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    FOr people who don't know what this is, I'll try to explain:

    The common agricultral policy is a policy by the EU based on protectionism. Taking a look at Britain, our farmers are producing way too much. Instead of putting it all onto the market, which would lower the price and therefore farmer's "wages", the farmers use their political influence to make the government buy these excess crops, effectively giving them minimum prices for their crops.

    Why this is bad? Well take one look at the huge food stockpiles. The government, having bought all these crops has nothing to do with them but put them in warehouses - great if the country is heading into war and is looking to become self sufficient with buffer stocks, but that's not our situation. THe government can't put them on the market or give them away because the rise in supply would destroy farmer's incomes and be against the CAP. So while we have huge food piles in the UK, people are starving in the third world. And this is where the problem with the CAP is.

    Farmers in the third world are accepted to be better at growing the same crops due to better weather conditions. So the world has a finite amount of resources, and the ones being made more efficiently in these countries such as Brasil and some African countries cannot be sold to Europe because of the trade barriers. The EU has quotas limiting the amount of foreign (that is, outside the EU) goods can be bought, which keeps the inefficient European producers' products in high demand and limits consumer choice, one of the so called most important points of the capitalist economy. The consumer is paying high prices for these goods because they cannot be imported at cheap rates, and then paying high taxes to subsidise farmers furthermore by buying their overproduced grain.

    So while the hypocrites at the top are claiming to try to be helping third world countries onto their feet through world aid, they are pushing them back down again by refusing to allow market forces allocate the cheapest goods to the people most in demand - instead, we are buying goods at higher prices with higher taxes. And it all comes down to these farmers wanting stable incomes.

    Anyway, I just learnt this and I thought it was quite important. If anyone notices any flaws in the argument please point them out, I'm new to this CAP so if you can see I'm not understanding something it would be helpful for me to correct it. Thanks for reading!
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    Anyway, I just learnt this and I thought it was quite important. If anyone notices any flaws in the argument please point them out, I'm new to this CAP so if you can see I'm not understanding something it would be helpful for me to correct it. Thanks for reading!
    No no, that's all very good.

    However, you've missed out the best bit. When the boot is on the other foot the EU/US mercilessly preach "free trade" to the rest of the world, forcing them to open their markets to western corporations, often destroying domestic industries.
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    Ah, I forgot that!

    It's crazy how this still happens, I'm still looking for a reason. My economics teacher said "because the farmers have power" - how many farmers are there in the country? And why are they protected from the ugly side of capitalism when every other industry isn't? The problem doesn't go away, it just shifts. And in this case it shifts to a much worse problem.
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    Lol. I would like to ask Tony Blair that if I ever get the chance.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    FOr people who don't know what this is, I'll try to explain:

    The common agricultral policy is a policy by the EU based on protectionism. Taking a look at Britain, our farmers are producing way too much. Instead of putting it all onto the market, which would lower the price and therefore farmer's "wages", the farmers use their political influence to make the government buy these excess crops, effectively giving them minimum prices for their crops.

    Why this is bad? Well take one look at the huge food stockpiles. The government, having bought all these crops has nothing to do with them but put them in warehouses - great if the country is heading into war and is looking to become self sufficient with buffer stocks, but that's not our situation. THe government can't put them on the market or give them away because the rise in supply would destroy farmer's incomes and be against the CAP. So while we have huge food piles in the UK, people are starving in the third world. And this is where the problem with the CAP is.

    Farmers in the third world are accepted to be better at growing the same crops due to better weather conditions. So the world has a finite amount of resources, and the ones being made more efficiently in these countries such as Brasil and some African countries cannot be sold to Europe because of the trade barriers. The EU has quotas limiting the amount of foreign (that is, outside the EU) goods can be bought, which keeps the inefficient European producers' products in high demand and limits consumer choice, one of the so called most important points of the capitalist economy. The consumer is paying high prices for these goods because they cannot be imported at cheap rates, and then paying high taxes to subsidise farmers furthermore by buying their overproduced grain.

