Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Follow Up

Tam had this comment today, which led me to expound on things a bit.  Whenever I get really long, I turn the comment into a post, so let me go there. 
So "Ha ha ha! Dumb democrats living in a city below sea level in hurricane alley!"

But "Ooh, evil democrats trying to chase brave republicans out of bottomland that everybody before 1960 had the common sense not to farm or build on!"

Anybody who'd buy bottomland that's only protected from flooding by a pile of dirt that was stacked up by the government deserves a good soaking.
Interesting set of quotes, but not where I'm coming from. 

I'm unabashedly in favor of farming, mining, and manufacturing as the ways to create real wealth.  The problem isn't that the fed.gov put down piles of dirt - I'm sure they're not the first group to try and tame the Missouri; that was probably an indigenous tribe.  The problem is really bad management of the river.  Bad river management means that higher food prices are coming.

There's almost a "perfect storm" of things around the world that are combining to push up food prices. 

A couple of those things are the apparent mismanagement of the spring thaw/flood season on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and the tendency to put environmental concerns ahead of human concerns.  It's being widely reported that the corps of engineers mismanaged the situation.  The corps was warned early in the season to open flood gates and not let the land flood so badly.  If true, they're responsible for ruining people's houses and property, along with destroying farm lands.

Other things that are coming together to force food prices up are weather problems around the world, and the political groups that are dedicated to putting concerns for humans on the bottom of any priority system. 

The ugly truth is that anything the causes drastic increases in food prices kills people on the margins.  Not just the ACOE, but also insane decisions like giving incentives to take food and turn it into fuel (corn ethanol), which is blamed in part for the riots in the "Arab Spring", and lots of deaths. 

Unlike the watermelon greenies, I view this as tragic.  I don't think sending mining overseas (and I include oil "mining") so that the pollution only affects "little brown people" is a good thing, as the enviro-weenies seem to.  If they don't want to harm them, why are they sending mining and farming from the most environmentally responsible places on the planet to the least responsible places? 


  1. Well, I say anything that happens to those damned Dutch in the Netherlands, they got what was coming to them. What a passel of fools to build most of a thriving nation below sea level. Who wants to trust their life to a bunch of dikes, anyway? Not to mention old windmills.

    There is, I firmly believe, a real difference between understanding there is risk, and having someone come along and deliberately destroy your livelihood. Sure, I knew my pulpwood plantation, or my Christmas tree farm was at risk from fire, even though I threw up earthworks, and/or cut a large fire break. That doesn't mean I should just bite my tongue when someone comes along and starts a bonfire on the edge of my property on a windy day.

    Add to that, as SG reminds us, the manipulations of the FDA, DoA, etc., the regulations and restrictions that remove any hope of real profit from the non-corporate farmer, and you have a travesty. One that won't only hammer the farmers involved but all of us at the market.

    As I said, it's all going according to plan. Zimbabwe figured out what to do with their farmers, and this administration certainly knows what to do with ours. ACOE was simply following orders.

    Anyone out there expect to see a "Pigford Fund" set up for these old crackers farming on the Missouri?

  2. Reg, the Dutch analogy came to my mind, too. But I think you sum it up perfectly.

    When people take on those risks, they expect Fed.gov to be an honest party. It turns out their signature isn't worth the paper it's printed on.