The Great Sugar Shakedown

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Michael, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    YOUTUBE: The Great Sugar Shakedown

    This is a short reading video outlining the history of sugar and the role of government in the USA. Just anther example of how the government misuses it's one privilege "initiation of force" against the Citizen and how this leads to a feed-back of more force. Screwing over the Citizen each step along the way. How private enterprise fight back and try to skirt the law (avoid being screwed over). The government misuses even more force. How it's all one colossal waste of time and money and resources all in an attempt to secure the interests of a few wealthy Americans who use the government's force against the Citizens. Everyone loses except for the Sugar Barrons who make $100s of millions (in the end they lose too). AND how Karma comes around in funny ways (I'm thinking fructose and three generations+ of Type II diabetes).

    Unintended consequences.
    Blow Back.
    Ying and Yang

    Whatever you want to call it ....

    When you act immorally, you will pay Hell in the end - whether you even realized it or not. How many Coke/Pepsi drinking Type-II diabetics would even of known?

    How many people would know OR CARE.... much of this happened under Regan's watch, never heard a peep from the GOP or the DEM. AND if you think Sugar is a Shakedown, just begin to try and imagine the TRILLION$ of dollars going into the military industrial complex and banking elite.....
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Let's please separate the health issue from your problems with having a government that can do things like regulate agriculture. If the domestic price were lower, do you think consumption would be any less? Of course not. Our sugar policy keeps the domestic price higher than normal.
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  5. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    What do you think about the government regulating sugar trade? Not only did it stick the American consumer with sugar priced WAY out of the park ($0.03 versus $0.21/Kg) it also led to the destruction of farms in poorer countries, who were then "subsidized" by our government giving them "food aid" (further wrecking their economy) which ultimately led to them switching to marijuana.

    The government passed all sorts of laws restricting so much stuff it destroyed our ability to produce even chocolates.
    The government wasted millions enforcing these immoral laws calling a 0.1% recovery of funds a "success" while fining and jailing anyone who tried to skirt the law and import sugar. Then they had to start restricting trade on other sweats (as these were 'skirting' the law).
    It finally led to Coke and Pepsi switching from sugar (which is probably perfectly fine to eat) over to corn syrup / fructose (which may be the reason for the massive explosion of Type II diabetes in the US).

    My point is, you can't know what's going to happen. You start with the premise - we need to "protect jobs" (which was bullshit - it was about protecting monopoly) and you end with drug addicted obese diabetics draining our healthcare system.

    This is why we should start at first principals and say: Initiation of force is immoral. The government should NOT even have the authority to regulate the way Citizens freely trade with one another .... AFAIC. That should be left to the Citizen to make up his or her own mind. We're adults, we don't NEED the government telling us what we should and should not buy with our money so long as it's not directly harming someone. Everyone thinks the government is "there to protect me". I find it's the exact opposite - 99% of the people who become politicians are the very last people you'd want with a scintilla of power. They will abuse it. Which is why they invented the monetary system we have - not to help, but to milk.

    Smoothing out the "bumps" in the economy is another way of saying: Maintaining Power and Control. Of course they want things to run "smoothly". It's easier to remain in power. As soon as things should right themselves there they are using governmental abuse to destroy our lives.

    Anyway, it's an interesting bit of history about sugar and abuse of power.... and it's NOTHING compared to what the Federal Reserve has done. The Gods only know what the future has in store for us over the next 10 years.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
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  7. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Well, I personally thought this video was very interesting.
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    The citizens are the government. If you don't like it, get elected.
  9. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Well, that's not necessarily true. Most people who work in Government and pass "regulations" (as opposed to legislation) are not elected.

    Also, that video was an excellent example of the unintended consequences of people using the State to enforce a monopoly. Who knows, in a free-market while a few hundred rich sugar plantation owners would have shrunk and gotten poorer, the farmers in other nations wouldn't (or may not have) resorted to growing drugs (costing us a Trillion dollars), fructose wouldn't be in Coke and Pepsi and perhaps the T-II Diabetic tidal wave smashing into the USA would have been avoided, all sorts of things would have been different.

