There have been numerous stories on the rise in farm bankruptcies in 2018. Picking one from December 1, 2018 in the Lincoln Journal Star by Matt Olberdin called “As ag economy continues to struggle, farm bankruptcies rise,” through October, bankruptcies in a seven state region including and around Nebraska are up 45% compared to all of 2017.
Trade issues and low crop prices are two main issues driving down farm incomes. Coupled with rising interest rates and property taxes, and it is a tougher road for farmers. Per PBS Newshour, trade issues means tariffs getting in the way of the farmers’ markets.
These farmers use Chapter 12 bankruptcy that makes it easier to file and reorganize. This approach allows a higher debt limit as well. Per The Wall Street Journal, farm bankruptcy filings are the highest they have been in ten years.
As with the shutdown, real people are impacted by ill-conceived decisions by the President. Loyalty to a President becomes tough when you cannot feed your family and may lose your livelihood. With the tariffs blocking markets for the farmers’ products, the buyers must look elsewhere. These farmers will have to dump product or let it go to waste.
This is a key reason economist say trade wars cannot be won. More people lose than win on targeted tariffs. Yet, this does not seem to bother the man in the White House. That is troubling and sad for our country.