raising food to feed the world. That's pretty darned important, by my estimation.

      It's true that Big Agribusiness is making tpp much money from subsidies and that situation should be relieved, but without some form of price supports for smaller farmers (who may farm up to thousands of acres but are still plenty small compared to the biggies, and most land is rented and they are heavily in debt), they would go under.

      Although I'm not a farmer myself, I work with them and know the  paperwork they must go through to get subsidies. There are many, however, who do not get or seek government help, such as the Amish and small "boutique" farmers. There are movements toward organic and other kinds of specialty farms that are not included in the big picture just yet, but are being noticed.

      But those (very) small farmers cannot feed the world, at least not at this point. So we need either price supports or subsidies to keep the big crops going. But I don't think we need to subsidize the huge middlemen so much that individual farmers are the last in the chain.

      I've grown to really respect the very long hours put in and the nearly thankless work that farmers do. When I try to contact them in my job, many are at work in off-farm jobs, but still come home and work the farm late into the night. You have to really admire their wish to keep farming, against the odds, just for the love of the land.

      Now if only consumers would realize that their food didn't just come "from the grocery store"....

  •  Because they're idiots and probably feed into the (4+ / 0-)

    whole bible thumping thing. Betcha they go to church every Sunday and think that that washes away the sins of the past 7 days.

    These are people who (like all other bible thumping, teabagging, family values (whatever those are) idiots) believe: I've got mine, so screw you.

  •  $1100 an acre?! (4+ / 0-)

    That's insane. Rice has been grown quite successfully using simple methods. What they're saying is "using expensive, modern equipment that lets you try to grow rice in freaking Texas" costs $1100 an acre. The answer to that is not in a farm bill. It's in:

    A) using simpler methods, usable if you
    B) don't try to be a rice farmer in a place like Texas.

    I'd try next door in Louisiana, a place which, I know from my youth, does not have a lot of problems with dry ground. Southern Louisiana may be one of the most Vietnam-y in America. Seems like a better place to grow rice than outside of Houston, for Jiminy's sake.

    "Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage." - H. L. Mencken

    by Jaxpagan on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:23:32 AM PDT

    •  Jaxpagan, I'm with you, buddy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina

      I spent my peacetime tour at Barksdale, aka Western Vietnam.
      That's North Louisiana / South Arkansas, but it's so wet there rice grows wild.

      LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:59:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have you seen the film King Corn? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, marina

    Same story.  I was amazed to see how heavily corn production is subsidized.  The outcome is a cheap resource for all kinds of products made out of corn, including the high fructose corn syrup that makes processed food so profitable.

    We pay for these profits in so many ways.

  •  They Don't Want Their Taxes Spent On THOSSSSE (4+ / 0-)

    people.

    I live in an older rustbelt suburb that was formally segregated in my youth. There are many similar towns and villages around here, and it's quite normal for taxes to be fairly high even in lower to middle middle-class income area. My town's median is exactly the US median income and it has no megamansion section. This was heavily blue collar back in the day.

    Working and middle class people have been happy to pay their taxes and they continue to be, and they like their services. They like the streets plowed from the minute snow begins to fall, they like prompt garbage and recycling pickups, lots of well maintained parks, well maintained streets, zoning and law enforcement, good schools and more.

    The town is now integrated both black/white and also with the various immigrant demographics that have become part of the American fabric over the decades. But there aren't geographic concentrations anywhere, and there's no poverty section of town. So the still-white majority can't be goaded into feeling that they're spending on "thossssse" people, and the taxes and services remain well supported this year.

    Conservatives just don't like minorities and they don't like the poor, and they don't want their society lifting a finger for either.

    Spending on people like themselves? That's only proper.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:33:09 AM PDT

  •  RepubliSchnorers (2+ / 0-)

    A schnorer is a Yiddish word for someone who always has their hand out. A schnorer wastes no opportunity to get free money or food or both. And a schnorer will chastize you for not giving him enough free shit.