    Lastly, it's not about me having to run for office. It's about the ROLE of government in our lives.

    Do you know the return on lobby money spent? For every $1 spent on lobbying companies get $220 in tax benefits. That money comes from your income tax. If I were you - I'd probably be pissed. Your whole life you'll work and pay income tax and most of that will go to some corporate arse hole so he (or she) can use it to screw you over one way or another. Ironic in a number of ways huh?
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    The regulations are allowed to be issued based on legislation passed by the elected legislators, and if the regulations issued are not what the legislature intended they can change the laws. (also the courts can invalidate them if the regulations aren't in compliance with the consitution)


    Ah, no it doesn't.

    Tax benefits are almost all just a reduction in corporate taxes, so tax benifits are not equiv to the govt paying corporations money from our income taxes.

    More to the point, only people actually pay taxes.

    Corporate taxes are simply taxes collected from the people who buy their products, and the tax is simply part of the price of the product.

    If you raise corporate taxes, in most cases you simply increase the price of their products to the end user.

    Same with Excise taxes and Sales taxes, though in that case, the tax portion of what you pay when you buy the product is a tad more obvious.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  11. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    You practically need a Law degree to decipher the tax code. I know a very successful lawyer that only does this - he's a tax lawyer for multinational corporations. There are so many codes and regulations I can promise you, you are in violation of many multiples of them. Even shoe leather has a thickness regulation. Can you believe that shit? Everything in your life is regulated one way or another.

    Corporations are fictitious entities created so that their CEOs and ruling families can get away with murder. The Cattle are so fat dumb brain dead pink-slime-ammonia-beef-'product' eating zombies they wouldn't even stop to ask why we need "Corporations" (who also happen to be 'People'). It's much like the way people accept God and therefor don't even think to question the authority of the Pope or local Imam. People are so brainwashed they wouldn't even question the existence of fictitious entities like "Corporations" nor why they were invented to begin with.

    (Welcome to State education: 25% of Americans too FAT and DUMB to join the Army)
    Ah, yes it does. Because we're FORCED to pay an immoral income tax and FORCED to store our productive labor in USD politicians are able to offer treats and goodies to "Corporations" (such as tax incentives and sweetheart deals with impunity).

    Only the Little People pay Tax
    Let them Eat Cake

    You know how the story ends? Heads will role. The prison created for the 'Little People' hold rich people just as easily.

    We're being made to pay for our own enslavement. The sad thing is, you don't care. Worse, you think it's good. You're like the House Slave making up excuses for the Master having to beat an occasional Slave now and again for stepping out line. You've decided trading in your morals and ethics is worth it because you get to live in the House and you get to eat the scraps off the Master's table.

    Oh, so, did you know at present there's NO INVESTIGATIONS into how Corzine stole $1.2 BILLION DOLLARS on a bad bet he made? What happened Arthur? I thought the government was going to investigate and all the information would come out and we'd have a trial by peers and then justice would be served. You know, you were going to "wait and hold off on you judgement". Well, you'll never make a call because there isn't going to be a serious investigation and Corzine will walk away having committed the biggest theft of Private Property in Human history - JUST as I said it would be. There's one of your Master's Arthur, tell us how his boot tastes. Tell the Farmer's wife whose husband hung himself because of Corzine stealing what little he had left. Tell her kids how nice boot leather (regulated thickness mind you) tastes so so so sweet .... once you get used to it.

    Did you even BOTHER to watch that short Youtube doco?
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    The OP link (The Great Sugar Shakedown) is such an obvious example of the evils of government by the lobbyist of ultra rich minorities that I would have thought even adoucette could have understood.

    This is a well documented example of how millions of dollars flow to 1300 US sugar farmers, and the great loss of US jobs when US candy factories close, (or a major one moved production to Canada) etc. as they can not compete with foreign candy makers who pay up to seven times less for their sugar.

