Draft animals as common property

by on September 29, 2017 at 1:27 am in Economics, History, Law | Permalink

The full title is “There Will Be Killing: Collectivization and Death of Draft Animals,” by Shuo Chen and Xiaohuan Lan.  Here is the abstract:

The elimination of private property rights can lead to inefficient use of productive assets. In China’s collectivization movement from 1955 to 1957, instead of transferring draft animals to the ownership of the collectives, peasants slaughtered them to keep the meat and hide. By comparing 1,600 counties that launched the movement in different years, the difference-in-differences estimates suggest that the animal loss during the movement was 12 to 15 percent, or 7.4–9.5 million head. Grain output dropped by 7 percent due to lower animal inputs and lower productivity.

Here are earlier, ungated copies.

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8 Anonymous September 29, 2017 at 3:28 am

Same thing happened in USSR during collectivization.

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9 Mark Thorson September 29, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Yes, that’s mentioned in Assignment in Utopia by Eugene Lyons. Great eyewitness account of the early Stalin period. A funny thing happened about a year later. People were hoarding coins for their intrinsic value as metals. The Soviet government outlawed this and withdrew coin currency, which ignited even more hoarding. Within a couple of days in 1930, small change completely disappeared in the Soviet Union. Paper scrip was issued, but it took some time before things got back to normal.

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10 rayward September 29, 2017 at 7:15 am

Taxation would be the analogy: rather than pay taxes, businesses and individuals “slaughter” productive/profitable activities. That’s the underlying rationalization of those who are excited about their windfall from Trump’s tax proposal if it’s adopted. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/business/trump-tax-businesses.html Of course, the winners under Trump’s tax proposal aren’t “peasants”.

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11 rayward September 29, 2017 at 7:25 am

Republicans, Trump in particular, argue that government should be operated more like a business. At one time that meant operating according to a budget, so that revenues covered expenses. For government, that would mean taxes would be sufficient to cover government expenses. But that was in a time long ago. Today, businesses operate according to the market for their stock: as long as the price is rising, what difference does it make if the business incurs losses. Similarly, Republicans operate according to the market for their campaigns: as long as Republicans keep getting re-elected, what difference does it make if their budgets don’t balance and produce enormous deficits and debt.

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12 Dick the Butcher September 29, 2017 at 8:37 am

Democrat Obama and the democrat Congress tried with all their might, but could not stop the evil, racist Republicans from raising taxes by $1 trillion (ACA taxes), Fed QE’s of $4.5 trillion, and doubling the national debt to $20 trillion . . .

Did anybody else notice the 3.11% 2Q2017 GDP growth? Making America Great Again!

The truth is out there.

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13 Dick the Butcher September 29, 2017 at 8:27 am

My, My.

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14 Dick the Butcher September 29, 2017 at 8:26 am

Draft horses are commercially active. They are mainly used by landowners that want to harvest some lumber and avoid cutting roads through their properties.

Our hunt club annually hires a teamster and team to pull our wagon into our Adirondack deer hunt. It’s forever-wild Adirondack Park and no motor vehicles are permitted.

For years, we used a team of Belgians. The teamster would bare-back ride and lead the second horse out, and reversed it when we went out.

Now, we use a team of Percheron horses. They are taller but not as powerful as the Belgians. They are capable of fording (up and down its banks) the East Br. Sacandaga River.

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15 Brian Donohue September 29, 2017 at 8:54 am

The plan is good. Don’t blame the plan. !@#$%^&* people.

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16 Hopaulius September 29, 2017 at 1:55 pm

“animal loss during the movement was 12 to 15 percent, or 7.4–9.5 million head” Leftists everywhere: you say that like it’s a bad thing.

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