    So while the hypocrites at the top are claiming to try to be helping third world countries onto their feet through world aid, they are pushing them back down again by refusing to allow market forces allocate the cheapest goods to the people most in demand - instead, we are buying goods at higher prices with higher taxes. And it all comes down to these farmers wanting stable incomes.

    Anyway, I just learnt this and I thought it was quite important. If anyone notices any flaws in the argument please point them out, I'm new to this CAP so if you can see I'm not understanding something it would be helpful for me to correct it. Thanks for reading!
    the french are the only country to really benefit here. the UK gets comparably little out of the CAP. but then again the french forced it through so quickly that noone else ever had a chance.

    welcome to a French-run EU. French dominated EU constitution anyone?
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    Blaaaaaaame the French!
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    I'm not a big fan of the CAP either but the CAP you describe doesn't actually exist anymore. But yea, anyway.
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    (Original post by kildare)
    I'm not a big fan of the CAP either but the CAP you describe doesn't actually exist anymore. But yea, anyway.
    True, it has been changed a bit and it's not quite as outrageous as it used to be. Yet, the reforms were very modest to say the least.

    BTW, did you know, that the Prince of Wales is one of the biggest recipients of EU CAP-subsidies?
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    What reforms have been made? I'm interested in learning about them.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    Ah, I forgot that!

    It's crazy how this still happens, I'm still looking for a reason. My economics teacher said "because the farmers have power" - how many farmers are there in the country? And why are they protected from the ugly side of capitalism when every other industry isn't? The problem doesn't go away, it just shifts. And in this case it shifts to a much worse problem.
    There is a case for some sort of harmonized EU agricultural policy and protectionism in agriculture: The EU must not depend on other countries for such vital an area as food supply. So, even if it is more expensive, the EU needs to keep a number of farmers of its own in order to keep a certain level of self-sufficiency.
    So, free trade in agricultural matters would probably not be such a good thing for the EU.

    That being said, the current CAP-system is a disgrace.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    What reforms have been made? I'm interested in learning about them.
    The main reform is that in the future, farmers' earnings will not be exclusively linked to how much they produce. Other factors will come in as well. The idea is to avoid overproduction.

    For more information google for EU Commissioner Fischer, who was the main instigator of those reforms.
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    (Original post by zizero)
    BTW, did you know, that the Prince of Wales is one of the biggest recipients of EU CAP-subsidies?
    haha funny that! and exactly how much political power do farmers have?? during foot and mouth, im sure the farmers would have had sth to say then..but were they really listened to? (im just throwing these questions up in the air) .. something should be done with the excess food, like send it abroad to LEDCs for free as aid rather than let it sit in food mountains.. ive heard that new legislation will also dictate that large arable farms (manily in the south) will be getting more subsidies (about 4 times more) than hill farmers, which makes no sense at all!! thoughts please.

    Currently 50% of the EU budget is spent on CAP and it used to be even higher. So not only is it disasterous for LDCs, it's also costing us huge amounts (and French, not British farmers are by far the largest beneficiaries).

    (Original post by fishpaste)
    Blaaaaaaame the French!
    I don't know if you're being sarcastic, but it is almost entirely the French. Not blaming the French for CAP, would be like not blaming the USA for the Iraq war. It sort of undermines idea that France didn't support the war because the genuinely cared about people in LDCs.

    (Original post by presebjenada)
    haha funny that! and exactly how much political power do farmers have?? during foot and mouth, im sure the farmers would have had sth to say then..but were they really listened to? (im just throwing these questions up in the air) .. something should be done with the excess food, like send it abroad to LEDCs for free as aid rather than let it sit in food mountains.. ive heard that new legislation will also dictate that large arable farms (manily in the south) will be getting more subsidies (about 4 times more) than hill farmers, which makes no sense at all!! thoughts please.
    It's French farmers who have the power. British farmers have reletively little and don't fully support the CAP because it is specifically designed to benefit the French.
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    I am being sarcastic. I'm fully aware of the insane abuse of power going on by the french farming lobby.
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    (Original post by presebjenada)
    something should be done with the excess food, like send it abroad to LEDCs for free as aid rather than let it sit in food mountains..
    That would be an economic *******s-up though, and so is illegal.
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    (Original post by presebjenada)
    something should be done with the excess food, like send it abroad to LEDCs for free as aid rather than let it sit in food mountains..
    That's been done in the past, but with disastrous results. The problem with giving free food to LEDC, is that you destroy local markets and ultimately ruin local farmers. They have no chance to survive economically against the overwhelming competition of free EU-food!
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    (Original post by zizero)
    That's been done in the past, but with disastrous results. The problem with giving free food to LEDC, is that you destroy local markets and ultimately ruin local farmers. They have no chance to survive economically against the overwhelming competition of free EU-food!
    that is a very good point..
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    FOr people who don't know what this is, I'll try to explain:

