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The worst joke I’ve ever heard

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the kind of guy to really speak my mind…unless I am truly compelled to. It isn’t that my views are all that different or that I care about what others think. It may be because what seems to be right in my head may be too much common sense for the world we live in. Simple will always be better for me and in that respect society and our government have passed me by. With that said I am not an economist and politics aren’t my strong suit. Now on with the blog…

As I have mentioned before I live in Suburbia, USA. It is a great neighborhood and everyone gets along just fine. We watch after each other’s homes when someone goes out of town, we mow each other’s yards when someone can’t get to it and so on. We feel safe and it is a wonderful place to raise a family. As I have also mentioned, I am the only neighbor for miles around with a corn field (I use the term field loosely as it is 1/100 of an acre of sweet corn and green beans). Everyone knows what I do for a living and they are very curious about Ohio agriculture and they ask some great questions that I am more than happy to answer. My neighbors are your everyday average consumer so the more questions the better.

We recently had a neighborhood gathering and agriculture happened to be a part of the conversation again as local TV stations have talked a bit about the very wet spring and the late finish to the planting season. During the conversation my neighbor asked me if I knew why a farmer’s hat bill was rounded. I am always up for a good joke so I asked for the punch line and he said it was so they wouldn’t knock their hat off when they looked into the mailbox for their government check. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t even smile. Especially after the rough months that Ohio producers have just experienced.

I am not for big government, but I do believe that when the government helps individuals and companies, it is because as a country as a whole, we would be a lot worse off if the number of lost businesses, defaulted home loans and bankruptcies kept growing. There is a reason for bailouts, unemployment checks and food stamps.

I am not afraid to admit that I had to ask the government for help a few years back when I lost a job. Unemployment was the hardest thing for this proud man to take, but if it weren’t for that government check I certainly would not still be the owner of a house. I think me continuing to make my monthly payments on this house, instead of just walking away from it, is better for my community, township, county, state and national government.

There is a reason for farm subsidies and crop insurance as well. If it weren’t for that bit of help from Uncle Sam, there certainly wouldn’t be as many farmers in business and that would hurt from a local standpoint and a global one as well.

There is a reason that a farmer’s bill is rounded, it is to block out the Sun as he or she puts in an 18-hour day. The only thing a farmer may need if he has a government check coming is a good pair of boots because it is a long walk to the mailbox. I can tell you that from experience.

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  1. My husband (he’s farmed for 53 years) and I have this conversation from time to time about government subsidies, especially when people make comments about it. Government subsidies is one way to keep farmers farming and it keeps the cost of food down in our country. Without it, prices would go way up at the grocery store. We have an abundant food supply in this country and trying to feed starving people around the world at the same time. I can’t think of a better way for our government to serve its people. Thanks Ty for sharing your thoughts. I would not be laughing at that joke either. That attitude comes from people that are well fed. Betty Jo Lill (Lill Farms)

  2. I think that’s a funny joke. I heard it the other night and laughed pretty hard at it. That got me looking for a different version and eventually led me to your blog. You can laugh at the joke and still think it’s necessary for subsidies. Which I did and do. However, if a massive monoculture farm which isn’t economically or ecologically sustainable it’s hard to get behind subsidizing that. Especially if it is say, a hay farm, and they ship that hay overseas. Another aspect the joke made me think about is that traditionally farmers are more right leaning politically and farm subsidies are a socialist type of idea. If it costs a farmer a bunch of money to grow the food and that is reflected at the grocery store (or farmers market!) then maybe our culture wouldn’t waste as much food as they do. That’s the market determining the price. Whether that’s better or worse I don’t know. But what I do know is I found the joke funny. Making fun of our reality is healthy I think.

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