Ethanol Propaganda Hits the Airwaves.

@ParaTed2k (22977)
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
April 4, 2008 8:33am CST
For the last week or so, the following quote has become something of a staple on "The National Farm Report" hosted by Orion Samuels (syndicated on many Am radio stations). He has said it the same each day (or so close you can't tell the difference)... "Frankly, I’m getting very tired of the big city newspaper headlines that basically read like this ‘Blame ethanol for sharply higher food prices’. And the stories go on to say that because of ethanol and it’s demand for corn, taking corn away from livestock feeders and pushing corn to record high prices, is the reason why food prices are soaring higher week after week." It seems the old curmudgeon would rather us consumers look in the direction of the price of fuel, packaging, transportation, warehousing, and everything else under the sun is to blame... My question to Mr. Samuelson is, why is it one or other? Is it out of the question that "all of the above" (to include the increased demand for corn because of ethanol) would be the correct answer? His answer would be quoting someone else. Someone he seems to put a lot of stock in.. "Former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz said many times. “There’s not enough food in food to affect the price”. A few days ago, a package arrived in our office that proves that point. It was sent to us by the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association and it contained a large box of corn flakes with some additional labeling on the box, words that had been added by the Corn Growers. The altered label said “This $3.69 box of corn flakes contains 10-cents worth of corn”. The rest of of the price goes to processing, transportation, processing, advertising, wholesaling and retailing." Hmmm, that's interesting Mr. Butz. Haven't we heard for decades now that the reason farmers have to hire migrant workers is to keep the cost of food at the grocery stores down? Farmers have always defended their exemptions from mimimum wage laws. They tell us that if they had to pay minimum wage to field workers, it would increase the prices at the grocery store so high nobody would be willing to pay it. So, let me get this straight... There isn't enough food in food to make the price go up, but if you have to pay your migrant workers $5.85/hr, it will launch the price into space? Does anyone else see a problem with this?
3 people like this
5 responses
• United States
4 Apr 08
What i see a problem is that we are using ethonal for gas instead of fuel cells, i think fuel cells are a much more effective way to go for our atmosphere and prices in general. I dont have a problem with immagrants and this will be a major problem, even if we didnt use ethonal for fuel, but still get rid of illegal immagrants and whatnot then all prices will go up on places that use immagrants for slave labor. I dont agree with using illegal immagrants that way, but they are the ones that put themselves in that situation, and they are still better off that way than they are in mexico. My main problem with trying to get rid of immagrants is that it goes against our statue of liberty, it also goes against what america was built on. We were all immagrants at one time in our life (except indians) so why push away others that are trying to move to a better place, like we did in the 1700's
2 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22977)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
4 Apr 08
Kind of off topic, but only a little. There are two major flaws to the whole "we are all immigrants" argument. The first is, the immigrants who came to the United States of America travelled here legally, registered at one of a few migrant registration places (Ellis Island, under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty being one of them). They came here expecting to work. They only asked for passage to the US, and knew that there would be a debt to pay even for that... and they were willing to. When they got here, they helped build the nation. (Yes, there were criminals also, but when they were caught they were dealt with and no one accused our nation of being "racist" for it). The second refers to immigrants to this continent before there was a USA, and to the areas that had not yet become the USA... What happened to the tribes is a classic example of the importance of a nation's responsibilities to make laws protecting the integrity of its border. No nation that opened its borders without question has ever stood. No aboriginals who allowed themselves to become dependent on another people have survived. Something to think about.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Apr 08
I agree with you on that part, i do believe they should become legal immagrants, I know that i sounded like i was for illegal immagration, which im not, but our country does run on a lot of illegal immagration. Sorry i got off topic a little i do that. I think its wrong for farm workers not to get min. wage, they work just as hard if not harder than others, but it will bring food prices up b/c they owners of the farm are putting more money into there workers. I think our main problem though is all the middle man, the wholesalers will jack the price up so they make profit, than the retailers jack there price up even more so they can make profit. We just recently started a business and i can tell you what we pay for jewelry is REAL cheap compared to what you pay for jewelry. We make like 2$ to 45$ on some items, and we even put our prices half off of what you would buy them at a store. So the main problem is greedy business man. Its the same with oil, it takes only 3 dollars to get a barral of oil out of ground but by the time it gets to the convient store it cost them over 100$ a barral.
