The technical proposal below for circulation in the United States Congress and The White House is to revamp all farm bills for future years in Congress to achieve the appropriate fiscal-monetary mix for overall, farm and non-farm, job creation.
12:10 PM – 18 Aug 12 via web · Details
I have had the pleasure of responding to a query by Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill when I was the State Leader for Maryland Pickens Plan. She was genuinely concerned about natural gas allocation to fertilizers vis-a-vis its use in transportation.
Natural gas has many uses. Fertilizers, important to farmers, as long as they do not cause sickness or other harmful effects to the land, should indeed be a top priority for natural gas producers. Besides, 18-wheeler trucks which currently rely on the same imported crude for their diesel, natural gas is best used in combined cycle power plants and in some parts of the manufacturing industry, and in miscellaneous uses such as cooking gas and heating which can go away over time, replaced by electricity.
The allocation of natural gas for consumption in the marketplace is the same anywhere around the world as I also observed when I did some field work in India in 2010-’11 with India’s Minister of State for Defense, Shri Pallam Raju, in India’s equivalent of the American midwest, my region of birth.
Agricultural productivity is the corner stone of American prosperity or of any other nation for that matter.
American farmers have been receiving subsidies since the Depression-era. More recently the Federal Reserve made agricultural investment one of the priorities in its Term-Asset backed Lending Facility (TALF) to rejuvenate the financial derivatives market in a half-cooked attempt to recover the economy.
At a time when drought and economic decline are coincidental together with the federal budget crisis, there are many ways to dovetail agricultural production with other economic priorities to create farm-jobs and non-farm jobs, because on-farm employment in government statistics and policy-biases is at least as important as non-farm jobs when the global demand for food is rising and especially if the higher global food prices and riots over them preceding the 2007-’08 Great Recession are any indication.
Farm subsidies, not cap and trade or carbon tax, in the federal budget must be replaced by alternative energy – wind and distributed solar - and clean water transportation infrastructure subsidies for farmers to aid investors and manufacturers such as Pickens and General Electric (GE), the only American wind-mill manufacturer in the face of rising global competition from Europe and China, to create a national wind corridor from Minnesota to Texas, whose plans were shelved plans by Pickens in 2009.
Private capital markets, funded by targeted ground-up and not top-down Federal Reserve’s monetary policy (real sector borrowing incentives can help rejuvenate the market for financial sector derivatives unlike in TALF), can then match alternative energy farm subsidies to make the Pickens-GE wind corridor happen in 2 years from now.
Farmers’ income can be significantly augmented by leasing land and water rights and selling excess power from their wind and solar investments to the grid.