Sunday, February 17, 2019

Last Call For Farming It Out

The Trump regime continues to wreck the the US economy, and once again it continues to do it in a way that hurts both his most ardent supporters while helping Russia.

A wave of bankruptcies is sweeping the U.S. Farm Belt as trade disputes add pain to the low commodity prices that have been grinding down American farmers for years.

Throughout much of the Midwest, U.S. farmers are filing for chapter 12 bankruptcy protection at levels not seen for at least a decade, a Wall Street Journal review of federal data shows.

Bankruptcies in three regions covering major farm states last year rose to the highest level in at least 10 years. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, had double the bankruptcies in 2018 compared with 2008. In the Eighth Circuit, which includes states from North Dakota to Arkansas, bankruptcies swelled 96%. The 10th Circuit, which covers Kansas and other states, last year had 59% more bankruptcies than a decade earlier.

States in those circuits accounted for nearly half of all sales of U.S. farm products in 2017, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

The rise in farm bankruptcies represents a reckoning for rural America, which has suffered a multiyear slump in prices for corn, soybeans and other farm commodities touched off by a world-wide glut, made worse by growing competition from agriculture powerhouses such as Russia and Brazil.

Trade disputes under the Trump administration with major buyers of U.S. farm goods, such as China and Mexico, have further roiled agricultural markets and pressured farmers’ incomes. Prices for soybeans and hogs plummeted after those countries retaliated against U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing duties on U.S. products like oilseeds and pork, slashing shipments to big buyers.

Low milk prices are driving dairy farmers out of business in a market that’s also struggling with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. cheese from Mexico and China. Tariffs on U.S. pork have helped contribute to a record buildup in U.S. meat supplies, leading to lower prices for beef and chicken.

Trump has done everything he can to wreck US commodity prices with his idiotic tariffs, and nobody's buying American farm products.  Increasingly they are turning to Brazil and more importantly Russia for food, and the US can no longer compete.

Farms are going under at a record pace now, and it really won't be long until the rest of the economy catches the Trump cancer.  When that happens, it'll make 2008 look like a picnic.

But of course, Trump's base will be told to blame everyone but Trump, and that only "the Businessman President" can fix it with a second term...

...And they will vote for him anyway, because Trump isn't the problem with America.  His base is.

President Trump and his political team plan to make his years-long quest for a border wall one of the driving themes of his reelection effort — attempting to turn his failure to build such a project into a combative sales pitch that pits him against the political establishment on immigration.

Trump has declared a national emergency to secure the funds Congress has repeatedly denied him despite his own admission that the move is likely to get tied up in court. This move has galvanized many of his supporters even as others on the right remain dubious and disappointed.

His campaign is fundraising off his showdown with congressional Democrats over the border — portraying the opposition party as more interested in political games than the public’s safety.

And faced with the fact that he has yet to build an inch of the concrete or steel wall he promised, Trump and his campaign have started relying on a rhetorical sleight of hand: speaking the wall into existence.

“Now, you really mean, ‘Finish that wall,’ because we’ve built a lot of it,” Trump falsely claimed at a campaign rally Monday in El Paso after supporters broke out in chants of “Build that wall!”

As he spoke, giant placards with the words “Finish the Wall” hung from the rafters, an unmistakable signal Trump’s aides say reflects the campaign’s growing push to convince the president’s supporters that the border barrier they imagined him building is already real.

These endeavors underscore the extent to which Trump and his allies are attempting to make 2020 a repeat of 2016 — centered on a portrayal of the nation as under siege from criminal immigrants and other dark forces, and reliant upon a die-hard base of older whites in rural areas. 

The wall will never be finished, and the national emergency Trump declared over the wall this weekend will never end, and it will be the winding road that will lead us to autocracy.  We're only a few years away at most from Trump rounding up "illegals" anyway.

We had a good run, I guess.

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