Tuesday, April 29, 2008

bagels and gas

Notice that prices for things like bagels are way way up?  That is because wheat prices are way way up, because American farmers are increasingly planting corn and soy instead of wheat.  At a pace that is much higher than I'd realized.

Why?  Higher profits.

And a big part of the reason they have higher profits?  Because of the absolutely absurd conceit asserted by de facto President George W Bush and others that we can just grow corn to make ethanol to replace petroleum based gasoline.  And the resultant federal subsidies for corn growers.  (Oh - and our absolutely ridiculous protectionist SUGAR policies also contribute, by making corn syrup an economically competitive substitute for sugar in the US, as it is in no other country.)

And what do we have now?  High wheat prices AND high gasoline prices, nice profits (and fat subsidies) for both Big Ag companies like Archer Daniels Midland, and record profits for Big Oil.

And food riots.

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