USFR Customer Support
See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
John's World: Good Times....or Not?
May 23, 2013
***Editor’s Note: The following commentary from John Phipps aired last weekend on U.S. Farm Report. Following the transcript of his comments are two viewer responses…
John’s World: I haven’t paid much attention to anything but fuel levels and planter monitors since last week, as Monday brought good enough weather to start and mid-week rains fizzled. But I have checked the news in those 7-minute stretches between turns – love that auto-steer. Now I know we have scandals at every hand, too many unemployed, and the usual abundance of anger, outrage and disgust with the way things are going in the U.S. But buried under all this angst, I find some encouragement. Despite polls showing Americans deeply worried about the direction our country is heading, many important metrics are improving. The much-maligned federal deficit is declining faster than ever, as new estimates show sharp downward revisions. Unemployment continues to inch lower as well. Inflation and interest rates are still flat-lined. Meanwhile if you have a 401K, retirement may look a little more possible. Crime rates are dropping, energy supplies are booming, and the most amazing to me, health-care costs are inexplicably slowing their climb. It’s not happy days of course, but we’ve been expecting much worse. We can’t pinpoint all the reasons why things are improving, so many will undoubtedly take credit. But for me it reinforces a belief that our political system, economic engine, and cultural framework are remarkably robust. I think the individual actions of 316 million cranky Americans are overcoming our own cynical and gloomy expectations.
Viewer Response #1: People asking for free food up 115% in MN:
Poverty in America is up and climbing. I expect over 100,000 people to be directly affected by civil disturbances in 2013, through displacement, damage and death. Don't leave your audience feeling warm and snugly like potatoes, marshmallows, and mushrooms. America is going through serious changes. Let them know, and help them to prepare. All the best, Jim Tanner
Viewer Response #2: Your comments made last week in regards to the metrics of the U.S. I must truthfully disagree. I find it amazing to listen to you tell the American farmer and other viewers how well things have been looking up as a whole buried under scandals and.....what was the other problem......Oh unemployment. Sometimes I wonder how people like you sleep at night with the lies you tell its viewers. Then again I must remind myself that you are a very low informed individual and you and others limit yourself to the amount of information you want to read or listen too.
If we are in such wonderful times why do we have more people relying on food stamps than ever before? Why is gas over $4.00 where I live? Why can’t my brother-in-law sell his house in Colorado Springs for now over 2 years while asking less than what he paid for it 7 years ago? Why do I feel like I'm having a harder and harder time trying to live the American dream? Why do I have to worry that my constitution our forefathers gave us is always being threatened? Why are terrorists being treated like allies? The list can go on. Adam Bernard - Jefferson, SD