Tuesday, August 03, 2004

the farming news

Alan Guebert takes John Cassidy's New Yorker article on free trade and applies the factor-price equalization theorem to the WTO ag. subsidy negotiations:

This is important, because--all things being equal--in a world of conflicting trade, "trade between them (in this case, Brazil and the US) will reduce wages in the high-paying country and increase wages in the low-paying country until, eventually, workers in both places end up making the same amount."

By the way, the going rate for a skilled Brazilian farm laborer is $6 a day. In China, it�s $1.75 a day. In India, it�s $1 a day.
[By the way, the average U.S. farmworker wage is currently $8.58/hr., so I guess we don't have much to fear from Brazil.]

Then he talks to a friend with Roundup-Ready corn volunteers in his soybean field. The only problem is he never planted Roundup-Ready corn. Guebert consistently produces the most interesting thing you can can read about farming in America.

On the other hand, there's poor Harry Cline, a columnist for Western Farm Press, who freaks out when confronted with a (slightly wacky, stupidly ad hom.) e-mailer who doubts the march of corporate biotech progress. Watch the carnage as worlds collide!

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