Paving the road to nowhere, one word at a time.

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Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

American born, living in Mexico since 1992.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Stimulus Miracle: Chapter Two - The Care And Feeding Of Farmers And Ranchers

The second section in the Stimulus Package concerns Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Development. Agriculture concerns food, food is nutritious, and farms and ranches are rural. I am sort of confused on the concept of rural development though, as I always considered rural as undeveloped on purpose. I mean, once you develop rural you normally get something urban. But what do I know? I'm no Jedi Knight.

First on the list is buildings and facilities - rental payments, construction, repair, and maintenance: 251 million. I never knew that the Department of Agriculture even had many buildings, much less that they paid rent or were forced to, um, count seeds in substandard structures. This makes me feel uninformed. Also, I had no idea that rental payments created jobs. They probably taught that in Economics 101 in college, maybe I was out that day.

For the Farm Service Agency, additional salaries and expenses for maintaining and modernizing a technology system: 245 million. This makes sense, because the U.S. is so far behind the Russians in farming technology I was thinking that they'd never catch up. At least now they are trying. And watershed and flood prevention: 350 million (but not more than 50 million to one State). It's important to treat states equally, otherwise Rhode Island wouldn't get their fair share, and Louisiana might get too much. And watershed rehabilitation: 50 million. Because when watersheds become felons, they need to be locked up and rehabilitated. Once watersheds are rehabilitated and set free to become a part of rural society, studies prove that only in rare cases does such rehabilitation fail. Statistically, very few rehabilitated watersheds become repeat offenders.

The rural community advancement program: 5.8 billion, ostensibly as loans. Rural communities are so behind the times. Modernize those facilities, you farmers and ranchers! We need urbanization, dammit! And funding for administrative costs of ostensibly loaning 5.8 billion dollars: 1.8 billion. Because loaning money costs lots of money! And don't forget about the Rural Housing Insurance Fund: 22.1 billion, ostensibly as loans. Because rural housing can't be insured enough. And while the bill doesn't exactly say what rural housing insurance is, it's important. It must be, or it wouldn't require 22.1 billion dollars. The funding for administrative costs of ostensibly loaning 22.1 billion dollars: 501 million dollars. This is because, the reciprocal of the cost of loaning 5.8 billion dollars being 1.8 billion dollars is that the cost of loaning 22.1 billion dollars is 501 million dollars. You know, less is more, and more is less. It's the new math.

Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program: 2.8 billion. This is so that farmers and ranchers have the same access and ability to download high-speed and wireless pornography as the city-slickers do. This is important because farmers and ranchers have spent less time working lately since dial-up is so slow. It isn't fair that someone in New York City can enjoy both corn from Nebraska and high-speed broadband pornography, when farmers in Superior, Nebraska have to settle for dial-up.

Finally, the administrative & distribution costs for Food and Nutrition Programs: 500 million. There are so many families that don't realize that they qualify for food stamps and free school lunches, it's about time that the government spent some money to get the word out.

Now we're up to 36.711 billion. But hey, Yoda's ability to update his MySpace page from the planet Dagobah sort of makes it worth it, don't you think?

Next: Chapter Three – Traded, Jaded, and Sedated.


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