2 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22977)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
4 Apr 08
But that's the point here. They are saying that "There isn't enough food in food to affect the price". If the price of food isn't being affected by the cost at the farm level, how can they say they can't afford to pay more? Double speak is one of the lamest tools of propaganda.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Apr 08
As a teenager I worked as a farm laborer during the summer and after school. Sometimes I worked with immigrant laborers. As I did this for years, I came to know certain farmers and the economics involved as to profit and loss. This is why I'm not a farmer myself, today. Making money in farming is extremely difficult. Would paying farm labor minimun wage raise food prices? The short answer is yes. The long answer is this. For some products, like corn flakes, it would not raise the price much. For other products, say watermelons, it would make a big difference. Why? Row crops which can be planted, weeded, cultivated, and harvested mostly by mechanical means are not going to increase in cost as much as crops that need to be planted, weeded, cultivated, and harvested by hand. I hope this helps.
2 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22977)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
4 Apr 08
Oh, I agree with you, I'm just calling them on their double speak and propaganda.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Apr 08
I'll tell you another thing about being a farm laborer. You could not pay me enough to do it again. Wow, I've never worked so hard for so little and with no opportunity for advancement. It was only an okay job for a teenager as it taught me why I needed an education. I really did not think you disagreed with me. I study the markets all day and when I get bored go to myLot and say anything that comes to mind.
1 person likes this
@Destiny007 (5819)
• United States
4 Apr 08
Evidently Orian Samuels doesn't understand even the simplest economic principals of supply and demand. Our food production is in competition with our biofuel production. When food crops get diverted into making fuel, then then supply and demand kicks in and the prices for both go up. Currently there is a world wide shortage of food because of not only ethanol production, but also global warming legislation that countries have put into place. As the price of food and fuel goes up the economy begins to suffer. If anyone has been paying any attention to the news at all, they know that the world economy is down... not just the economy here in America. Everything is being propagandized right now from ethanol production to Global Warming/Climate Change, and even secondhand smoke... because as the facts and scientific evidence comes in the people pushing their agendas try to keep us from knowing the truth. As to the farming... while there are many family farms, there are also many corporate farms... so how does that make them exempt from paying decent wages to citizens instead of hiring illegals? The statement that we are all immigrants is false. I don't know about the rest of you, but I WAS BORN IN THE USA which means that I am NOT an immigrant.
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13141)
• United States
4 Apr 08
Reading this all I could think of was the song "I love to do a side step" that the governor sings in Best Little Horror House. It's all double speak and propaganda. Farm workers should get minimum wage, they work just as hard if not more so then other workers. Why should they be paid less? One could make that argument with any goods if they wanted. For example that paying seamstresses minimum wages would put clothing up out of people's prices. We shut down sweat shops all the time maybe they need to do that with farming. I see a big problem any time one group tries to put one over on another.
@gewcew23 (8010)
• United States
4 Apr 08
American corn farmers love ethanol, I am not sure if anyone else does. Maybe politician that pander to these farmer, but real America does not. I do not understand what Earl Butz was thinking. Maybe most of the price of food is not food, but any raise in the price of food will raise the price that the grocery store. There is a problem with the logic that food prices do not affect food price. The law of Supply verse Demand states that if you increase demand without increasing supply price will go up. I am starting to think this is a losing battle. Too many people have drank the kool-aid. It is not just ethanol, it more than just that. If you use old logic like supple verses demand people just roll their eyes these days. When you argue free market should judge price and products, people just roll their eyes.