Monday, September 10, 2018

Members in the News: Dorfman, Countryman, Bekkerman, Smith, Irwin, and Goeringer

Jeffrey Dorfman, University of Georgia
Progressives Should Help People Escape Poverty, Not Score Political Points
Written by Jeffrey Dorfman: Forbes - September 4, 2018
Senator Bernie Sanders’ latest idea is to tax every company with more than 500 employees for the full amount of any public benefits collected by its workers. Not only does this neglect that the entire point of the social safety net is to help people transition to independence, it also will hurt poor people by encouraging employers to discriminate against them. This directly contradicts the traditional progressive position to provide assistance to poor people and to attempt to tilt the playing field more in their favor.
Progressives should try being consistent about whether they want the unemployed or low-paid in society to be able to advance economically or to remain forever dependent on government. Right now, they don’t seem to understand what they want or what consequences their policies will bring about.
Read more on: Forbes
Cities Want Tax Revenue But They Want Someone Else To Collect It
Written by Jeffrey Dorfman: Forbes - August 26, 2018
Economic inequality is one of the most debated issues of our time. Usually it has to do with the gulf between rich and poor people, but it appears that the parties who can suffer from inequality are growing. Now cities in tough financial situations are complaining about states with bulging coffers refusing to share the wealth. Even though the economy has been expanding for nine years, many local governments are still feeling pressure to keep taxes low, but they also feel the itch to spend more money. Their preferred solution is to let somebody else collect the taxes for them.
The New York Times just reported that 39 of the 50 states are running budget surpluses and that 17 had a budget surplus last year. Ohio, with $2.7 billion in its rainy day fund, is emblematic of states compiling rainy day funds with balances of several billion dollars. With states building up financial cushions like this while some cities and counties are still struggling to give employees raises and buy new police cars, envy is the unsurprising result.
Read more on: Forbes

Amanda Countryman, Colorado State University
Soybean Farmers Win Big In $12 Billion Federal Aid Package
By: Harvest Public Media - August 27, 2018
An ag economist at Colorado State University also critiqued the deal, saying the trade war could impact farmers for a long time.
“The longer this lasts, the longer other producers and purchasers have the ability to adjust their production decisions and their purchasing decisions,” Amanda Countryman said.
She added: “It’s important to keep in mind that this is a redistribution of taxpayer dollars to compensate farmers for damages caused by the trade conflict with China.”
Read more on: Harvest Public Media and Illinois Public Media

Anton Bekkerman, Montana State University
Vincent Smith, Montana State University
Scott Irwin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Spotlight: U.S. farmers, economists see potholes in gov't bailout money
By: Xinhuanet - August 31, 2018
"Why is there such a discrepancy between the payments to soybean producers and corn producers?" asked Anton Bekkerman, an agro-economics expert and economics professor of Montana State University (MSU). Bekkerman unveiled an analysis on the correlation between corn and soybean prices over the past 20 years.
"The Trump administration's proposed payments to soybean farmers, hog producers and other commodity producers reflect the administration's folly in entering a tariff war with major trading partners rather than addressing trade dispute issues through negotiations and well established dispute resolution processes," economics professor Vincent Smith told Xinhua.
"This is strong evidence of (Trump's) sensitivity to losing support in the Midwest," said Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois.
Read more on: Xinhuanet

Paul Goeringer, University of Maryland
Webinar Highlighting 2018 Farm Bill Now Available
Written by Paul Goeringer: Lawn Chair Ag Attorney - September 5, 2018
In August, the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics hosted a webinar covering the 2018 Farm Bill debate.  As I write and post this post, the Farm Bill is still being debated by the conference committee and this webinar covers the competing House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill.
The webinar featured Jonathan Coppas, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Illinois. Mr. Coppas discussed where we are at in the process and changes in policies that producers should be aware of.
Read more on: Lawn Chair Ag Attorney

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*Articles in response to the AAEA Communicating Out Strategy Press Releases highlighting: Government Relations, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Choices Magazine, General Media, and/or 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

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