Saturday, July 28, 2012

Drought, Food Prices, Riots, and the Elections

The terrible drought and unwise energy and agriculture programs have combined to create a perfect  storm of skyrocketing food prices and civil unrest. How will this work into the progressive's political game-plan this election season?

WhoIsAdamBoys writes: "The Largest Natural Disaster In U.S. History: The Endless Drought Of 2012 Will Bake America Well Into August"

Why is the heartland of the United States experiencing such a horrific drought right now? At the moment, approximately 61 percent of the entire nation is experiencing drought conditions, and this is absolutely devastating farmers and ranchers all over the country. . .

. . .In a previous article, I included a quote from a recent article by Holly Deyo about why the price of corn affects the price of so many other products….

"Since 75% of grocery store products use corn as a key ingredient, expect food prices to skyrocket. Corn is also a staple in many fast foods. Corn is in ethanol and the main food source or chickens. In addition to this, maize is in many things that aren’t obvious like adhesives, aluminum, aspirin, clothing starch, cosmetics, cough syrup, dry cell batteries, envelopes, fiberglass insulation, gelatin capsules, ink, insecticides, paint, penicillin, powders, rugs and carpets, stamps, talcum, toothpaste, wallpaper, and vitamins. That’s just for starters…

This is a huge heads up for you to purchase corn-using products NOW before these conditions reflect in grocery goods. It will be a narrow window of opportunity.

An excerpt End the Lie "US drought might lead to food shortages and global unrest "

Rising food prices and global unrest might ensue from this month’s worst US drought since the 1934 Dust Bowl, with 64 per cent of the country desperately hoping for rain. . . .

“The drought is clearly going to kick prices up. It already has,”said NECSI president Yaneer Bar-Yam.“We’ve created an unstable system. Globally, we are very vulnerable.”

From Mike's America:

Food Prices: Since Obama Became President, The Monthly Price Of A Moderate-Cost Food Plan For A Family Of Four With Young Children Has Increased From $819.40 To $858.50. (“Official USDA Food Plans: Cost Of Food At Home At Four Levels, U.S. Average, January 2009,” USDA , 2/09; “Official USDA Food Plans: Cost Of Food At Home At Four Levels, U.S. Average, May 2012,” USDA, 6/12)

And excellent article by the Madison Project confirms what we've all been suspecting.

The Ethanol Chickens Come Home to Roost

After a year full of victories for big government legislation in Congress, the forces of statism seemed to have met their Waterloo with the farm/food stamp bill. The more people learned of the profligate food stamp spending and the market distorting, risk-inducing agriculture programs contained in the bill, the more they spoke out against this monstrosity. Speaker Boehner has refused to bring the bill to the floor so far.

Seeing their political stock rapidly diminish, the bipartisan coalition of government-run agriculture took a page out of Rahm Emanuel’s playbook and decided not to let the crisis of the summer drought go to waste. They are using evocative imagery of dead crops and the fear of higher food prices to shove this $957 billion behemoth through Congress. Amazingly enough, the Washington Post of all news outlets has injected some much-needed clarity into this narrative:

"But keep the potential hardship to producers and consumers in perspective. “U.S. farmers face this drought in their strongest financial position in history, buoyed by less debt, record-high grain and land prices, plus greater production and exports,” reported Christine Stebbins of Reuters, after a thorough canvassing of industry and government experts. Farm losses should be far smaller than those suffered in the last big drought 24 years ago.

In fact, the Agriculture Department estimates that government-subsidized crop insurance covers more than 80 percent of farmland planted with major field crops — at least two of which, wheat and cotton, appear pretty much unaffected by the dry weather anyway. Dairy farms are the least likely to be in drought-ravaged areas, the USDA reports. And many of them enjoy federally subsidized insurance against rising feed costs. […]

And before Congress rushes through the farm bill, it’s worth reflecting on all the ways existing policies worsen the drought’s impact. More corn would be available for animals if not for federal ethanol mandates. One reason for drought- and flood-related crop losses is that federally subsidized crop insurance encourages farmers to cultivate marginal land and engage in other risky practices, knowing that taxpayers will, in effect, bail them out. Both the House and Senate versions of the farm bill would increase subsidized crop insurance, thus accentuating this moral hazard."

I’m not sure whether the Washington Post is only supportive of urban welfare or whether they stumbled upon a random appreciation for market forces. Either way, they are 100% correct. . . .

And another excerpt from End the Lie points to the possible result of these policies. "DHS gears up for civil unrest prior to presidential elections"

The Department of Homeland Security has ordered masses of riot gear equipment to prepare for potential significant domestic riots at the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and next year’s presidential inauguration.

The DHS submitted a rushed solicitation to the Federal Business Opportunities site on Wednesday, which is a portal for Federal government procurement requisitions over $25,000. The request gave the potential suppliers only one day to submit their proposals and a 15-day delivery requirement to Alexandria, Virginia.

As the brief explains, “the objective of this effort is to procure riot gear to prepare for the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 2013 Presidential Inauguration and other future similar activities.”

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