Our Version of OPEC

February/17/2008 23:40PM
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Since 1973 OPEC has become a symbol of bad ideas. By controlling production they yoyo prices and stick it to us. Are we behaving the same way with food?

Last month 10,000 people took to the streets in Jakarta to protest soybean prices. In 2007 pasta prices sparked street protests in Milan. Mexicans marched against the price of tortillas. Senegalese protested the price of rice, and Indians took up banners against the price of onions.

Congress decided to keep the farm subsidies in place. So, like the Saudi’s, we will pay farmers not to grow crops with our tax dollars. Not, surprisingly, many in congress will receive those checks. This will help keep exports down and food scarce and expensive in those countries where protests are occurring. And, we will require a bigger and bigger portion of the corn grown to go to ethanol. This induces farmers to switch wheat and soybeans to corn. Hence, less of everything to export. Unlike the Saudi’s we are letting food prices go sky high here. At least the Saudi’s have cheap gasoline. Again, your tax dollars are paying to make ethanol cost effective. 

We are the major player in the worldwide price of crops. By cutting supply we are gouging the world and consumers here. Paying not to farm and diverting crops to ethanol is working very well. Charging you through your tax dollars makes it even more appealing. You get to pay the higher prices for food and more taxes to make them higher. And, a large number of congressmen get a big check from your tax dollars. 

We are too dumb here to stop this. But, when the rest of the world catches on to our little game, we may not be able to take that heat. Being painted with the same brush as the OPECers may be too much for the delicate egos in Washington. Will they stop the checks to themselves, or stop the ethanol program, or both?. Probably the ethanol program, remember those farm subsidy checks are going directly to many of them. 

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