  •  I heard the same on NPR on Thursday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    I was astounded by people expecting government handouts and acting that they were entitled to them.  I'd love to have some sort of "livelihood" insurance like they were demanding.  I'm going to get laid off next month and go from $1500/ week to $300.  I'd be nice to get a decent sized check from the feds instead of a piddly one from the railroads.

    As to the mindset, it really is "I deserve it", "they don't".  My MIL owned (95%) an electrical contracting business for 20 years.  She did very well on government contracts; military, fedDOT, TexasDOT, FAA under the minority / woman owned business set asides.  Refused to admit that she'd gotten any special treatment, it was all her hard work and perseverance.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:16:34 AM PDT

    •  I love your term "livelihood insurance" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markdd, Diana in NoVa

      Many people have suggested to me over the years that I incorporate as a woman-owned business because I could get plenty of goverment "set aside" work. I worked with lots of minority- and woman-owned businesses over the years, and some were great, but others could never have survived competing in the open market.

      My opinion is that if peope go that route, they should have three years maximum of government help. After that, they should be able to compete, or they should close up shop.

      I refused to go that route because I don't consider myself "disadvantaged". I have had a great career (despite being laid off this month), and when I start my businesses, I want to know that I won every bit of work fair and square because clients recognize the value I bring.

      Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:24:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pardon me for intruding, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, BlackSheep1

        but what line of work are you in?

        MIL's business went belly up in 2008.  Not sure why, but it has been ugly (makes me glad I'm 2500 mi away).  They'd had a number of contracts (3-5 years+) at DFW airport redoing runway and ramp lighting.  Did a lot of remodeling in the terminal buildings.  They opened a whole division to deal with highway lighting, may have even added some level of road construction business.  She'd gotten her start as part of a large, $100 million?, push at GDFW.  At one time she had over 100 employees, mostly electricians.  My FIL supported the family as an IBEW electrician for most of his adult life, but she hated unions with a passion.

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:12:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm involved in scientific consulting (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markdd, wilderness voice

          I do know quite a few female colleagues who've taken advantage of the woman-owned business set-aside program.

          I'm a college-educate, professionally licensed person with over 35 years of experience with proven technical and management skills and great references. I don't feel "disadvantaged" simply because of my gender and I have always enjoyed being able to compete based on my abilities and the relationships I've nurtured with clients.

          Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:22:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, curiosity and cat problem (2+ / 0-)

            Based on your poetry, I'm certainly impressed with how your mind works.  However, I know nothing about the world of scientific consulting, so I'll wish you good luck in your job search as I continue mine.

            “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

            by markdd on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:59:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  because they believe if they don't vote R (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    they go to hell.

    My explanation for your poll. (Also, deep thinking isn't their thing.)

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:20:40 AM PDT

  •  We are overlooking the impact on the world's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    agricultural system. many rice farmers in poor countries have been wiped out by the dumping of subsidized American rice in their markets. These countries are forced to take surplus, subsidized rice in the name of free trade and are not allowed to protect their own farmers. Which escalates poverty. The same thing happened in the cultivation of sugar care and sugar beets. The American subsidized HFCS based sugars wiped out farmers in Asia, South America and Europe. We subsidize our farmers but other countries are not allowed to subsidize their farmers because of free trade treaties.

    Price supports for farmers is an issue as old as farming itself. Farmers seek price supports to ease their worries and protect their way of life. But these surplus crops end up being dumped in markets whose native farmers have no protection. And we here in the US do not really care about the impact that our agricultural policy has on the rest of the world. Which then is one more grievance that others have against the US.

    •  kmackle, thank you for this global view (0+ / 0-)

      because this is one area where if anything, we should be helping the interests of farmers in poor countries, not driving them further into despair.

      Perhaps if we took all te money spent propping up our already viable farming businesses here and spent more in international aid... Oh, wait. Sorry. That's not "conservative".

      Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:27:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  heard someone grew 15 lbs of rice in a kiddie pool (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    And that it wasn't even that hard, if only because of the small scale.

    How many cups (cooked) is that?  Unless you live in South/East Asia, how many people could that feed?

