Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Farmers Against Agricultural Taxation Standing United (F.A.A.T.S.U)


To be a farmer in Pakistan is to reside in a financial paradise. You have government subsidized irrigation and electricity, your output has set government funded support prices ensuring healthy dependable profits (Thank you Pasco!)...particularly since the guys setting the prices are the farmers themselves.....and in a country of a 170 million hungry mouths, demand is never a problem. Career and profitability wise, life is good.

Because talking just got harder.....

Now, it has been well documented (by most of my professors and lady friends) that my mind tends to wander off (mind you, it rarely comes back in a sane state), and on such an occasion I contemplated a scenario where the noted hard hitting, hard talking, and soft drinking BBC show Hard Talk's Tim Sebastian ....would actually interview these esteemed group farmers, over their lack of taxable income. Farmers in Pakistan pay nil tax.

They call me Sebastian. Tim Sebastian. Like the Sex Symbol. Which also happens to be Me.

Note: Sorry Stephen Sackur, every time I see you, I think of much needed hair implants and Donald Trump's vagina. It's nothing personal. I just can't take your weirdly pitched voice seriously.

Stephen 'Everyone makes fun of my name' Sackur

The topic of discussion is a farm tax to help pay for the damages caused by the floods. Needless to say, the Farming community is not happy with such a scenario. Simply because once we start taxing agriculture even a little bit, they can tax it again later. Which is the real doomsday scenario. Hence, the creation of FAATSU! Farmers Against Agricultural Taxation Stand United! A league dedicated to the preservation of Farmers rights from breaking the law (that is not paying taxes) by simply not allowing agri-taxes to be put into play.

This is how my day dream went.

If we were rich, wouldn't we be using tractors?
Nice Glib talk on the state of the agricultural economy of Pakistan. Tenth Largest Output in the world, biggest source of employment blah blah, who cares. We get it. It's important, just like every other agricultural economy on the planet.

Tim Sebastian AKA Harder Talk: So Mr. Wack'em Vedera, It is FAATSU's position that this proposed farm tax is unfair, why do you feel that the farming community should continue to be exempt from paying taxes, as the government scrambles for sources of revenues? 

Wack'em Vedera: I am off the belief that our taxation system should not punish the poor. It may not seem it to you, but I am a poor man, even a 1% tax is too much of a hardship on me (he proclaims as he wipes the sweat off his forehead with his Solid Gold Rollex watch.)

I and the rest of the FAATSUs do much good for the country, we sow crops that people eat...well, we don't personally do it, but the guys that work for us do! Personally, I even collect Zakat from my employees, I am such an subservient muslim that I adjust and increase the amount every year for inflation, so by my last count I collect 68% of my workers salary and that goes straight to Charity.

Harder Talk with Classy British Cockney Accent: That's a rather tidy sum, How is that spent? Do you deposit it with the government or donate it to a foundation? Can you provide documentation to such effect?

Wack'em Vedera: No,no, those organizations are full of wasteful scoundrels, I take a trip every year with my family to perform Hajj (religious pilgrimage), and we stop by in Spain on the way, last year it was very tough, I had to sell some of my workers, their livers, kidney's and their first borns to raise funds for the Bentley I rented. RENTED. Naturally I can provide receipts for the hotels, flights, etc...the prostitutes might be tricky, those poor girls were Scottish after all, didn't understand a word of the Queens English.

Do you realize how mercilessly the Rich Zamindaars (Land Lords) mocked me when they realized I was renting as opposed to buying and then crashing it into a strip club like my family has done for generations? ooh, the shame. I was profoundly embarrassed, I shamed my village. Next year I'll have to buy two Bentley's and an F-16 just to get back on even footing. And my village will know pride again!

Harder Talk: You don't seem to be making any sacrifices, you took an opulent trip to Spain before going for an equally luxurious religious pilgrimage. What do you say to those, who contend that you are taking advantage of the sacrifices of your people and essentially manipulating them?

