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Localism vs Agribusiness

Discussion in 'Economics and Financials' started by padre31, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/07/debating-local-food-movement/2435/


    First of all, Desroschers suffers from the economist slavish devotion to "ceterus parebus" which amounts to a set of assumptions based on the idea that all things remain equal, and constant. Such a fallacy reduces economists to pixie like pollyanna's that assume everything positive will remain positive.

    Secondly, localism does boost a local economy simply by increasing the amount of available funds in the local community, by growing ones own food, more cash is available to spend in that community as they are not tethered to a outside suppliers removing funds from the community.

    Thirdly, simply because growing a garden is not economically quantifiable outside of a balance sheet does not mean it boils down to a "Build a Walmart vs Grow Potatoes" proposition, there are reduced environmental impacts that are quantifiable by looking at quality of life issues.

    Fourthly:

    He disputes his own argument, "if" any given area produces food locally vs an area that does not, then the area that does not produce food and builds commercial property instead will naturally have an advantage, if he is so confident in his theory then sooner or later the locally grown food areas will inevitably switch to importing their food to keep up economically.

    Fifthly, he misses out on a micro economic view that an individual may use their free time to increase their productive capacity via growing their own food, here once again ceterus parebus falls down as it assumes a 24 hr clock that every worker potentially can work all 24 hrs. That is not reality and yet another reason why economics, Hayek or Keynsian, is called "the Dismal Science".

    My math major friend in college was actually laughing at the professor during our shared macroeconomics class because the mathmatical formulas were so ill conceived.
     
  2. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    IMO one of the main problems with agribusiness is that it relies on monoculture. Eco-systems rely on the interaction of several components. When components are eliminated there are multiple unintended consequences which can't be anticipated. So we end up trying to solve those with pesticides. Those have more unanticipated and unintended consequences and we end up up chasing more and more problems.
     
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  3. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Not so much for me Rafi, imo "ecosystems" tend to be resilient and species tend to move up and down the food chain.

    What does bother me about agribiz/libertarian lassez faire is it amounts to blind faith instead of self reliance.
     
  4. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Eco-systems do tend to adapt, but not in ways we can predict. In a very simple example, we change what grows in an area as we move to a mono-culture then have to use more and more pesticides and chemicals to combat the bugs that move in the void. Those pesticides have negative impacts on our health. The impact is not always direct, but when they're used in combination with other things. So it's not just eco-systems, it's systems in general. It's like trying to predict the weather. Some systems are so complex that we fail far too often when we try to predict what will happen.
     
  5. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    I do not subscribe to the invasive species theory Rafi, reason being this has happened since there was life on the planet.

    The "native" species had to out compete the previously "native" species for resources or they would have been selected out of existence.
     
  6. Zach13

    Zach13 Season Ticket Holder

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    Encouraging farming in backyards and in urban environments can only be positive.
    My grandmother always had a 1/2 acre planted of different crops and she would can the produce.
    I used to help my mother raise tomatoes, strawberries and mulberries when we lived up north.

    Now, many HOA's prohibit the growing of crops.

    If I were in local government I would look at distributing seeds to residents.
     
  7. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Oh sure, however economists, in the addled minded way they operate, are suggesting your grandmother could have been more productive by working a part time job and buying the produce.

    Things such as this approach is one reason why I cast a dubious eye on economists in general.
     
  8. Zach13

    Zach13 Season Ticket Holder

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    Agreed.

    Anyone that is currently growing grass on their yards is already incurring the time and expenses of watering, cutting, fertilizing and weeding.

    They could be getting some fresh produce in return for their efforts if we started looking at things the right way.
     
  9. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Isn't that like saying someone who has been shot to death, died of natural causes?
     
  10. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    First that's only part of it. But it's obvious that when you remove something that controls another predator and that predator thrives that there's nothing natural about it. But it's much more than that. We see all the time how the FDA might say something is not harmful, but then they find it is in fact harmful when combined with something else. That's what we face with all the pesticides we have to add when we take things out of balance or all the preservatives we have to add b/c we're shipping things from one side of the country to he other. We simply can't anticipate those effects. The systems and interactions are just too large and complex.
     

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