Saturday, May 10, 2008

For less than a cup of free trade coffee

Lets put the cost of food security and safety into proper perspective. A cup of free trade coffee generally costs more than regular coffee. Whatever that price is, it exceeds the cost of supporting the entire farm program, on a per capita per day basis.

Assuming this cup of free trade coffee costs $4.50, one might think it is a bargain, depending on where this was purchased. Now, switch gears and think about the entire American agricultural industry and the Farm Bill that has been hotly debated in both houses and now is threatened by a Presidential veto.

About 0.25% of every $100 paid by the taxpayer, or 25 cents, goes to support the farm program, including subsidies, conservation programs, research, etc. That's about 9 cents per person per day.

Without a doubt, farm programs are a bargain, especially when considering what this 9 cents does for the American consumer. It ensures that the infrastructure of a diversified family farm based agriculture will survive. It provides a modest safety net when weather wreaks havoc on the crops and livestock. It pays producers when prices move to disastrously low levels. When droughts come as they are prone to do in semi-arid climates, they help farmers through these times with direct payments so they can pay their bills and survive until the next harvest comes. It assures the American consumer that there will always be enough food to serve on the plate.

9 cents per person per day.....who would even pick up 9 pennies from the sidewalk and think they found real wealth? Even when compared to a cup of regular coffee, it's not even a contest.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Renewed endeavor to write about important matters

Anything worth having comes at a price. Relationships with long-time friends is worth the price. This short video is a small reflection of my time with some former highschool classmates while watching OU play in the Big 12 championship game a few years back.

As they say, "when in Rome", I support OU, especially when my friend from Oklahoma calls up and offers a ride and admission (14 rows up from the ground) to an important game at Arrowhead stadium in Kansas City. But hey, I'm a transplanted, born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, living in Kansas fan who supports any friend's favorite team, especially when I am the guest.

Our small highschool class of '68 has always had fun together, planning reunions that other classes even ask to attend. But that's the way we were as kids, too. Nothing exclusive or elitist, just "come on by and let's have some fun."