    And job loss is not only in the candy industry of US that was (and still is) hurt. For example with land in sugar cane production artificially more profitable, it is not, for example, growing other crops for export (soy bean farms being taken over for sugar production with less soy exports was an example mentioned in the video)

    As sugar is used in so many foods, the cost to the US consumer of (3 to 7) times higher than global sugar prices is very great. Fortunately, the stupid corn to alcohol program has lost some of its main government aid but this more than 150 year old and even more stupid program is still going strong, thank to the large bribes it gives congressmen every year.

    If you have not watched the OP´s YouTube link, do so and see a very clear example of our government, "of the corporations, by their lobbyists and for the ultra rich" in action as it adds to US food prices and farm subsidies tax bill. Americans don´t need to have lost many times more jobs than exist in the US sugar industry, pay higher prices for their food and be taxed to support 1300 sugar growers who have very effective lobbyist.
    Again I ask: How DUMB can American Voters Be? More at:

    I especially liked hearing the grower´s 150 year old arguments for protection of US sugar cane growers from much cheaper imported sugar: They said that with out quotas and high tariff on imported sugar they would go out of business and dump their many cane cutting slaves on the market, destroying other farmers investments in slaves and thus the whole agricultural economy of the South. They have not used that argument for some time, but current ones are just as bad.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2012
  13. Chipz Banned Banned

    Yes, you're right Billy T... we should screw over the 3rd world. You consistently show a naivety about economics which falls more in line with 2nd and 3rd world economic philosophy than the 1st world we live in. If people like you ever take control of our markets, and thanks to the UN more idiots are seizing power... the whole world will be substandard living.
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Just so you know I saw your post, but don´t respond to incoherent trolling.
  15. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Chipz, did you watch the video?

    Up is down. Right is left. Immoral is moral.

    There's a couple ways to approach this argument.

    1.Why should land not suitable to sugarcane be used less productively to grow sugarcane and not something it IS suitable to grow - such as linseed, or wheat, or soybean? That makes NO economic or common sense and is only feasible if we use energy from (say KSA's oil) to subsidize these farms. Which means we need to also maintain an army in places like the ME. Ultimately KILLING them and KILLING us. War on Terror is just trumped up to justify the need to subsidize our inefficient use of energy. Which seems to go hand in hand with us loosing our rights as well.

    Which should only be expected. You can't swim in shit and not expect to walk away smelling like it.

    2. Morally, why should FREE Americans be forced to pay more for sugar? If we are really free people, then we should have the freedom to choose whether or not we want to buy sugar from American farms or other farms in other countries. No one has the moral right to make that choice for us.

    3. While sugar tax keeps the price of sugar high (which is great for the few sugar plantation owners) it's horrible for other sectors in the economy - such as chocolate manufacturers. Contrary to what those douche bags ruining our economy from the Fed think, politicians can't tweak their districts without have unforeseen consequences in other sectors of the economy and destroy the lives of people unknown or unseen (not that a politician would give two f%cks anyway - but YOU should!)

    4. Morally #2: why should Americans be FORCED to PAY for the subsidies that then maintain the high costs of sugar? We do so in inflation when the Fed prints the money needed to pay for all the inefficiency. In a free society the free market will decide what Americans want to buy, by (OMG) letting them FREELY chose - I know, shocking! Made In America sugar or sugar from other areas of the world where it's grown much more efficiently should be a free choice.

    5. No one seems to pay any attention to the role of the USD - which is half of every transaction.

    Chipz, you needn't worry about the BillT's of the world taking control. That's ONLY going to happen after the Chipz's of the world destroy what's left of our prosperity. I mean, hey, it now takes BOTH mother and father working 50 hours a week to make what in the 1960s only the father could make working 40 alone. And hey, most Americans are waiting until they're in their 30s (even 40s) to have children. What more do you want? Maybe their children should work as well? Oh, and f%ck retiring at 65. Try 85. Or never!

    There's no such thing as a free lunch - all those subsidizes come at a price to society.
  16. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Because the government has a mandate to do whats best for the nation as a WHOLE...even if a minority ends up paying more. The NET benefit is their first priority.