They called Regan the Great Communicator: They call us the Great Provider

Wack'em Vedera: Gora Saeeen (White Sir) That is completely ludicrious, I pride myself on the sacrifices I constantly make for my people, when my daughter got married the villagers from all over the region put a bit of money together, so naturally we didn't want to offend them and we ordered Mithai...from Switzerland, and ate the entire shipment....in one sitting! We didn't share it with them or anything. It's been 6 months and I still have the taste of Swiss Chocolates out of my mouth. I don't even like sweets, I'm diabetic. but for the love of my people I gulped down every bar of brandy filled chocolate till I felt closer to God.

I don't slur, I slam down the beat yo!
Harder Talk: You mean drunk

We're Number One, We're Number One!
Wack'em Vedera: No, I mean closer to God, I couldn't even remember what happened the next morning. But I remember that through the haze I felt Almighty Allah's presence demanding that I take care of my people so I did!

Harder Talk:  What did you do?

Wack'em Vedera: Two things, firstly I gathered the closest several thousand people and had them build a sand castle city (Always wanted to be on Ripleys Believe it or Not) and secondly, in order to support the flood victims, I threw a flood relief party, it was a high class affair, the elite of elite were there. Almost 15 people showed up for a night of frivolity, Shakira performed, and I can tell you, her hips certainly don't lie.

We had Gordon Ramsay cook some Tikkas in a savory cockroach sauce, it was lovely. Inspirational even. Completely worth the very reasonable 1000 pounds a plate that it cost.

Harder Talk: How much money were you able to from this glorified party fundraiser?

Wack'em Vedera: Well, we actually ended up losing money, I never went to school, so my accounting skills were never good, I always believed that one ought to leave the Math to God. but I think it's important that we at least showed up and made our voices heard. Now all those rich people will feel shamed into doing their part, and it's all because of us! All hail FAATSUS!

Harder Talk: You must be joking.

Wack'em Vedera: I'm not, I even remember one of the guests telling the Playboy Bunny Models

Malnourished Women

how he had more than enough sugar to be all of her friends Sugar Daddy.

Harder Talk: How is that Charity?

Wack'em Vedera:
Have you seen how thin those poor girls are? They probably eat once a week. They are very needy. See he's going to give them free sugar, and we all know how expensive sugar has become, though that's because of the crazy Nauruans; Have you seen how fat they all are?  Besides, I think we've all agreed that our next benefit will be dedicated to those poor girls.

Nauru: Fattest People in the World. Respekt!
Harder Talk: I think I'm going to be sick. You're all unbelievably delusional not to mention insane.

Wack'em Vedera: Don't mention it, we're all just humble servants of our people. We strive to set an example for the coming generations on how survive in the midst of poverty. Would you like a crumpet, I just had it flown in from some quaint little island called Monaco, have you heard of it?

Shit, Now what? This takes forever to grow.

 The End.


Ess.See. said...

This was interesting to read Alpha! Sighs. Kya banay ka Pakistan ka. =/

Alpha Za said...

@ Sydra: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. Not sure kya banay gha, but as long as the outcome has something to do with halwa, I'm cool.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I knew the post was coming to an end when I saw the photo of the two buxom girls. You must have been thinking: "How can I write when I'm imagining my head between the luscious boobies of the girl on the left?" Do you grow any interesting crops in Pakistan?

secret.whispers said...

well damn. that was quite the elaborate day dream you had there..

Alpha Za said...

@ Gorilla Bananas: Touche my friend. Touche. I obviously have an excellent sense when my readers would like the post to end, and contemplate what they've learnt.

As you can see, we tend to grow things with an emphasis on size and quality. Visuals are obviously important. We grow hot women (but you already knew that).

@ Secret Whispers: I just made up the parts I forgot. I'm sure it's accurate. My pet rock assured me.

Shahid Saeed said...

Murtaza, I expected a little bit more informed opinion on agri tax from you. It's stereotypical middle class urban ranting on agri taxation that irks me and there were shades of that.

