Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rice and Comparative Advantage

Any time you hear the words "comparative advantage" without scorn being heaped on the idea, realize you are in the presence of a nincompoop.  (Nincompoop = non compos mentis eg, a poorly composed mind).  There is nothing in the field of economics more risible than the idea of comparative advantage.

A prime example is the USA growing rice.  In Texas and California, we grow massive amounts of rice for export, precipitated by the USA wiping out the Vietnamese ability to produce any crops, let alone two crops a season possible in that land blessed, if sans invaders (and every invader since Genghis Khan has been defeated, most recently the mighty PLA in May of 1980.)

Without denying Mexico the good of the Colorado River, and other massive water diversions, and massive GMO and financial subsidies there would be zero rice grown in USA (except for wild rice, actually a grass).  Further, we poison our ecosystem, not only our economy, so the extremely few can take the profits while the rest of us pay the costs.
In March 2014, the European Food Safety Authority published a separate study finding that “the highest dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic was estimated in the younger population,” and pointing to non-rice based grain processed products, rice, milk and dairy products and drinking water. That November, Consumer Reports followed up withanother report, which included a focus on levels in food for children, who have much lower recommended maximum intakes. The EPA has also concluded separately in 2012 that “rice consumption may expose children to arsenic.”
Without these subsidies written into the law, we would simply buy what rice we needed, as would be the case of comparative advantage if we had free markets.  We do not have free markets.  We have capitalism which necessarily means chaos and poverty and war.

You get more of what you subsidize.  If we end subsidies for bad food, we'll end the disease, pollution and malinvestment we get from the bad food driving out the good.  We need a separation of agriculture and state.

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