Between the Grammy huckstering and all the Pontiff pontification, you may have missed this little item – the US and Mexico have cut a trade deal where the price of imported tomatoes will double, and the case of some speciality tomatoes like cherries, the price will soar higher. The official line is that this will “avert a trade war by halting the re-instigation of anti-dumping investigations.”
Fine. What it means is that Obama’s Commerce Department has yet again stuck it to the middle class with higher food costs at the expense of making a very very important voting block in Florida of wealthy tomato growers very happy. And rich.
To quote (either the New York Times or Wall Street Journal – so this comes from both sides of the spin fence):
The Cato Institute’s Daniel Ikenson estimates that winter tomato prices could rise from 41% to 168%, and summer prices 47% to 176%. Specialty tomatoes, such as grape, cherry or heirloom varieties, will see the biggest increases.
In essence, the US has agreed to let Mexico increase the minimum price they charge for tomatoes, called the “price floor”. I don’t know why it’s called that. I’m sure some accounting MBA thought it up in order to make it sound important. It’s a minimum price.
Another little sideline – Mexico employes about 350,000 workers in the tomato industry. I’m sure a few of those folk will be seeing pink slips now that quantity is no longer the issue.
Here is the solution proposed by one blog commenter from California:
How about we all( Mexican And US growers) stop growing so many tomatoes. Let a market be a real market and we wont have to worry minimums.
And from an article in Forbes:
Not only will consumers pay more for foreign and domestically grown tomatoes at the grocery store and for salads and hamburgers at restaurants, but the new price-floor terms provide a strong indication that the specter of uncertainty associated with antidumping administration provides the necessary leverage to induce foreign producers into pricing schemes indistinguishable from collusion and price-fixing.
Get those tomatoes planted early this year….
Other than george bush and dick cheney, the politico that I rail against most frequently is ms. palin. One, it’s deserved and two, it’s deserved. I think it’s a crack and a half that she’s apologizing for her “wussies” remark. In this PC-stupified society we live in, the fact that she’s doing this just shows how far off the deep end we’ve gone. I mean she didn’t even say “pussies” for god’s sake.
She did say something that, don’t hit me, I think is right on the mark. I don’t agree with her solutions, but from a strictly observational point of view, she got this one right…
“The point is that we are a bankrupt country,” she added. “There isn’t enough money in the world to pay back the future generations that we have stolen from and foreign countries that we have borrowed from and, through quantitative easing, the money that has been printed out of thin air.”
Anyone who does not think this is true is living in a delusion that rivals the best Bellevue house residents. Palin’s still a nut job, but she’s not a moron.
To quote the latest Taxpayers for Common Sense mailing:
The Republican National Convention starts next week and the Democratic National Convention follows shortly after. There will be a lot of red meat at these conventions, and not just at the steakhouses in Tampa and Charlotte. No, we will see a lot of pandering to the conservative and liberal bases, a bunch of lofty rhetoric, numerous false accusations, and plenty of mugging for the camera. What we won’t see discussed is much in the way of the important, politically-tough solutions that are necessary for the country to move away from the fast approaching fiscal chasm.
At each of the conventions, in addition to plenty of partying, there will be a lot of time spent building up each party’s candidate while tearing the other guy down. There will be a lot of rhetoric about how this party will protect Medicare and Social Security while the other party will eviscerate it – and vice versa. About how one candidate has the solution to the economic woes facing our country while the other guy would take us back to the Stone Age.
What was more interesting about this mailing was a link to what TCS feels are trillions in viable spending cuts the government should address. I’m not including this as an across-the-board endorsement of this compendium, but the real value in looking at this is the realization one gets just scanning the list of how OUR tax money is really spent. I didn’t have to read the whole thing to become overwhelmed with the amount of crap I’m paying for…particularly those things that subsidize major corporations (Coke, McDonald’s, Exxon, etc) that are “mature enough to stand on their own” without my, literal, two cents. Okay. Maybe five dollars.