Claim I. Farmers pay no agri tax. Wrong. They pay through the land revenue system. Land Revenue as opposed to agri tax is supported by many an economist too (owing to various reasons). There is absolutely no form of agri tax that will not affect the small farmers as well.

Claim II. All farmers are large waderas/land lords : Land is highly distributed, credit markets super undocumented and all big farmers lease land to smaller farmers year round for production. Undocumented contracts of production and sharing of revenue are as you would clearly expect, very complicated.

Claim III. PASSCO buys every shit they grow. Wrong. Most staple crops only. Support prices are very high, especially for the past two years wheat support price has lead to at least a three digit billion subsidy to farmers w/o increase in productivity. That's wrong but to say they get paid up for everything through the state is wrong too. No crop insurance, no formal credit schemes accessible to farmers, land tenure system skewed in a way that does not favour them and so on. A million big problems for them. Taxation on government buying by means of reducing support price is one way, but then again the small farmer gets crushed here too.

I'm not saying everything you point out is wrong but the farmer doesn't have nice time either. Urbaniite rants on agri tax are [mostly] hollow and have no factual value.

Might be going against the tone of the post but I thought it's relevant to raise this point.

May I suggest this rather well written paper on agri tax by PIDE.


Christopher said...

You're seriously the king of satire. I'll never be able to talk about Pakistan in a non-sarcastic tone again because of you.

obssesor said...

Great graph on Shakira and a hilarious post but farm tax dosent get my vote!

secret.whispers said...

well if you're pet rock says so...

Amna K said...

hahah! I TOTALLY agree with one of the comments above: You are seriously the KING of Satire! :-D


Amna K said...

Shakira's hips NEVER lie..



Riot Kitty said...

I think I'm in the wrong line of work...

Furree Katt said...

Shakira's graph! HAHA

Unknown said...

I loved this. xD

LOL at Shakira's hips and that graph.

Ghausia said...

I have to ask; why Shakira?

You know, the brown-haired bunny from the left is really cute. Thanks a lot Murtaza, a gay moment is all I needed. Stop alienating the fangirls!

If all tikkas contain cockroach sauce I am so glad I'm not a fan.

PS: I love the caption on the last picture. Oh also there's another not-a-coincidence-but-Fate thing that happened right now but just to be mean I'm not telling you.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

farmers...that's bullshit that farmers can get away with not paying taxes.

And price fixing is illegal. It's the same dishonest crap the oil people are doing.

justice...there is no justice.

but your post was cool and awesome. and let's me see that even in a field of weeds...a flower blooms.

later sweets. xx

*Dulce* said...

lol, grow WEED!

alonewithcats said...

I would perhaps be able to sympathize more with the farmers if their acronym FAATSU didn't make me think "FAT SUIT."

Alpha Za said...

@ Shahid: Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. really fascinating point of view, albeit one which I feel needs some correction.

When the Land revenue takes over 30% of your earnings (before the 10% additional flood tax), then please come talk to me. to equate the two is even more humorous than the satire I write.

You may find this surprising, but I do think small farmers ought to pay taxes as well. Everyone should pay their own fair share, particularly when small farmers already under report their earnings.

As for your issue with the unregulated nature of sub let land leasing. that needs to change as well. The vaderas have absolute control over the people living on those lands and the vote bank that comes with it. Just because it's complicated doesn't mean we should let the problem fester. Regulate the agri system and creating benchmarks of typical yields etc would go a long way to solving this and making the actual owner of the land as opposed to the Lessee would ensure better results.

Support prices are bull shit. The main crop which they cover being Wheat, which are above international prices. If you're telling me the smaller farmer can't compete with international prices, including shipping food all the way from South America, then I have a serious problem with our farmers. They need to innovate, use fertilizers better, invest in their land. Work smarter. In terms of crop prices, I think your argument is rather laughable, considering where food prices have gone. Without exception, our local prices are greater than international prices. btw fertilizers are subsidized as well.

In terms of insurances and farm lending, i believe you are misinformed, there are many banks that focus primarily on farm lending, and all banks do have exposure to the agri-system. To confirm please check Pakistani Banks annual accounts.

thank you for the very interesting article and sharing your view point.

