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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 24, 2010

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for. You don’t have to look far to see terrible human suffering. Look at what the drug gangs are doing in Mexico just across our border. We should pray for the poor people in Haiti. Right here in the U.S.A., we enjoy abundance that has never been equaled anywhere in the world at any time in history.

That turkey dinner with all the trimmings that you had cost only $4.35. The USDA reports that a U.S. family spends only 6.2% of their disposable income on food. The European countries spend in the range of 15%. And the less developed countries can spend as much as 50% of their income just to feed their family.
 
At the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City, Secretary Vilsack talked about the great job that American farmers and ranchers do. He also said farmers don’t need to apologize for the higher prices we have been experiencing.
 
We’re not going to see a big jump in the cost of food. This year, the increase in the cost of food is up only about 1%, the least since 1992. Next year, look for a more normal increase of 2% or 3%. I have in my hand the November 15, 2010 Newsweek Magazine. The cover is a beautiful field of golden grain with a blue sky in the background. The words read: “Red State Revival – How the Heartland Could Lead America Out of the Recession.”
 
I think we can. We’re on the way. Our agricultural economy is in far better shape than big city America. There is hope and it is exciting.
 
Next week, I’ll be in Illinois on the farm checking the pigs and walking the fields. Also next week, the Congress will be trying to get something done in the lame duck session. They still have not extended the Bush tax cuts and haven’t even given any thought to the death tax ready to explode. We’ll see. I’m encouraged to anticipate a better Congress next year. Maybe they can do the right thing.
 
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.
 
Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.
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