    The common agricultral policy is a policy by the EU based on protectionism. Taking a look at Britain, our farmers are producing way too much. Instead of putting it all onto the market, which would lower the price and therefore farmer's "wages", the farmers use their political influence to make the government buy these excess crops, effectively giving them minimum prices for their crops.

    Why this is bad? Well take one look at the huge food stockpiles. The government, having bought all these crops has nothing to do with them but put them in warehouses - great if the country is heading into war and is looking to become self sufficient with buffer stocks, but that's not our situation. THe government can't put them on the market or give them away because the rise in supply would destroy farmer's incomes and be against the CAP. So while we have huge food piles in the UK, people are starving in the third world. And this is where the problem with the CAP is.

    Farmers in the third world are accepted to be better at growing the same crops due to better weather conditions. So the world has a finite amount of resources, and the ones being made more efficiently in these countries such as Brasil and some African countries cannot be sold to Europe because of the trade barriers. The EU has quotas limiting the amount of foreign (that is, outside the EU) goods can be bought, which keeps the inefficient European producers' products in high demand and limits consumer choice, one of the so called most important points of the capitalist economy. The consumer is paying high prices for these goods because they cannot be imported at cheap rates, and then paying high taxes to subsidise farmers furthermore by buying their overproduced grain.

    So while the hypocrites at the top are claiming to try to be helping third world countries onto their feet through world aid, they are pushing them back down again by refusing to allow market forces allocate the cheapest goods to the people most in demand - instead, we are buying goods at higher prices with higher taxes. And it all comes down to these farmers wanting stable incomes.

    Anyway, I just learnt this and I thought it was quite important. If anyone notices any flaws in the argument please point them out, I'm new to this CAP so if you can see I'm not understanding something it would be helpful for me to correct it. Thanks for reading!
    What are you guys complaining about? Pay a visit to "cartells R us" ( Norway ) and check out the prices over here. You can get a meal at Burger King for aproximately £10. Also, here money is spent on useless farms (Who on earth would come up with the idea to subsidise farms in the country which is furthest to the North and consist of 99% of mountains ). Also, Norway is the country which spends most in the EU on education per capita, yet the Maths results are the lowest in Europe. Now thats what I call efficient missallocation of resources. And of course, whatever is wrong with the Norwegian economy is always the fault of the evil "right wing capitalists" that only tries to reduce the taxes far bellow the outrageously low level of 55%.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    FOr people who don't know what this is, I'll try to explain:

    The common agricultral policy is a policy by the EU based on protectionism. Taking a look at Britain, our farmers are producing way too much. Instead of putting it all onto the market, which would lower the price and therefore farmer's "wages", the farmers use their political influence to make the government buy these excess crops, effectively giving them minimum prices for their crops.

    Why this is bad? Well take one look at the huge food stockpiles. The government, having bought all these crops has nothing to do with them but put them in warehouses - great if the country is heading into war and is looking to become self sufficient with buffer stocks, but that's not our situation. THe government can't put them on the market or give them away because the rise in supply would destroy farmer's incomes and be against the CAP. So while we have huge food piles in the UK, people are starving in the third world. And this is where the problem with the CAP is.

