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View Diary: Warren Buffett's latest op-ed will bring mutters of 'class traitor.' But he doesn't go far enough (117 comments)

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  •  A lot of "family owned and operated farms" are (1+ / 0-)
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    Leo in NJ

    worth millions of dollars.  The day when a farmer had a few cows, chickens, pigs and farmed 80 or 160 acres are long gone.  Many remaining "family farms" are huge affairs owned by wealthy people.   The concept of the small family farm we all had in the 1950s is long gone.  

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:52:25 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Going to have to disagree with you here (3+ / 0-)

      I can drive 30 minutes east of Austin, Texas and be smack in the middle of hundreds of small family farms with maybe a few dozen chickens, a couple cows, a heard of goats, and a ton of guard dogs. These are generally very "poor" people by modern standards but they literally feed and fuel the local sustainable food movement in Austin. They are exactly the types who would, quite literally, "lose the farm" if they weren't exempted out of an inheritance tax.

      •  That is the case around Austin, but it is not the (1+ / 0-)
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        case, generally, throughout the nation.

        If they are that small - truck garden farms is what we call them - then they shouldn't worry about inheritance taxes on estates over a million dollars, etc.  

        A friend just bought a quarter section of good wheat, corn, soybean farmland in Oklahoma - 160 acres - to farm as absentee landlord.  It cost him around $250,000 and his return is around $36000 per year, net.  He hires everything done.   That's a 14% return.  

        Four times that much land would put him close to the one million dollar mark, and over $100,000 per year in net income, no work on his part.

        Anything over that should have an estate tax.  And, honestly, corporate farms should be prohibited, but that's just me. :-)

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:48:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you on that one! (0+ / 0-)

          Texas is having a small independent farm culture revival right now, but it's having trouble penetrating parts of the state that are home to corporate farms like the south Texas valley. Coincidentally, these are parts of the state that have the most farm workers and the highest poverty levels. The guys I know who own their own small farms make out pretty well for themselves. They don't have much in the shape of liquid assets, but their quality of living is fairly high in regards to how they spend their time and how they live. In contrast, corporate farms exploit the local and migrant workforce while delivering inferior GMO products.

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