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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ramping up

One of the new Portland City Hall reporters for the O has wasted no time in starting blogging on the new beat. Amanda's already kissing up impressed.

Comments (12)

Can I volunteer eight hours of community service in lieu of paying the Madison/Nelson fine?

See labor theory of value.

Mr. Madison may already be on the government's list for farm subsidies. See the Environmental Working Group's info at this site

So let me get this straight...the city is paying them to grow it, and then paying them again when they (we) buy it?

Why is it that the transportation industry cannot do anything without a government subsidy?
Airlines, rail companies, oil companies, and now biofuels. Just once, I would like to see one of them stand on their own.

Oh, and this was good:

"From our pants to his plants"

New city slogan?

OK you left-of-Moscow do gooders Smell bad is turning green,Eco-freak, or is that lust of Governor? and Portland's favorite son, Blumie, was the deciding vote for Bush's secret free trade agreement, and if you like that you'll beside yourselves in that he voted to give big Agri-businesses their subsidy gotta love these dimmos.

Is this the subsidy package you (KISS) refer to?

From Congressman Blumenauer's press release on the subject:

Blumenauer Votes Against the 2007 Farm Bill

Washington, DC - Today Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) voted against the 2007 Farm Bill, which passed the House today. He issued the following statement:

"Today the U.S. House of Representatives missed an important opportunity to seriously reform the Farm Bill. Had we adopted the "Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment," which would have limited subsidies, supported smaller farmers and ranchers, and helped hungry people and the environment, my vote would have been different. It also would have provided Oregon with more than $133 million more than we would otherwise receive.

. . .."


As an Ag Econ (econ minor) I would prefer to differentiate federal level support programs. But I would tie it to the control of, and calculated-debasement of, the money supply and to export of food for geopolitical reasons, for good or evil depending on perspective. A public purpose for a price support for food crops to assure supply, or that induces an oversupply, does not translate well to non-food subsidies. The allotment of acreage for pay not to produce is based on someone having grown the crop for which they are now encouraged to stop producing, for a given year, because the crop is not needed and to save money from another program. Will Randy pay Madison Farms money to not produce, if he decides that we don't need the supply (where we would otherwise have purchased it generally from anyone, so as to save on the cost of maintaining price and paying to store the excess) or will Randy create his own PL-480 program to lend money to foreign countries to buy the product we don't need?

I could qualify as an Ag Econ expert in court to offer opinion evidence, but that really is not the question here. The question is an unlawful gift.

Randy's plan does fit very well with the typical resort to private law disguised as general law. I'd rather explore whether Corporate City of Portland is a limitedly liability entity just as are the typical private partners? It is not even remotely arguable that the gift of freedom from price risk here translates to an improvement in the value of the citizens property, their shelter.

I could point you to cases demanding some correlation between the cost of some public expense and the benefited property . . but I seem to think that it too would fall on deaf ears. This principal would mean that Madison Farms would have to cover the entire cost of the public expense made for their benefit.

Is the shelter of an elderly Portland resident like a subscription to Corporate City of Portland? Not just one year's taxes but the tax rate year after year forever? As between Madison/Nelson and an elderly Portland homeowner who is the innocent party in this Corporate fraud? See wherein:

"There is but one question involved in this case, and that is as to whether or not the fact that the promoters of a corporation made false and fraudulent representations to the defendants to induce them to become stockholders can be relied upon to defeat the claim of a creditor. It is true that the answer alleges that plaintiff knew of these facts and fraudulent representations, but we find no evidence in the record to support the allegation. It is perfectly clear from the evidence that if there was anything wrong in the procuring of defendants' stock subscriptions, the plaintiff was ignorant of the fact and had nothing to do with it."

If the price support ordinance-contract is to be enforced it amounts to nothing more than converting Portland residents into Nelson Slaves and Madison Slaves, and is as progressive as it comes. The promoter will say it is/was for the public good, without more, on whimsy. Imagine Willie Nelson insisting that honoring a commitment is a matter of honor? [Insert sequence of expletives.]

Can I volunteer eight hours of community service on behalf of a retired homeowner in lieu of their obligation to pay the Madison/Nelson fine so that an elderly person does not lose their home? (See link again to labor theory of value.) Does concern for individual liberty prevail, or does liberty to contract (engage in graft) among artificial entities prevail through blind court enforcement to the direct loss of individual liberty?

See, Jack, others hadn't seen those blog posts, either, and found them interesting.

If I planned to embark on a kissing up strategy, it wouldn't be with the reporters - whose work is subject to editing, and who don't participate in endorsements. I doubt anyone would accuse me of kissing up to the Oregonian's editorial board, with my blog posts commenting on their work carrying titles such as "Complete and utter nonsense".

Amanda, I was just yanking your chain. I was jealous that you posted about the increased blog activity over there before I noticed it myself!

Well I'VE been kissing up. Unabashadley and unashamadely. I expect the full Ron Saxton treatment by the O next time I run. Er,,,, wait a minute.

If we're going to use biodiesel in City vehicles, we should simply buy it from the lowest cost supplier. Pairing it with some sort of rural economic development program coming out of City Hall carries substantial risk. I sure hope the City has done the kind of complicated economic analysis needed to justify this sort of indirect economic subsidy.

The logic, if I understand it, is that by overpaying farmers to produce a commodity, a domestic biofuels industry will be "sparked" and biofuel costs will "eventually" be lower statewide.

This assumes that there are some economies of scale that will accrue to locally produced biofuels which are not currently available.

So what is the risk? Well, two decades of federal attempts to promote corn-based ethanol might provide a bit of concern. That program has turned out to be nothing more than a massive new agricultural subsidy for large midwestern agricultural producers; has raised the price of all sort of consumer products; has put at risk one of America's largest agricultural exports; and according to some studies, doesn't even save petroleum in the last analysis!

Rather than spaarking local biofuels, what this program may end up doing is redirecting farm production to an inefficient commodity that is only price efficient while Portland overpays. Once the subsidy stops (as it seems to be finally close to doing for ethanol), the industry could easily collapse.

I'm surprised Cmmr. Leonard and the Mayor were so blatant about what the real motivation seems to be: bribing rural farmers so they will support Portland's political interests in other areas:
""The best way to bridge the urban-rural divide is with good old American greenbacks," Leonard said."

True enough, but if we're interested in transferring dollars to rural areas, there are a lot more efficient ways to do it--such as direct income transfer programs--than rural development programs coming out of Portland City Council.

Sue, last report I saw he had voted for subsidy, if he did not I apologize. He did vote for fast track secret free agreement.

Dang it, a successful chain-yank, provoking the intended reaction.


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