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Quote of the Week: "A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled." - Barnett Cocks, British political writer (1907-)

Iraq Stops U.S. Rice Buys; Farmers Angry

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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 03:44pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Posts: 36168
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Lord Zentei wrote:
Guys? Iraq's decision not to buy rice is NOT a "free market" decision, quite the opposite. It's Iraqi government officials who decided which countries to import from. If Iraq were to decide not to buy US rice in a free market like manner, then the Iraqi government would have had to permit US imports, but no one on the street would have wanted to buy it.

That being said, the US rice farmers are full of shit, but if they're desperate, that's probably understandable.



More or less 'free market' than acquiring guaranteed markets through conquest who cannot refuse to buy your products? :v
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Korto
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 04:30pm 

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Joined: 2007-12-19 08:31am
Posts: 859
Location: Newcastle, Aus
Ultonius wrote:
Gandalf wrote:
If that's really how people saw the Iraq War, they're fucking morons. How isolated from reality does one have to be to wonder why some Iraqis aren't particularly grateful for the war?


I suppose that some of the people with this attitude dismiss and underestimate the human cost to Iraq compared to the net benefit of overthrowing Saddam, either because they haven't examined it closely or because it's easier to do that than admit that their country's actions are unsupportable.

Was there a net benefit, for Iraq as a whole? Saddam's gone, but a lot of killing, lawlessness, still lots of torture, lot less women's rights as far as I've heard, destruction of infrastructure, and so on and so on. I've had the feeling Iraq would have been better off if Saddam had been left to die of old age.

Quote:
Ronald Gerson wrote:
You would think with all that we've done over there, there would be a way to get them to do business with us,


Can what he's asking for really be described as compensation? He wants them to buy American rice at a somewhat higher price than they would have to pay other countries, not give America money for saving them...

Required to buy AND at higher price === loser's war tribute. It's just got a thin facade for the modern age.
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Steel
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 04:44pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2005-12-09 04:49pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Cambridge
Lord Zentei wrote:
Guys? Iraq's decision not to buy rice is NOT a "free market" decision, quite the opposite. It's Iraqi government officials who decided which countries to import from. If Iraq were to decide not to buy US rice in a free market like manner, then the Iraqi government would have had to permit US imports, but no one on the street would have wanted to buy it.

That being said, the US rice farmers are full of shit, but if they're desperate, that's probably understandable.


Of course its a free market decision by any reasonable definition: Iraq has chosen to buy the rice from someone selling it for less.

If the US were selling at the same price or less than the people they were dropped for then you could have a case, but they aren't. The article was about people complaining that Iraq wont continue to buy the ever increasingly expensive US produced rice.
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Lord Zentei
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 05:53pm 

Space Elf Psyker


Joined: 2004-11-22 03:49am
Posts: 8742
Location: Ulthwé Craftworld, plotting the downfall of the Imperium.
Stark wrote:
More or less 'free market' than acquiring guaranteed markets through conquest who cannot refuse to buy your products? :v
LOL, well, no-one said that America was not being hypocritical on free trade. Except for America and its apologists.

Steel wrote:
Lord Zentei wrote:
Guys? Iraq's decision not to buy rice is NOT a "free market" decision, quite the opposite. It's Iraqi government officials who decided which countries to import from. If Iraq were to decide not to buy US rice in a free market like manner, then the Iraqi government would have had to permit US imports, but no one on the street would have wanted to buy it.

That being said, the US rice farmers are full of shit, but if they're desperate, that's probably understandable.
Of course its a free market decision by any reasonable definition: Iraq has chosen to buy the rice from someone selling it for less.

If the US were selling at the same price or less than the people they were dropped for then you could have a case, but they aren't. The article was about people complaining that Iraq wont continue to buy the ever increasingly expensive US produced rice.

That is not what a "free market" means. A free market is one where consumers are the ones who decide what gets bought and where owners/producers decide what gets sold, and the only regulating mechanisms are peoples tastes and the market price. As opposed to government officials making the decisions. The fact that these government officials decided to buy lower quality rice at a lower price doesn't mean that end consumers in Iraq's streets would have done the same.

