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'Farms at Stake'

April 09, 1985

In your editorial (March 19), "Farms at Stake," you state that the farmers of America are in a serious economic state and must be helped. This is true; however, your suggestion of accelerating the processing of federal guarantees of commercial loans is not the solution.

Your solution is merely a suggestion of more of the same and is not an answer to this overwhelming problem. Accelerating of loans will help farmers this spring, but how about next spring, and the spring after that? Your own statistics reveal that simply cramming money down the farmers throats does not provide for improvement and in some instances may prove to be harmful.

Loans create problems for any kind of debtors, whether it is a company or our farmers. Loans discourage incentive. If the farmers can continue getting loans, why should they try to bring their farms out of debt if they do not need to?

Furthermore, this can continue into even further debt. Farmers will keep accepting loans year after year and not care if they are in debt because they have lost the incentive to bring their farms out of the hole and because they know they will get more money in years to come.

Even some of these negative consequences would be acceptable if the loans eventually worked, but your statistics show they do not. You comment that new figures show that "the crisis is deeper than indicated in earlier analysis" and that there is an increase of 13,000 more farms that have become insolvent in the last year. The situation is not improving. Also your statistic that "the crisis on the farm is translated into serious problems for the credit institutions" proves that they are feeling the burden also.

The continuation of loans to the farmers year after year gives the impression that something is being done. It hinders us from looking at the real problem of the failing farm economy and from finding an answer.

Ultimately, there may be no simple solution. Perhaps the farmers have to work together, combine their farmlands and funds to come out of this slump, but we, the taxpayers, cannot pour our tax dollars into a cause that continually shows negative progress. Everyone must work together to help this crisis so as to find a logical, financially reasonable solution and look at the broad picture, not just what a great deal of money will do.


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