Alpha Za said...

@ Christopher: Thanks man, haha well, i guess we're best described in satirical terms.

King of Satire: I love it!

Alpha Za said...

@ Obsessor: Understand my friend, we can all agree to disagree here.

Glad we found some common ground on Shakira!

Alpha Za said...

@ Secret Whispers: My pet rock has an impeccable record on speaking the truth. Which is also one of the reasons he's banned from running for office.

Alpha Za said...

@ Amna K: Haha, thanks. King of Satire has a nice ring to it. Though to be honest, i know of few other writing just as deserving of the title. Maybe we can make a triumvirate.

Alpha Za said...

@ The Adorable Ditz: haha, not sure about the mexican fat man, but he gets everything brought to him without leaving the bed, that's pretty awesome.

Boobs = Amazing.

Alpha Za said...

@ Riot Kitty: I know the feeling.

Alpha Za said...

@ Furee Katt: haha, I know I love that graph. It makes me happy!

Alpha Za said...

@ Anuradha: haha, thanks, muchos gracias. Or as Shakira would say 'Waka Waka' :)

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: Every desi man I've ever met has a thing for Shakira. She's do really well on Lollywood.

haha, it's okay, I'm sure this gay moment will pass.

They all might....ever check the dish in which they make the chutney......

Now I'm curious, pray do tell.

Alpha Za said...

@ Spiky: Well put. We put up with the dishonesty, which is the crux of the problem. Bullshit excuses.

Glad you enjoyed the post, the field of Weed would be brilliant.

Alpha Za said...

@ Dulce: Haha, Weed is a profitable crop.

Alpha Za said...

@ Alone with cats: I'd sympathize more with them if they actually ponied up their rightful share of taxes.

Alpha Za said...

@ Everyone: Eid Mubarak! I wish you all a very blessed holiday with your families!

Anonymous said...

Funny (really enjoyed the shakira graph). A friend and I made a very nasty (and unprintable) urdu translation of that song (maybe you should try that too).

As for this eid - it's dirty and disgusting and I've never liked it so I don't get it when people celebrate it like it's a big deal. But since I'm polite sometimes, I usually return the blessing. And I don't mind the holiday either. Definitely not complaining about the time off. That part is yay. The dirty part is yuck.

Alpha Za said...

@ Artkapakistan: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

haha, please feel free to share that nasty unprintable urdu translation. Something tells me that yours would be alot more entertaining than mine.

Something about the mass slaughtering and the way the animals are disposed off afterwards has the capacity to annoy me as well, particularly when the act comes across as paganistic in so many ways.

We all love Holidays. They are brilliant. I guess it's important to focus on all the good things about the occasion than the negative. After all, we already have so much BS floating around anyway.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog.

Among other things, this made me laugh hard: "Sorry Stephen Sackur, every time I see you, I think of much needed hair implants and Donald Trump's vagina."


Ghausia said...

I have noticed the obsession, the Shakira thing I get, but Katrina Kaif? Really? I have seen much, MUCH better.

The gay moment passed, and returned when I was watching Iron Man third day of Eid.That Scarlett Johannson scene in the end, siiiigh. Made me want to be a dude. :D

Oh I never have their chutneys. Mom says its naaasty.

Oh I forgot now, but there was an epic not-a-coincidence moment that you missed. Hah. :D

Alpha Za said...

@ Anon: Thank you! Appreciate the love, even if it appears to be solely reserved for my blog.

I rather like that accurate impartial description myself. Fingers crossed I don't end up wit that sort of hair. Karma is a bitch.

@ Ghausia: Katrina is beautiful. Don't be hating. What guys like and girls like tend to differ; your preference is hardly surprising.

I think that's a continuation of the gay moment.

Your Momma has a point.

haha, thanks for the lack of information, really descriptive. I enjoy the epic-ness.