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:37:07 AM PDT

    •  A quick google suggests ... (3+ / 0-)

      ... that an uncooked cup of rice weights around 7 ounces.  Thus 15 pounds would be about 34 cups.  When I cook rice, I cook one cup, which lasts me maybe two or three days; so maybe two and a half days.  So perhaps as a part of one's daily diet, 15 pounds might feed one person, very roughly, 85 days.  Or put another way, to feed oneself for a year would take 4.3 kiddie pools.

      Interestingly, another quick google finds that this is a topic of discussion among people who see our governments and economic institutions failing us, and are therefore looking at the requirements for feeding ourselves if and/or when the economy collapses.  And a quick glance at said discussions suggests an average of 200 pounds of rice per person per year.

      And another search suggests that commercially in the US in a good year a square foot will yield about 1.36 pounds of rice.  Thus if we assume 200 pounds per per person per year, that would be 272 square feet (using large scale commercial methods).

      [Note: the above is "not intended to be a factual statement" and therefore, while it may be highly inaccurate or misleading, it does rise above the standard for speech on the floor of congress and inclusion in the congressional record of the United States]

      •  to what extent does that assume other foods? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina

        There are people in the world who eat very little other than rice, while most Americans probably eat a cup of cooked rice with dinner every now and then.

        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

        by Visceral on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 03:04:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm guessing that the 200 pounds ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cassandracarolina

          ... is looking at rice as a daily staple.  I found it within the context of discussions among people who are looking at gardening as a way to provide all of their food.  Thus I would imagine that supplementing the rice would be beans, which are also easily stored, vegetables, some of which would be stored to some degree, and some fresh in season, and fruit and nut trees.  My guess is that rice was being discussed as something that would be an easier staple to grow and prepare than wheat.  But I'm just guessing; it was a quick google, and I am no expert on gardening.

  •  Here's a list of Wharton County rice subsidy (2+ / 0-)

    recipients named Raun from the EWG Farm Subsidy database, derived from public subsidy records:

    keep those checks coming
    That's our tax money they are getting paid with, and this is just one farm subsidy program among many.
    And I'll bet most all of them are staunch Repukes, probably even teabaggers by now.
    Rice Subsidies** in Wharton County, Texas totaled $324 million from 1995-2010.
    Total of $568 million in subsidies 1995-2010.
    $488 million in commodity subsidies.
    $51.0 million in crop insurance subsidies.
    $1.44 million in conservation subsidies.
    $27.7 million in disaster subsidies.

    This is just ONE medium sized, low density population, Texas county's ag/grower haul of US Federal government subsidy money (paid by we taxpayers). Texas has 254 counties, and those other states have a bunch too.

    Next time you hear about SS/Medicare/welfare queens bleeding us dry from a Teabagger, point out to them the Real American welfare kings:
    The Ag Biz
     (and they sure try to stay below the radar as far as their neighbors knowing how much they are benefiting from US gubmint largess); we won't even mention the MIC, etc., here.

    I used to wonder how many of my rural neighbors could always drive new vehicles, build nice homes, take fancy vacations, etc., then I found the EWG database years ago and knew how.

    EWG Farm Subsidy Database
    Individual Subsidy Recipients 1 to 16 of 16 in Texas
    Last Name: RAUN
    Rank    Name    Location    Subsidy Total  for 1995-2010
    1    Timothy Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 1,243,907.92
    2    Richard Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 913,683.16
    3    Norris M Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 538,438.93
    4    Lowell Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 503,910.92
    5    Lowell Raun Jr    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 225,131.05
    6    Linda Clapp Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 212,119.08
    7    Travis Raun    Wharton, TX 77488    $ 144,589.95
    8    Betty Schramm Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 1,690.19
    9    Layton R Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    $ 809.00
    10    Kimberly Y Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    Farm Owner
    11    Amelia T Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    Farm Owner
    12    Scott Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    Farm Owner
    13    Jo Ann Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    Farm Owner
    14    Rachel Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    Farm Owner
    15    Lance Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    Farm Owner
    16    Russell Raun    El Campo, TX 77437    Farm Owner

    USA! USA! USA!