Regardless, that doesn't change the fact that the rice farmers in the OP were full of shit when they claimed that Iraq owed them for the war.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 05:59pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Posts: 36168
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Yeah, a more fair criticism would be that obviously farmers aren't interested in a free market because of the protectionism they advocate or are shielded by. Just the bald-faced honestly of saying 'my country invaded yours and thus you owe me personal financial restitution' can't be topped, really.
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Ultonius
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 06:37pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2012-01-11 09:30am
Posts: 217
Korto wrote:
Was there a net benefit, for Iraq as a whole? Saddam's gone, but a lot of killing, lawlessness, still lots of torture, lot less women's rights as far as I've heard, destruction of infrastructure, and so on and so on. I've had the feeling Iraq would have been better off if Saddam had been left to die of old age.


Sorry, I should have said 'net benefit in the eyes of the people who think the Iraqis should be grateful'.

Korto wrote:
Required to buy AND at higher price === loser's war tribute. It's just got a thin facade for the modern age.


To give him the benefit of the doubt, he may not see Iraqis (or at least all Iraqis) as losers who should pay reparations, but instead may see them as people America has liberated, and who he feels should do America a good turn in return.
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Skgoa
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 07:02pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2007-08-02 01:39pm
Posts: 1388
Location: Dresden, valley of the clueless
Korvan wrote:
Ziggy Stardust wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
Maybe he's right, we should not demonize them as evil, just admit they're fucking dumb and that's all.


This.

They are incredibly ignorant, to the point that it is deliberate. These aren't people that go onto Internet forums and news sites to find out what is going on in the world; likely they never read the newspaper or watch anything but the local news, and all of their attitudes towards world affairs are gathered from talking in the bar after work.

Not evil, really, or at least not aggressively so. Just really, really, really stupid.


I have to agree with this. My folks (who are left leaning, even for Canadians) spend a fair bit of time in Arizona. While there they picked up the belief that every single illegal Mexican immigrant was involved with the drug trade. I was able to get through to them with a fair bit of effort that the vast majority of illegals were gardeners. farm laborers, construction workers, etc but it wasn't easy. Turns out that pretty much every local media source there is harping on the illegal immigrant = drug trade.

Ignorance isn't as connected to stupidity as you think. There is plenty of "moronic" believes that very intelligent people hold.


Korto wrote:
Ultonius wrote:
I suppose that some of the people with this attitude dismiss and underestimate the human cost to Iraq compared to the net benefit of overthrowing Saddam, either because they haven't examined it closely or because it's easier to do that than admit that their country's actions are unsupportable.

Was there a net benefit, for Iraq as a whole? Saddam's gone, but a lot of killing, lawlessness, still lots of torture, lot less women's rights as far as I've heard, destruction of infrastructure, and so on and so on. I've had the feeling Iraq would have been better off if Saddam had been left to die of old age.

The Kurds* are better of, as are some Shia. Overall, most Sunni and Shia in a far worse place than they were before. THough I bet Achmesomethingsomething is praising the Lord every night for american foreign politics.

* Only those in Iraq, since Turkey has cracked down on those living in Turkey as a reaction to the threat of kurdish independence.
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Grumman
PostPosted: 2012-02-24 10:05pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2011-12-10 10:13am
Posts: 1495
Lord Zentei wrote:
That is not what a "free market" means. A free market is one where consumers are the ones who decide what gets bought and where owners/producers decide what gets sold, and the only regulating mechanisms are peoples tastes and the market price. As opposed to government officials making the decisions. The fact that these government officials decided to buy lower quality rice at a lower price doesn't mean that end consumers in Iraq's streets would have done the same.

Quote:
A Trade Ministry official said Iraq has decided to import only long-grain basmati rice from India due to its wide acceptance nationwide and cheap price.

"We have no problem with the U.S. rice specifically, which was widely acceptable by Iraqis, but we are seeing a demand for the Indian rice rather than others, which is also bought in good prices," he added.