    If an American buys sugar for $15.00 from American producers that he could have bought from Brazil for $10.00...what is the end result?

    That $15.00 stays in America...instead of $10.00 of wealth leaving the country.

    Yes, the consumer has lost $5.00, but the American producer who gains $15.00 also pays taxes on his benefit, which is cycled back to all consumers.
  17. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I disagree that the role of the government is to do what's best for the nation. As a matter of fact, I worry that 'what's good for the nation' is a slippery slope - one we've already fallen down as is evidenced by how shit the nation now is. The role of the government, it's mandate, is to protect property rights and see that the Law is upheld. Once those things are taken care of, the people of the Nation will do what's best for it.

    Take the case of sugar. Who is to say that keeping those 1300 fat-cat sugar plantation owners in business is GOOD for the nation? I can tell you who doesn't think so, the candy makers. Candy markers value add, whereas sugar producers don't. On that alone, candy producers are more economically valuable to the Nation. If the government truly gave two shits about what was good for the Nation, it'd do what's best for Candy makers NOT inefficient plantation owners. But, how would the government know? They wouldn't. Which is why it's best if they stay as far away from doing 'what's best for the Nation' as that's a sure fire way to destroy the nation fastest!

    Let's leave it up to the Citizens of the nation to do what's in our best interest through our choices. IF the monetary system is functioning properly a feed back will ensure we make choices that are in our overall best interest.

    In this case we ended up with a few FAT overly rich plantation owners (who probably hire Mexicans to cut the sugarcane, I damn sure it isn't American citizens doing that back breaking labor).

    OK a small plus for indigenous sugar.

    What about the negatives?
    1. Loss of all candy factories and manufacturing job as well as delivery jobs and skills in candy making and engineering.
    2. Switch from sucrose to fructose which IMO has led to the Type II Diabetic outbreak in the USA. Probably costing our nation $100s of billions in healthcare, destroyed families, reduced productivity, reallocated resources, etc...
    3. Putting sugarcane farmers out of business in 3rd world nations led to them growing cocaine and other opium. Resulting in the War on Drugs and another few $100 billion fighting it and the Gods only know how much lost in productivity, destroyed families, communities, etc...
    4. The cost of everything has sugar in it went up costing us gods only know how much more?
    5. Sugarcane grown in areas where it isn't normally grown needs fertilizer which comes from oil. Hence, another reason we needed the War on Terror. See, when you do unproductive stupid things like grow sugarcane in the desert, well, you need a lot of energy and oil. Hence a few nations destroyed, millions dead, and insidious things like 'The Patriot Act' (you know, for our welbeing and the Nations Best Interests).

    But, hey, 1300 sugarcane plantation owners got FAT. Yippie..

    When the government sticks ham-fists into the economy it skews and distorts the free market. Goods are no longer supplied at demand price. Resources are no longer economically distributed. This means the government has to do more. And thus it skews things even worse. So it grows bigger and trying other things. Soon, we're stuffed. Which is, IMO, where we're at now.

    A Tale as Old as Time.....

    Also, that $10 may have went overseas, but, so too would our candy! Bring back $50 in trade surplus (which is why everyone wants to value add).

    What do you think?

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    You failed to consider the losses of tax revenue, etc. from the many more (than sugar industry jobs) US jobs destroyed, just in the candy industry alone by the high domestic price of sugar. The higher than need be cost of US food that contains sugar, etc.

    You also failed to notice all the funds going out of the country to Nestle etc. to buy imported candies – much greater drain of funds from the US than the “$15 that stays in the US”
    Just the loss in exports of soy etc. which is not produced on the land it could have been grown on as growing sugar (an artificially more profitable use of the land) has a greater effect on US net balance of payments because sugar is one of the cheapest things per pound that is imported. And, BTW, never is the US sugar price less than three times more expensive than the global price so change your numbers to $15 vs. $5.

    I forget the correct number, but it is more than 100 pounds of sugar the non-diabetic average American consumes each year as sugar is added to almost everything he eats. Thus the cost to Americans is above $1000 per year added to their food bill - You did not mention that either.