Ghausia said...

lol she's pretty, kinda cute, but that's pretty much it. Oh another guy thing I don't get, whatshername, Megan Fox I think, the girl from Transformers? My God that is one fugly child. Blegh. And yet, guys find her hot. Seriously dude.

I think I have to make a point of watching shows/movies with ugly girls now. That, or shows filled with too many cute guys to notice the cute girls. Case in point; Mad Men. Don Draper dude. Siiigh.

Look, an epic person has to have an epic fangirl, no? Thus, ME! :D


Pakistan may survive or not .. but theres enuf fodder for sarcasm coz of its existence.... lol. Good post Alpha...

Madame DeFarge said...

Maybe we could take the same approach with British farming. Might be rather fun.

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: I think we both look for different things in women.

Thats an odd mindset, particularly when most of those 'ugly' girls clean up pretty good.

Voila, the world makes sense again.

@ Disgruntled Genius: We're rather good and the fodder providing department. Subsidizing my Sarcasm requirement.

@ Madame DeFarge: Haha, I feel the british farmer version would be just as amusing.

Ghausia said...

lol dude, YOU look for things in a women, I like boys remember? :D

Eh, you'll never find an unattractive girl on TV anymore. And hey like I said before, all the makeup in the world can't make an ugly person pretty. Mean I know, but true. Although I rarely find ugly girls to be honest. We tend to be pretty and flowery and cute.

I really can't remember what it was that was a quinkydink dude. Weird. On another note, its way past my lunchtime and there's nothing to eat and mom's not home to whine to. Sob.

Pesto Sauce said...

Its sad that farmers get away without taxes in all so-called third world countries

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: I don't think that's a point you've made clear.

um sure. one of my split personalities agrees, so Lets go with that.

Self Sufficiency is a great boon. I'm going to high five myself and decide what to order for dinner.

@ Pesto Sauce: Hey bud, I know. It's so unfair. Why couldn't we have inherited some sweet farms and have people fawn over us. Dammit! So unfair!

Kelly said...

Sounds like you have motherloads of corruption and retards there like we have in America. It's a real treat to be living amongst the dumbasses, isn't it?

I couldn't stop laughing when you wrote:

"Note: Sorry Stephen Sackur, every time I see you, I think of much needed hair implants and Donald Trump's vagina. It's nothing personal. I just can't take your weirdly pitched voice seriously."

Wonderful stuff, Alpha Za. Keep up the entertaining rants. Someday, you'll make history.

Ghausia said...

I really haven't, had I? Sigh. No wonder my teacher spent last semester calling me gay at every available opportunity. I like to hug my friends damnit!

How many split personalities do you even have?

Ordering out is baaad. Well no not really, but I went through this phase of ordering out a lot this year so I'm sick of it. I went and made myself kickass peas instead. But I burnt my tongue eating it and it still hurts. :(

Alpha Za said...

@ Kelly: We like to hoard corruption. It's what we do.

In the land of Dumbasses, it feels great to be a Moron.

Thanks bud, glad you enjoyed it, that was definitely one of my more fav lines.

@ Ghausia: Hugging is where it all starts from.

Several dozen, it's tough to keep track, then again, maybe they just keep pretending to be other people to keep messing with me.

Thats a sad story. That would never have happened if you just ordered in.

Ghausia said...

But I like sharing the love damnit! I love my friends!

And I thought I had issues. Which one is a snapping turtle?

Yes, but ordering in is bad cause so many people got displaced by the floods and things are so expensive overall that people are starving even more than usual so we should curb our spending habits wherever possible. Which is why I am a better person than you. Hah. :P Oh plus, dude, the peas were amazing. Worth the burnt tongue. :D

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: Time how long your hugs and multiply that with the frequency. That's how much too much love is.

The mean one who says dumb shit and is too slow to realize that it's just plain horrible...even though he's right. I actually used to have a pet turtle as a kid. Was kinda attached.

We should actually spend more money and drive economic growth, if we spend alot of money on pricey food, we're not competing for that cheaper level food, keeping prices lower. Which is why I'm a better person than you :P just kidding, semi snapping turtle mode.