It's obviously not a perfect free market, but the government importing the rice that people are demanding is at least on the right track.
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Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 12:14am 

Sith Lord


Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
Ultonius wrote:
Can what he's asking for really be described as compensation? He wants them to buy American rice at a somewhat higher price than they would have to pay other countries, not give America money for saving them.

What the fuck is the moral difference between taking their money and forcing them to pay higher prices for your goods?
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bobalot
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 02:33am 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2008-05-21 06:42am
Posts: 1527
Location: Sydney, Australia
Stark wrote:
This is really a stunning example of honesty. 'You owe us' is a lot more honest than 'they hate us for our freedoms'. They invaded Iraq for money; everyone knew that. They're just finally owning up - and turning their back on the free market (and arguably globalisation) at the same time.

Farmers? Complaining? Not 'news' to me. :V

I think our farmers here in Australia could give the Americans a run for their money when it comes to their entitlement attitude, demands for government assistance and endless excuses for their failing businesses.

Farmer: "I tried to farm in the middle of the desert and it hasn't rained in years! I NEVER COULD HAVE PREDICTED THIS! GIMME A GOVERNMENT HANDOUT!"

As for these douchebags, just how long did they expect Iraqis to buy their overpriced rice?
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 04:03am 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 24908
Ultonius wrote:
To give him the benefit of the doubt, he may not see Iraqis (or at least all Iraqis) as losers who should pay reparations, but instead may see them as people America has liberated, and who he feels should do America a good turn in return.


And by America, he of course means his bank account. Also, if he still thinks the Iraqis were grateful for being liberated (of their life) then there might have been some post-invasion images on TV showing it differently. Ergo, making him once more, an idiot.
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mr friendly guy
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 04:06am 

The Doctor


Joined: 2004-12-12 11:55pm
Posts: 8002
Location: In a 1960s police telephone box somewhere in Australia
Ultonius wrote:
Is it really fair to blame one farmer in Texas for the Iraq War? I suspect that a lot of Americans, perhaps especially those in rural or conservative areas see the war as being similar to World War 2: overthrowing an aggressive dictator and liberating the people he oppressed, at the cost of American lives. Of course, looking closely at the lead-up to the war and the way it has been conducted shows that it is far less morally clear-cut than WW2, but people who like to see America as a straightforward hero, as most American conservatives do, look at the two conflicts and wonder why Iraqis are not as grateful as Europeans were after WW2. Additionally, as the article points out, it has been a difficult year for rice farmers. If farmers perceive that Iraq is causing their families hardship by not buying their rice, they will resent that, even if they acknowledge that Iraqis have suffered from the invasion.


I blame him, only as much as I blame the voters who didn't do enough to oppose it, ie very little.

However, he and others like him as you will note in the article are quite happy to claim credit for "helping Iraq" (like many because he is American and they claim credit for things their government has done, even if they themselves weren't in a position of power) therefore by the same logic he should be happy to take the blame as well (even if he isn't in a position of power). So yeah, fuck him.
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Ultonius
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 01:15pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2012-01-11 09:30am
Posts: 217
Darth Wong wrote:
What the fuck is the moral difference between taking their money and forcing them to pay higher prices for your goods?


They get your goods in return, instead of nothing at all? I should stress that I'm not saying that forcing/encouraging people to buy from you at a higher price because you think they owe you for a favour you believe you did them is a good thing. I'm just saying that it's not quite as bad as simply demanding money from them as payment for the favour.
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SCRawl
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 01:30pm 

Has a bad feeling about this.


Joined: 2002-12-24 04:11pm
Posts: 3476
Location: Burlington, Canada
Ultonius wrote:
Darth Wong wrote:
What the fuck is the moral difference between taking their money and forcing them to pay higher prices for your goods?


They get your goods in return, instead of nothing at all? I should stress that I'm not saying that forcing/encouraging people to buy from you at a higher price because you think they owe you for a favour you believe you did them is a good thing. I'm just saying that it's not quite as bad as simply demanding money from them as payment for the favour.


