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The Latest Attempt to Make Sense of the Catfish Wars

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posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 07:10 PM
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www.foxnews.com...


Thirty years ago, the United States finally ended its long and costly war with Vietnam. That war pitted two fundamentally different views of the rights of men versus the power of the state against each other.

One side believed men owned themselves and are born with religious, social and political freedom. The other believed the state owns men and was obliged to claim not only the product of a man's labor, but also to dictate his thoughts, his ambition and his beliefs.

The necessity and wisdom of the Vietnam War will continue to be debated for decades (I happen to think it was neither necessary nor wise). What's not debatable is the morality and sustainability of the respective ideologies. Ours was moral and prevailed. Communism wasn't, and failed.

Today, however, when it comes to one market, it's the government of Vietnam that's fighting for the economic freedom of its people. And, sadly, it is the United States that's using the power of the state to deprive the Vietnamese of the right to earn a living. The market is catfish. And the behavior of American politicians in the so-called "catfish wars" has been consistently appalling.


Great article on the Catfish Wars, very compelling I think.

This is one of those situations where two things are clear: the people involved on our end are looking out for the best interests of business, and how similar to our 'defeated' enemies we've become. It happens all the time in great literature, no reason it shouldn't happen in the real.

There's nothing wrong with healthy competition. If Vietnamese catfish is superior and less expensive, why shouldn't it dominate the market? Nothing's stopping folks in America from raising catfish. They're just not able to compete in terms of scale, so they have to become smaller and more efficient to stay afloat.

Them's the breaks. Nobody ever forced Trent Lott to eat Vietnamese catfish, so what gives him or any asshole like him the right to tell me what I can or cannot eat?

Farming in America is entirely too subsidized, and entirely too disconnected from the daily lives of the people. I'm sure there would much less crime if more people had to work the fields or the stalls day after day. That sort of life is exhausting, but it's very rewarding. Unlike most jobs in America, it's the sort that can support you in the absence of this nonsense paper economy (soon to be rid of it I hope).

Catfish farmers should be selling shares in their businesses, creating co-ops, diversifying with other livestock and innovating to create low-cost solutions to become more competitive. Fish in a barrel for example. 'Barrel Cat', I like the sound of that. Has a nice advertising-friendly ring to it. hehe.



[edit on 23-2-2006 by WyrdeOne]




posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 09:15 PM
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Isn't capitalism the ecomonic form that allows for the best product to remain? Who are we to articifically make our product better?

Is this the whole story, though? Will allowing the Asian catfish into american waters upset the balance of nature, as has the introduction of many other forms of animals?



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 09:26 PM
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Oh well they don't want Vietnamese catfish but I can tell you that most of the frozen fish in the market comes from China.


And for catfish I don't like it, I grew with salt water fish.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 09:28 PM
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Is this the whole story, though? Will allowing the Asian catfish into american waters upset the balance of nature, as has the introduction of many other forms of animals?


Nah, it's not an invasive species issue because by the time the Vietnamese catfish make it to the US they're frozen filets, or cubed and breaded.


Not much chance of two filets breeding in transit and depositing living young in the waters below the flight path.

I think the bio-terrorism concern was a really thin veil of an excuse. It's not like our ports are adequately defended, it's not like the border's secure, it's not like our foreign policy is fostering diplomacy. Catfish can't possibly be high on the lists of threats to national security, and yet, here we are.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 09:36 PM
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*blush*
My mistake. I somehow thought they were bringing in life fish in to farm here.
I must have read that article waaaay too fast.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 10:09 PM
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www.seafoodbusiness.com...

Here's more than anybody should ever need to know about the seafood business, specifically the Catfish wars.

It's definitely an interesting study in a particular facet of international trade, but like I said, it's more than most people will ever need to know.

It does provide a somewhat different view of the problem, putting most of the blame on unsavory importers eager to exploit the cheap price while sometimes misleading buyers about the origin of the catfish.

I almost feel silly talking about whiskered fish while the world implodes, but in some ways it's a relief.


MBF

posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 11:55 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne

Farming in America is entirely too subsidized, and entirely too disconnected from the daily lives of the people.


Farming in America is not nearly subsidized enough. We have to play on a very uneven playing field. We have to pay our workers more than a dollar or two a day. We have to use chemicals that are more expensive than farmers in other countries do (I have paid over $600/ gal for some chemicals). Other countries use chemicals that have been banned in this country for decades and use human waste for fertilizer.

The last figures that I have seen, the American farmer is sibsidized about $70/acre and the European farmers are subsidized about $400/acre. They have been hungry before and don't intend to be that way again.

This country needs to do more to keep it's farmers in buisness because when this generation of farmers die out, nobody here will know how to farm. The younger generation has no desire to do the hard work required for farming. If they can't sit in a $150,000 tractor, they don't want to do it. The ones that have the desire to work can't get into farming because of the cost. You can no longer buy a farm and expect to pay for it and raise a family just on a farm alone.

What will happen when our farmers are out of buisness and this country has to buy all our food from other countries and they get mad at us for some reason and cut the food off. You can't restart an industry like this overnight, it must be maintained.



I'm sure there would much less crime if more people had to work the fields or the stalls day after day. That sort of life is exhausting, but it's very rewarding. Unlike most jobs in America, it's the sort that can support you in the absence of this nonsense paper economy (soon to be rid of it I hope).


I could not agree more with you here. The only problem is that you can'd get the American people to work in the fields any more. I started having trouble getting Americans to work on my farm a little over 10 years ago and had to start using Mexicans. Most of the Mexicans that I have had working for me were decent hard working people that wanted to make better life for their families and did a good job for me.




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