15 thoughts on “Farm Country Gets What It Voted For

  1. Moses Herzog

    But wait….. But wait….. CoRev says each American farmer has soybean and corn inventories in a grain elevator, worth multiples more per unit than the current price. The American farmers are hiding all these crop inventories just to play a trick on the dirty liberals and their “fake news”. CoRev says they also have big bologna elevators, pig ear elevators, and sun heated bacon elevators they have been hiding from the general public for decades. CoRev says the covertly operated bacon elevators (which are hidden behind large holographic 3D images of John Deere tractors and holographic 3D images of Holland wheat threshers) are magical, and can preserve bacon at conventional grain elevator temperature over a period surpassing 30 months. Plus, according to CoRev and Alex Jones, American farmers are secretly selling milk to Martians visiting in dark hours, unbeknownst to the Chinese who will only be informed of the Martian milk demand once the next evil liberal tries to create treason by enforcing political campaign laws. Keep this “on the lowdown”. CoRev’s anonymous sources in the farm industry could suffer onslaught by the Martians if they have to compete with China for the lowest milk prices.

    1. pgl

      Snicker! He also has this elaborate Excel spreadsheet which he will pull out and school us on how by his definition of income that these farmers are going really well.

  2. Moses Herzog

    Lots of hidden gems in this one:

    Some selected quotes (verbatim, but “cherry picked” intermittently from Michael Grunwald’s writing by me)

    “They’ve saved corporations and pass-through firms $3.7 trillion on their taxes, and enacted additional breaks for heirs of billionaires and executives who buy jets. They’ve also made it easier for internet providers to sell customer data, oil conglomerates to conceal foreign bribes and mining companies to bury streams. It’s all consistent with conservative beliefs in limited government and supply-side economics, but very few of the details are populist or popular.”

    “Some Republicans are trying to tap dance back to the center,” Rader says. “But sorry, you don’t get to run on saving health care. People see what’s going on.”

    “This has become an article of faith for many Democrats, that voters will see what’s really going on—that auto plants and steel mills and coal plants aren’t roaring back to life, North Korea isn’t dismantling its nukes, health premiums and drug prices are still rising, and Republicans intend to get rid of Obamacare, Wall Street regulations and the Russia investigation if they hold onto Congress. “People will only ignore the evidence of their own eyes for so long,” Rader says. Of course, that’s what Hillary Clinton thought when she held a triumphant rally with Beyoncé and Jay-Z in Cleveland a few days before the 2016 election. But Trump’s promises to Make America Great Again resonated here with voters who didn’t know Jay-Z from tai chi, voters who wanted a change from politics as usual. And whatever one thinks of Trump’s chaotic reality show, they did get change.”

    Make you think of CoRev??—>> So Jim Renacci, the Republican businessman-turned-congressman who is running against Brown, recently came to a soybean farm here in the rural town of Orwell to meet with the local agricultural community. His first request to the few dozen farmers who came to see him was for a show of hands: “Anyone here who doesn’t like the tariffs?” No hands were raised. “I may lose my farm over this, but I trust the president,” said Tom Yuhasz, a 62-year-old Republican with 5,000 acres of corn and soybeans. “He’s got a strategy. He was willing to sacrifice to run for office, and we’re willing to sacrifice, too.”

    Butch Lewis had 32 knee operations after he was wounded in Vietnam. He still managed to drive a truck for 40 years, and he survived cancer and mini-strokes to make it to retirement. “He loved being retired,” recalled his widow, Rita, who still works for a police department outside Cincinnati. “He treated me like a queen. He had worked so hard so we could enjoy those years.” Then one day, Lewis got a letter from the Central States Pension Fund, informing him that his $3,800-a-month pension would be cut in half. “The color drained from his face,” Rita told me through tears. “Six weeks later, he was dead. The stress over his pension killed him.”

    These are the “deplorables” and the rural white females that voted for Trump, you know, the sexist females that Hillary couldn’t be bothered to take a campaign bus to Michigan or Wisconsin as anyone in the Clinton monarchy gets ebola if they touch a Wisconsin laborer’s hand. Yup Hillary, all those “women-hating” and “misogynist” men, like David Betras, just hated your damned guts—that’s why Betras wrote your 2016 campaign politely requesting you please take your head out of your ass—> David Betras, the party chairman in the Youngstown area, wrote a memo to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in May 2016, warning Trump could beat her in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania if she didn’t show more respect for Americans who “run backhoes, dig ditches, and sling concrete block,” suggesting she run ads about the pension issue to show she cared about blue-collar workers. “They ignored me, and somehow, our voters went for the guy who shits on a gold-plated toilet,” Betras said. “When you’re thirsty, you’ll drink dirty water.”

    Why are unions dying?? Because the union members themselves aren’t literate enough to vote for candidates who support unions, and people like Hillary just can’t bare to “lower themselves” to shake an Ohioan’s or Michigander’s hand, too much chance for ebola.