    Farmers in the third world are accepted to be better at growing the same crops due to better weather conditions. So the world has a finite amount of resources, and the ones being made more efficiently in these countries such as Brasil and some African countries cannot be sold to Europe because of the trade barriers. The EU has quotas limiting the amount of foreign (that is, outside the EU) goods can be bought, which keeps the inefficient European producers' products in high demand and limits consumer choice, one of the so called most important points of the capitalist economy. The consumer is paying high prices for these goods because they cannot be imported at cheap rates, and then paying high taxes to subsidise farmers furthermore by buying their overproduced grain.

    So while the hypocrites at the top are claiming to try to be helping third world countries onto their feet through world aid, they are pushing them back down again by refusing to allow market forces allocate the cheapest goods to the people most in demand - instead, we are buying goods at higher prices with higher taxes. And it all comes down to these farmers wanting stable incomes.

    Anyway, I just learnt this and I thought it was quite important. If anyone notices any flaws in the argument please point them out, I'm new to this CAP so if you can see I'm not understanding something it would be helpful for me to correct it. Thanks for reading!
    Other problems with the CAP, as I see it, missing from your piece is perhaps the

    1. Huge cost of the programme, hitting 45 billion euros this year and rising despite reforms in 84,92,00, & 03 aimed at cutting costs.
    2. As you mention in part, by fixing the price the EU causes the average European family to pay around 250 euros more than market forces would dictate for their food.
    3. Price fixing of 'good for you food' such as vegetables makes these products expensive, and other 'bad for you foods' cheaper in comparison, some have argued that this is one of many factors causing rising obesity rates in the UK indeed A BBC documentary on obesity in the future made exactly this argument.
    4. The CAP actually encourages intesive, industrial environmentally damaging farming as it has - and still does to a lesser extent - encourage farmers to produce as much as possible with the land they've got, for example in 2003 80% of the CAP's subsidies went to the Unions top 20% biggest farms. Indeed the 1992 reforms by introducing grants to farmers to leaves some farms idle made this worse. Some farmers chose to leave some fields idle and thus gain from the grants and then simply intensify farming on their remaining fields which inevitably demanded even further usage of fertilisers etc.
    5. You mention the impact on World Trade, its worth expanding on this somewhat. The CAP as you point out - in conjunction with the Common Commercial Policy which sets EU external tariffs - block access of non-EU agricultural products into the Union. This has adverse affects for poorer world farmers who are unable to export their produce to the worlds largest agricultural market, i.e the place where they could make the most money. As many poorer world countries have the advantages of better soil, better weather, and lower labour costs, they stand to gain substantially from trade liberalisation in agriculture, indeed estimates of how much the GDP of Africa would grow in CAP were abolished range into the tens of billions. Not only that, but by blocking access for particular products, the CAP forces poorer world farmers all to produce the same products, ones that can be exported to the EU with low or now tariffs, chocolate and coffee. Unfortunately because so many poorer world farmers then produce these products, the value of coffee beans then end up lower than they otherwise would have been. Result these farmers then struggle to make a living from such products. Then to top it all the EU periodically dumps surpluses of highly subsidised agricultural produce in poorer world countries, this has lessened to some extent but still continues, result poorer world farmers are then unable to compete in their domestic markets against highly subsidised European imports. Lastly, poorer world countries got so upset about this issue (understandably in my view) that the Doha round of world trade talks collapsed in Cancun, thus the issue of agricultural subsidies (the USA and Japan have similarly criminal agricultural subsidies) now even holds up world trade liberalisation as a whole.

    Its perhaps unfair to moan about 'hypocrites' at the top. Many politicians agree with these arguments and have pushed for wholesale reform. Indeed Tony Blair accused Jacques Chirac of being a hypocrite for highlighting the issue of third world poverty whilst at the same time supporting the CAP, leading to Chiriac cancelling a summit between the 2 a couple of years ago. Reform of the CAP has prooved difficult because (the French mainly) have managed to keep it solely a Council of Ministers issue. Currently it requires only 62 out of 87 votes to block a legislative change in the council, thus despite the fact that mose EU countries want some form of reform this has prooved difficult as France, and other Southern European countries which gain financially out of the CAP have enough votes between them to block reform.
 
 
 
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