Problems that farmers are facing (especially Canadian farmers)
I have asked city folks how they'd like to work for 50 cents per hour sometimes, maybe a dollar, sometimes two or five dollars, occasionally ten - or sometimes have to pay a couple of dollars per hour for the privilege of going to work!
Most consider such a situation impossible, untenable.
That's about the hourly rate of pay that the farmer gets, if s/he claims a decent rate of return on his/her invested assets, usually having invested part of his income in most earlier years, to build them.
Or - if he takes decent pay rate, he gets peanuts rate of return on his invested assets.
Most/many city folks have almost nil investment in their work.
Plus, for farmers keeping animals, working 7 days a week, with no thought of any possibility of extra income for overtime work or working over 5 days per week.
And, if one of those farmers wants a vacation, having to pay a skilled replacement heavy-duty dollars to come in to look after the chores related to the animals while they go away for a short while.
And usually coming back to find that the volume of milk produced daily had gone down, or some animals sick, etc. ... do you have any idea what one has to pay a vet to visit a sick animal?
I've asked a number of town folks what they'd do if they worked at a bank/savings loan/trust co./credit union and had half a million to a million to two million invested there.
At the end of the year, the manager called them into the office, and, with a very long face (maybe even a tear or two in her/his eye) told them that the bank was having a terrible year.(1)
Anyway, the manager continued, telling the employee that in the light of the bad year for the bank, that they couldn't afford to pay the employee both his/her wages for the year and the interest on her/his money invested there.
They wanted to be as fair/generous/considerate as possible - they'd let the employee decide which that s/he'd choose to receive: their wages ... or their interest.
So - which did the employee wish to choose?
Did s/he want some time to consider?
If you happened to be the goat in such a situation - what would be your response?
Many town folk get rather upset, and say, with some vehemence in their reply, that they'd, " ... move their *^%)*& money down the street!!".
To which I reply that, yes, ... exactly ...
... and that many farmers feel the same ... so choose to sell their farm, and invest the money.
That asset usually used to be enough for the income that it produced, ...
... after paying necessary tax to every income earner's partner in crime, the income tax folks ...
... and, for the part of their asset invested in dollar-denominated asset, adding some of the current income to the asset in order to maintain purchasing power (which usually pretty well meant that there was almost nothing left to add to current living expense from that part of the invested asset) ...
... had enough income from their invested asset that they could live quite comfortably.
But many farmes have been drawing down some of their asset in recent years in order to operate the farm, and have enough to live on, meaning that they have lower assets than they had a few years ago.
Like a city person who, not making enough to live on, chewed through one of the rooms of his/her home from time to time, in order to keep alive. That is - take out a mortgage, or increase a current one, to add to current income.
In recent years, after the basic asset being eroded like that, when the farmer invests the proceeds of selling his farm, animals, equipment, etc., that he's laboured so hard to put together over the years, the income from the invested asset isn't enough to live on ...
... so he has to go to work, after retiring from the farm.
That's mainly for Canadian farmers.
European and U.S. farmers regularly receive masssive subsidies, and their governments offer export subsidies on agricultural products which enables a good portion of them to be exported, to avoid building surpluses locally ... and keep food prices low to consumers.
But the Canadian farmers have had trouble in recent years, for their government offers no such regular subsidies - just a occasional stop-gap.
Which has resulted in many of them cannibalizing their assets in order to continue to farm.
Most city folks say that such a situation would make them sick.
Some farmers are getting sick.
Some are even committing suicide.
'Nuff for now.
Have a great week - and remember - you're not the only person living in society.
Give a thought to others who share it with you, please.
1. Not like our current ones, who recently reported record profits: it wasn't so long ago that profit of a billion a year was a red letter year ... now it may be a billion a quarter).