WATCHING THE TURMOIL IN GREECE AND THE HISTORIC ELECTION IN BRITAIN HAVE BEEN FASCINATING THIS WEEK. EXCEPT IF YOU ARE INVESTED IN THE STOCK MARKET, OF COURSE. BUT BEYOND THE USUAL OBSERVATION OF HOW CONNECTED ECONOMIES AND POLITICS ARE AROUND THE WORLD IS ANOTHER MORE PRESSING ISSUE. MUCH OF THE IMPETUS FOR THESE WILD EVENTS IS DISSATISFACTION WITH ENORMOUS DEBTS NOW WEIGHING ON NATIONAL ECONOMIES. NOTHING CAN INCITE AN ANGRY CROWD BOTH HERE AND ABROAD FASTER THAN RAILING AGAINST THE SIZE AND DANGER OF PUBLIC DEBT. I THINK WE ALL GET IT. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE ARE FED UP WITH THINGS AS THEY ARE. BUT ODDLY, THERE ARE VERY FEW SOLUTIONS BEING PROPOSED. LET'S CONSIDER U.S. AGRICULTURE FOR AN EXAMPLE. MANY FARMERS ARE ALSO RIGHTEOUSLY INCENSED AT FEDERAL SPENDING AND WANT SOME SERIOUS CHANGES. HOWEVER, AS WE ARE DISCOVERING AT FARM BILL HEARINGS AROUND THE COUNTRY, THE ONLY CHANGES WE WANT FOR OUR SLICE OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET SEEM TO BE TO MAKE IT LARGER. I HAVE HEARD NO TESTIMONY AT THESE GATHERINGS SUPPORTING THE IDEA OF SIGNIFICANT REDUCTIONS FOR AG SPENDING. IN OTHER WORDS, WE ALL WANT TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT EXCEPT FOR OUR PART. WHILE OFTEN JUSTIFIED AS A GOOD NEGOTIATION POSITION, I THINK IS IS AN INDICATOR OF HOW UNSERIOUS WE REALLY ARE ABOUT SPENDING REDUCTION. BEING ANGRY IS EASIER AND MORE FUN THAN FIXING THE PROBLEM.
I watch you at 5-6am on KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, IA on Saturday mornings. In regards to your comments on budget cuts, you are correct that people want them for society in general but not if it specifically affects them. Our government debt situation reminds me of a heroin addict that knows they need to quit but keep buying (to feed an unstainable lifestyle) on credit (federal deficits and trade deficits)........and the lttle voice of common sense in the background is saying the "Day of the Overdose" is coming.
Good Morning John,
Why can't we ever think out of the box and actually do what is right for the entire population instead of just what is right for the bottom line of the big corporations and special interests? I am a small farmer and rancher, but am increasingly discouraged by what I see going on between government entities, Congress, and the big companies. What we should do in the next farm bill is drastically reduce or eliminate subsidies for corn and put that money toward subsidizing the growing of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low-fat proteins. All this would help small producers stay sustainable, would divert money from the largest farm operations that don't need it to survive, should allow low-income families to buy more healthy food, and help improve the overall health of us all. Is there anyone out there with courage enough to do what is right?
These days, trying to find a farmer from the old days is about as hard as trying to find a Native American Indian. Traveling down a country road in the '60s and '70s, it was a common sight to see an old Case tractor slowing traffic down a two-lane gravel road. Or stopping along a country road to help an old Baptist farmer swearing in the heat of battle with his broken-down International pickup truck (Gears of War). It was not the invention of the lever action rifle that put the Native American farmer out of business of his land, but the modernization of the idea that bigger is only better business in farming (Sign of the Times )...
You hit nail on the head again with U.S. federal budget and "piece of the pie" thoughts. It hit me because my recently deceased aunt, Vivian Dedrick, Lansing, N.Y., gave me her usual "piece of mind" four decades ago and it matches with your words. I would modify those thoughts with the addition of the Northeast's former Regional Cooperative Marketing Agency.
Apalachin, New 'Yuck'