    1. baffling

      it is rather interesting, the clowns who argue the folks in puerto rico deserve what they got because they voted for folks who ran their way of life into the ground. and yet, the folks of ohio, pennsylvania and michigan are being run into the ground as well, by the folks who they have voted into office. yet i don’t see any of the blame game associated with those good ole midwesterners as they lose their pensions and farms. interestingly, they apparently don’t hold midwesterners accountable for their own votes…

  3. TDM

    The USDA has a graph of this series from 2000. Basically we are back at 2016 levels, and the 2018 drop is less than normal volatility. Barely noticeable, not a disaster.
    The Chinese government is punishing its own people by taxing their stomachs. We have a stronger dollar which lowers import prices for everything not tariff-ed. Also cheaper food for Americans and for poor kids in Africa.

    1. pgl

      Soybean income did rise considerably from 2000 to 2014. Guess else what rose a lot. My stock portfolio since 2010. I’m sure yours has too.

      Now by your logic if someone came in and through utter mismanagement wiped out 30% of your stock valuation you would have no complaint as it is still higher than it was in 2010.

      And if you have not figured this out by now – let me be clear. Your comment was really, really dumb!

  4. pgl

    Your map is from the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service? Hey – what do they know? Still waiting for CoRev’s Nobel Prize winning submission to the American Economic Review!

  5. sherparick1

    As H. Mencken predicted, they are getting what the voted for, good and hard.

    Also this: “On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    Also, for the libertarian trolls that come this web page, a reminder that Tariffs are “taxes on imported goods.” They create a “rent” income, that is unearned income, to domestic producers of goods that either compete with or can be substituted for the now expensive foreign goods. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_rent The folks paying this rent will be the consumers at Costco, Dollar Generals, Amazon, etc and the intermediate producers who use Chinese inputs to make goods.

  6. Julian Silk

    Dear Menzie,

    This is not a defense of Trump or farm country voters. But it is a little unfair to make farmers the willing villains in this case. In North Dakota, which I have some familiarity with, yes, of course there are plenty of wheat farmers. But much of North Dakota is a natural gas producing area, such as the Bakken region, and they are cheek by jowl by the farmers. EIA doesn’t publish the wellhead prices any more, but their last data for natural gas exports, for June 2018 is at $3.44 per thousand cubic feet. This compares to $2.60 in June 2016. The pipeline export price shows this as well, but not as dramatically, with prices of $2.95 and $2.78, respectively. (This should be more relevant for North Dakota.) And yes, there is a ton of volatility and prices have come down dramatically from earlier in 2018. But the natural gas workers wanted higher prices and got them. This isn’t going to be cost-free, and will show up in inflation later on.

    The site https://www.farmflavor.com/north-dakota-agriculture/ has 24% of the population in agriculture. The file under NORTH DAKOTA’S OIL AND GAS ECONOMY has 27% of North Dakota’s population in oil and gas, and of course, oil prices have increased, too. So in the very short run, and if you ignore the repercussions, which people have been trained to do, unfortunately, North Dakota is getting what it wanted.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Julian Silk: I agree I was painting with a very broad brush. In particular, California did not vote for Trump, yet suffers the consequences of Mr. Trump’s trade policies. Same for Washington state.

      1. noneconomist

        The ag heavy districts of LaMalfa, Nunes, and McCarthy cast big majorities for Trump. Those CD will all feel tariff pains, especially the export kind.

  7. Paul Mathis

    Trump voters are a cult. They don’t care how much Trump hurts them or anyone else.
    In fact, they enjoy the pain. They are suicidal just like the followers of Jim Jones who drank the poisoned Kool-aid 40 years ago.

  8. noneconomist

    Then there’s this from the “Kern Business Journal,” 8/20 “Tariffs the latest jab Kern County’s agricultural industry ahs to absorb” by Beatrice Sanders. (Kern County, CA. is represented in Congress by the likely next House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, Trump’s beloved “My Kevin”)
    “Kern County’s top five producing commodities are table grapes, almonds, citrus, pistachios, and dairy…The commodities with the highest imposed tariffs are four of our top five commodities…
    Many have assumed the tariffs will be temporary.
    Estimates from four to six months to two years have been predicted by market experts. However, please note table grapes, almonds, citrus, and pistachios fall under the term “permanent crop.”
    Farmers do not consider ever replanting an orchard before its time. Almonds are in the ground for at least 15 years before they consider replanting with saplings. Pistachios can be in the ground for 100 years before replacing. The tariffs on these permanent crops are a big deal. It is difficult to take the brunt of less demand on the commodity for a long period of time.
    Farmers are price takers, not price makers. Farmers of permanent crops grow the food regardless of the demand for the commodity….much different than rotation crops like potatoes, onions, and carrots…
    Farmers plan their annual budget to grow their commodities once a year…They estimate the cost of fertilizer, labor, fuel, water, to name a few categories, based on cost from the previous year. The price of their product is not so predictable and scheduled.”
    Hence, there’s a lot at stake in Kern. “Less income from exports means fewer jobs. And when agriculture provides one in three jobs in Kern County, unemployment will rise. It’s a trickle down effect no wants to embrace for the sake of international affairs.”
    But, no surprise. So far, Kevin (like neighbor Devin to the north) seems far more content to engage in licking Trump’s shoes than in protecting one of the country’s richest agricultural regions.

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