Corn belt socialism?
In this era of anger against big-government largess (and during this time of cutbacks on education, cutbacks on wages and benefits for the elderly, the poor and the middle-class) the Nov. 27 issue of The Tribune featured a not-so-new issue worthy of national protest: “A few local farmers get most subsidies.”
The local subsidies outlined in the article (worth millions to a select few county farmers over the past 15 years) are just a tip of a national iceberg of agricultural subsidies that are collected by handfuls of powerful farmers across the nation for commodity subsidies, livestock subsidies and conservation.
Farmers from the “big corn and wheat states” of the Midwest receive an even larger slice of a massive farm-subsidies pie that often supports “a few big farmers who grow mostly thirsty, chemical-dependent crops.” Small and independent farmers who grow specialty crops like grapes, berries and lettuce do not receive the big bucks that big farmers across the nation do.
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Such subsidies are certainly not indicative of a free capital marketplace and are socialistic in nature. Tea Party Conservatives, here is an issue to run with!
A variable ignored
The economic forecast for next year for San Luis Obispo County missed a very important factor; changed local consumer spending.
The ignored variable is the new sewer tax for the 14,000 residents of Los Osos, average of which is $750 annually per household; the first installment of $375 is due now just in time for the holidays. To pay the new tax bill, many families will reduce their discretionary spending. This means literally millions of dollars taken out of our county economy. The current water analysis showed no violations that officials have been warning Los Osos residents about for more than 23 years.
Beginning this holiday season, Los Osos residents will pay about $2.5 million for the new sewer tax. The economic ripple effect in San Luis Obispo County is close to $5 million of lost spending, and it happens again in April and every year for the next 40 years!
Reduced discretionary spending by Los Osos residents will affect the entire county with impact on small businesses, tax revenues to schools and other public services and jobs. The Board of Supervisors should authorize an economic impact report before they inflict more economic damage on the entire county
Gary J. Freiberg
I was disappointed to read in the Nov. 30 Tribune’s County Roundup that Union Pacific has agreed to add 60 feet of fencing to help keep trespassers and property vandals off private property.
First, I would have expected the SLO Police/ Cal Poly Police to monitor the trespassing and property damage and deal with violators appropriately.
Second, if safety of the students is the issue more than the legality of trespassing, I suggest this: During WOW week the college schedule a seminar outdoors, near the location of the problem. Give the students instruction on the legalities of trespassing. Perhaps it could be scheduled at a time when the train passes so that students who appear to be oblivious to locomotives could observe, hear and be told that a moving locomotive is hazardous to try to outrun.
Perhaps questions should be added to the admission application to learn if prospective students know what a locomotive looks and sounds like and if they understand that trespassing and causing property damage are wrong. Money better spent than building a fence.
William J. Carley