You aren't getting it.

If we force Iraq to buy US goods, and those goods have higher prices for the same quantity/quality products -- reasonable, considering we're talking about a commodity like rice -- then the net effect is to steal money from them. Observe:

Case 1: Purchase for the best price on the market. Get 1 million units of rice for, say, $1 million.
Case 2: Purchase from the US. Get 1 million units of rice for $1.2 million.

In case 2, Iraq would have purchased one million units of rice and spent an extra $0.2 million for no obvious benefit. This has effectively been stolen from them if they are compelled to buy from the US. Some customers may choose to purchase from the US instead of the least expensive alternative for various reasons. They may prefer something about it which may not be easily quantifiable, but is of value to the customer. That's fine, it's how the market is supposed to work, but only if they have the choice.
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Ultonius
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 05:01pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2012-01-11 09:30am
Posts: 217
SCRawl wrote:
You aren't getting it.

If we force Iraq to buy US goods, and those goods have higher prices for the same quantity/quality products -- reasonable, considering we're talking about a commodity like rice -- then the net effect is to steal money from them. Observe:

Case 1: Purchase for the best price on the market. Get 1 million units of rice for, say, $1 million.
Case 2: Purchase from the US. Get 1 million units of rice for $1.2 million.

In case 2, Iraq would have purchased one million units of rice and spent an extra $0.2 million for no obvious benefit. This has effectively been stolen from them if they are compelled to buy from the US. Some customers may choose to purchase from the US instead of the least expensive alternative for various reasons. They may prefer something about it which may not be easily quantifiable, but is of value to the customer. That's fine, it's how the market is supposed to work, but only if they have the choice.


Okay, conceded. I suppose the most you can say is that the farmers quoted in the article advocating that Iraq should be compelled to buy American rice show less malice aforethought than someone advocating that Iraq should simply give America money as a reward for overthrowing Saddam.
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bobalot
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 05:32pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2008-05-21 06:42am
Posts: 1527
Location: Sydney, Australia
Ultonius wrote:
SCRawl wrote:
You aren't getting it.

If we force Iraq to buy US goods, and those goods have higher prices for the same quantity/quality products -- reasonable, considering we're talking about a commodity like rice -- then the net effect is to steal money from them. Observe:

Case 1: Purchase for the best price on the market. Get 1 million units of rice for, say, $1 million.
Case 2: Purchase from the US. Get 1 million units of rice for $1.2 million.

In case 2, Iraq would have purchased one million units of rice and spent an extra $0.2 million for no obvious benefit. This has effectively been stolen from them if they are compelled to buy from the US. Some customers may choose to purchase from the US instead of the least expensive alternative for various reasons. They may prefer something about it which may not be easily quantifiable, but is of value to the customer. That's fine, it's how the market is supposed to work, but only if they have the choice.


Okay, conceded. I suppose the most you can say is that the farmers quoted in the article advocating that Iraq should be compelled to buy American rice show less malice aforethought than someone advocating that Iraq should simply give America money as a reward for overthrowing Saddam.

It just makes them self-centred douchebags.

Iraq is a country with massive infrastructure, economic and social problems. There are still millions of internally and externally displaced persons.

Quote:
Farmer: Don't spend your money trying to end suffering and misery (that I'm partly responsible for!), GIMME MORE MONEY FOR MY OVERPRICED GOODS!

Yeah, totally not a hint of "malice" there. Just massive assholedom.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 05:50pm 

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Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 21032
How much pressure did the US exert to get the Iraqis to buy American rice in the first place?

I'm not saying there wasn't any. I'd be very surprised if there wasn't any. But I've literally never heard about this specific issue before in my life.
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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2012-02-25 06:01pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
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Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
Iraq buying US rice goes back to the Iran Iraq war when the US was unwilling to provide credit to Saddam for much of anything else except buying US agricultural products. US grain ect... also was just really cheap back then, cheapest in the world more or less. I'm surprised the buys lasted this long myself.
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