How can you enjoy peas with a burnt tongue?

Ghausia said...

Is five minutes and after every 1 hour too much? :D Dude, my friend is so frikking adorable, she's a total doll, I've had about three boys asking me to introduce them or give them her number, she's the sweetest, cutest little dolly ever. How can you not hug her?!

My brother had turtles too. On the day of Bret Hart and Owen Hart's cage match which Bret Hart lost and made me cry over, we lost the turtles and they turned out to be behind the ironing table. True story. What happened to your turtle?

Okay I have no idea what you just said Mr. economics/numbers man, but I'm assuming you're wrong. :P Hi turtle!

Well it wasn't totally burnt, I burnt the left side a bit, and plus it just got worse with time, it wasn't so bad then. And I was hungry, and they were really great peas. Today, I had alu matar for lunch. I made it then I fell asleep.

Just telling it like it is said...

I'm just saying how did the big guy let his new wife find his peni? just wondering

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: I'll refer you to Legal and Religious counsel. haha, I can see why the boys want to hug her, however, you lesbo tendencies are rising to the fore.

I left him with my cousin when we moved from Saudi Arabia and he died.

haha, fakeroid assumptioN!

I think your hunger overpowered your lack of taste buds. Just a thought :P

@ Just Telling it Like it is: GPS is a boon.

Ghausia said...

lol its not lesbo tendencies, its more a love for babies and she's the baby so she's a cutiepie dolly. I am so nauseating to you right now aren't I? :D

That is so sad! :( My cats died. Sob. I cried.

I can't believe you just called me that! :(

Dude I dunno what it is with me and the peas, I made them again tonight and they got partially burnt so I boiled some more and as I was pouring water in the burnt pot, it steamed up and scalded my left thumb and incidentally enough, I'm a lefty. Plus, my stomach burns now. I am a very unhealthy person.

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: Not as nauseating as two guys doing their inappropriately long hugs.

I didn't cry. Boys aren't allowed.

sorry :(

How can you be an awesome cook if you keep burning food?

Ghausia said...

Oh lord I don't know why the maila guys at my uni insist on the hugging. And see, when I hug my friends, I do it when we're in class surrounded by people that know us, not in the middle of the cafeteria or foyer with everyone looking. And what's with the hand-holding? I make it a point to smirk and pointedly look at the hands and the hugging just for shits and giggles. Then my friends smack me and drag me away before the gay boys notice me.

But on the inside you cried. :D

Murtaza, if your girlfriend/wife ever cooks for you, I would recommend that you refrain from making such comments to them. :P See, the problem is that my room is upstairs, so all the food things are downstairs and when its things like boiling peas they tend to get burned because I go back up and forget to check on them. Hey, don't believe me, just ask the bhabi about my kickass chili. :P

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: No clue, its one of lifes great mysteries....

um....lets not go with that. :P

Haha, Notice how you didn't disagree with my assessment.

Ghausia said...

Well, you're a dude, you must know something about it! What is with the gayness? I don't even mean the "What up brother' kind of hugs they give after the summer, but the long drawnout ones, I mean, really? Really?! Go on dude, explain to me the mysterious ways fo the Pakistani man. :P

Oh come on, you lost your turtle, you cried on the inside to remain strong on the outside. There there. Sob. He was a god turtle too! BOOHOO!

Heeey no fair, tricking me! I am a good cook, I just have a short attention span, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he goes, you have the attention span of a mosquito, seriously. The only reason you might think I don't have a low attention span is because when I'm typing I can't forget what I'm talking about no matter how many subjects I discuss within a minute. Therefore, I am well aware that my initial point was to protest in defense of my cooking skills. Also, I am considering baking cookies today, and I am a shitty baker. Heh.

Alpha Za said...

@ Ghausia: I guess some guys look for physical affection through unconventional brotherly avenues.

I do tend to miss my poor Turtle. Mike was one of the good ones.

Do mosquitoes have anything that resembles an attention span?

Fingers crossed that the cookies didn't turn out burnt.