    SUMMARY: Your economic information does not even disserve to be called an "analysis" as many of the more important facts have been ignored.

    I´m not very good at searching but did find the chocolate sales in the US were 3 to 2 imports. Also note that Nestle, paying less for sugar is very likely to buy Hershey according to many stock analysist - then most of dollars Americans spend on Chocolate at least will be foreign exchange drain.

    "Chocolate candy import $371 million in 1998
    Chocolate candy exports $249 million in 1998..."

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2012
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    This is not true. A certain group (powerful elite) of citizens are the government who seldom DOESN'T represent the interest of the majority. (wars, health care)

    Now going back to topic. Sugar is basicly a poison of short. I love sugar, but I still acknowledge the danger of using it too much. So what if sugar was even cheaper??? Sure we would use even more, thus we would have more bad teeth, worse health and more weight.

    So just maybe expensive sugar isn't such a bad thing..
  20. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Then tax it at a higher rate, like cigarettes, liquor, etc. that government decides is bad for public health - don´t give millions of dollars to a select few (1300 growers) who have a very strong lobby. (Paying big bribes called campaign contributions, if not under the table cash.) Instead of a sugar subsidy cost to tax payers, Sugar could be a great revenue source for the government, if you think the government should be telling you what to, and what not to, eat by a price mechanism.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2012
  21. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Though I'm not overly interested in these pointless discussions from someone who just wants to do away with the progressive nature of our current income tax system and sock it to the low income earners via reliance on just sales and excise taxes, every now and again I like to see what new BS you are peddling.

    Like your list of companies that paid no income tax.

    So I checked one of them out.

    Your claim:

    So I check out the Annual Report:

    And what do we find?

    As usual, you are wrong.

    E/M earned $19 Billion in 2009 ($4 per share), not $45 Billion.

    They did that on income of $301 Billion.

    Of which they paid:
    $25 Billion in Sales taxes
    $34 Billion in "other" taxes
    $15 Billion in Income taxes.

    For a total of $74 Billion in taxes, all of which were passed on as part of the price of every gallon of gasoline.

    Which is why I won't bother to check your other claims.
  22. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I can't recall anything that says cane sugar is bad for a non-diabetic to eat. It has been shown not to cause diabetes. OTOH fructose, corn sugar, we don't have a great understanding of it's long-term effects on our metabolism. There's some interesting correlation of cane sugar drinks in Australia switching to fructose (Coke and Pepsi) which strongly correlates with an identical wave of TII Diabetes in AU.

    All of that said, tax is not the answer. High healthcare premiums are. Insurance companies should be able to charge what they want and people should freely choose which healthcare insurance provider they want to pay for. The insurance company could, for example, provide premium long-term contracts to customers with good health strategies as evidenced by their yearly physicals. Also, in a truly free market (with no need for regulated MD licenses rackets) healthcare would plummet in price. If you think $300 supercomputers in your pocket are cheap, just imagine what it'd cost to see a GP. Maybe $10?

    That's if you felt the need to go to the GP. Being able to self-prescribe would open up all sorts of online healthcare providers. You'd also be able to see a specialist CHEAP as the racket and monopoly would be broken.

    It's hard to picture a free market world, but try to imagine Skype. Who'd think Skype would exist. Essentially a FREE video communications service in your pocket like the Jetsons. Did I mention FREE? THAT is the power of a free market. Now imagine if you needed a government issued and regulated licence to open a website? Every time you posted a post (if you bothered) you had to pay and you could only access those sites that you were authorized to. You know, because you're an idiot and need Big Brother looking after you. Gods only know what you'd do if you were let loose - maybe hurt yourself watching porn. THAT is the world we live in today.
  23. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure if you are being dishonest or just flippant? I'm thinking flippant. It's a known fact most people form an opinion based on irrational emotions and then look for ways of justifying a conclusion that they've already reached based on how they feel. Think Progress who cite Forbes and Mother Jones’.


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