    "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

    by Bluefin on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:13:51 AM PDT

    •  Holy cow, Bluefin! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      This ain't chump change! Thanks for researching and reporting on this.

      I'm just glad that much of the Lone Star State is utterly unsuitable for rice farming; it's really only in the east where conditions mimic those of Louisiana in terms of rainfall, shallow water table, and soils where this sort of large-scale shake-down of the federal government for rice subsidies could occur.

      All these people are "conserving" is a way of life that pays very very well indeed.

      They may wish that they'd stayed off the front page of today's Houston Chronicle.

      Thanks for this excellent and infuriating comment!

      Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:22:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  cc, that was just rice for one county. Use the EWG (2+ / 0-)

        Farm Subsidy Database for the other crops in other counties and states and it is mindboggling to see how much TAX money is disbursed. And the states/counties that receive the most free gubmint ag money tend to be the reddest, most Repuke places.

        As far as rice farming in TX, somebody upthread commented, but there is a real precipitation dividing line between Houston/Eastern TX and points West.
        I used to commute often in/out of the Houston area from both the Valley and San Antonio areas, and we could be burning up with drought at home, and when you crossed that precip line going towards Houston it would turn lush and green (usually, not that Houston has never gotten dry).
        I've been watching lots of rain to the east on the NOAA radars the last few months, but we are still having a bad drought over here just a few miles west.
        The precip divider seems to be around Schulenburg on I-10, Edna on Hwy 59.

        "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

        by Bluefin on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:43:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even when the rain doesn't fall (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice

          L.G. and Linda can just pump their free groundwater, so it's all good. They've essentially controlled what would normally be the #1 risk in agriculture. Now they can get the government to control their downside financial risks.

          Who among us couldn't survive in a small business with that kind of ironclad safety net?

          Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:49:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's all about 'Privatizing the Profits, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wilderness voice

            Socializing the Losses/Risk", always has been for the 1-5%'ers...
            I've been a SOB on these type issues since before there were any proto-teabaggers, but no matter how you might refute them, they do not get it.
            Sorry to hear about your layoff, hope it wasn't influenced by your politics.
            At least things are still booming around here, San Antonio/Austin even more than Houston. All this talk about real estate cratering elsewhere and RE market and tax valuations around here are still going up 5-10% per year.

            "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

            by Bluefin on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 12:10:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right about Texas booming (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1
              Sorry to hear about your layoff, hope it wasn't influenced by your politics.
              If my politics affected my employment, I'd have been gone decades ago ;-)

              The event is much more traceable to Bain, who provides "management consulting" services to the global corporation that laid me off along with many others.

              Unsurprisingly, Bain's previous advice hasn't led them to the financial Promised Land, so their advice now? Fling more people into the volcano. While things were going fine in their Texas operations, the pain must be shared by all.

              It's about the only "fix" they know and as you can imagine, it's not working.

              Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

              by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 02:40:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Donations by the Rauns per Open Secrets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    A page showing political contributions by the Rauns per a search on Open Secrets is here.

  •  OMG, Cassandra, this diary is spot-on! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    To wit:  my cousin's family in Texas is Very Conservative.  They just hate the federal gummint.  They think it's wrong to hand out welfare to "lazy people who don't want to work."

    BUT--the federal government paid my cousin's uncle not to grow crops on his four farms!  If he had, it would have meant the market was glutted with some crop or other--can't remember whether it was cotton or what.

    My conservative stockbroker uncle in Dallas votes Republican, BUT--he went to college on the G.I. Bill, another "government handout."

    You spoke truly when you said:

    Reliance on the federal government is just plain wrong, unless of course it's a matter of maintaining a family business and making money.
    Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:16:26 PM PDT

    •  It makes my head hurt, Diana! (0+ / 0-)

      These people really

      DO
      NOT
      GET IT

      Don't their payments from the gummint say that they are paid out of the US Treasury?

      Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 05:02:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd say if the land idled went into CRP (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina

        that was a better deal than continuing to run highly-erodible plots under cultivation.

        But I live in Texas and I've seen what wind erosion does, and we're learning to call them haboubs here (used to just be sandstorms).

        LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:05:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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