As of July 1, 2012, Federal student loan rates, now set at 3.4%, are set to double. I assume that means 6.8% but I have yet to see a number reported and given the math skills exhibited in Washington for the past thirty years, the new rate could be anything from 3.45% to 6000%.
This creates an additional burden on those receiving the loans. Granted.
The members of Congress are busy throwing dog turds at each other, not because they are fighting over the rate – both Democrats and Republicans want to keep the rate at 3.4% – but they are fighting on how to fund the additional 6 billion-with-a-B it will cost to fund keeping the rates low.
Think about that for a second.
It’s going to COST six billion dollars to loan money out….at whatever rate…and have it repaid with interest..so that the lender makes money. Unless economics has taken a severe dogleg to the left into the primeval forest, that’s the way loans are supposed to work aren’t they? It’s not supposed to cost anybody anything expect the person paying BACK the loan.
So how, in God’s name, will lending money COST money??? BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE THE FUCKING MONEY TO BEGIN WITH! They are lending money they don’t have. Period. How so unlike our government. I am amazed.
The Republicans want to cover the 6 bil by cutting preventative health care funds. The Democrats want to screw small business by cutting their tax benefits to cover the tab. Stupidity reigns on both sides of the aisle.
But hold on, cooper, I hear you say. How are kids going to cope in the global geopolitical economy if they don’t go to $50K a year universities…familes can’t afford that. The kids can’t afford to come out of four years of school with 200K in debt over their heads. And I would agree with you. I guess the kids are going to have to go to a 10-15K a year state college. There is no constitutional amendment entitling every child to go to Princeton, Bucknell or Penn State. We might as well just turn these schools over to the only people who can afford to go which are scholarship winning athletes and let pro sports pick up the tab for their (cough) education. They seem to have endless supplies of money to spend on scummy creeps like Cole Hamels, Michael Vick, and Pacman Jones.
Now that the Oxford English Dictionary and Encyclopedia Brittanica will no longer be printed, I have a list of other works that I believe can be spared further use of the tree-choppers chainsaw:
The Twilight series – this should have been online all along as Cullen-ites are an exceptionally twittering and facebooky type. (except for all the thirty-something moms who swooned moistly over the glittery vamp. for them we may have to keep a Cliff Notes version)
All Sandra Lee Cookbooks – I want to see her eat (and keep down) all her recipes and maintain that 0% body fat. Good luck with that.
All Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly books – these make me consider fascism as a viable alternative. especially the book-burning thang. Which they both should appreciate.
Principles/Essentials of Economics textbooks – this must be stopped before other young minds are ruined.
Any book written by a politician of either party. We have enough toilet paper, thanx.
Celebrity Biographies – Just stop. Now.
I received a letter from my precocious twenty year old attending a mid-western liberal arts institution of higher learning stating that after buying the usual mass of text books and other necessities that go hand in hand with a college life, that he had maxed out his Visa card. Calling it “his” Visa card is a bit of a misnomer as the bills come directly to my mailbox and the satisfaction of those bills emanate from my cheque book.
I called the young scion to inquire how a credit card with a $3,000 limit could be exhausted by the required textbooks of a communications major. He mentioned how unfair it was that he should be expected to live bound by the paltry sum given to him; that it was impossible to balance the expense of his commitments with his meager allowance when the source of his stipend was so obviously awash in wealth. His suggestion was the issuance of another credit card, with an expanded limit, in order to make good the balance of funds between us. I suggested that he take a hard look at his expenses and decide where is cash outlay was superfluous, or at the least could be scaled back. His retort was bristly to say the least and held firm to his new-card agenda.
I suppose he’s just acting in accordance with the world around him.
Thanx for your understanding.
Love and Kisses,
Today, I have a lot to be thankful for. (courtesy of DeathByPolitics)
I give thanks to the corporations that control my government so I don’t have to expend energy to do so.
I give thanks to big oil for telling me that there’s plenty of gas left and that attempting to find sustainable solutions is not worth the heavy lifting.
I give thanks to the big bonuses that allow executives to control the police shut down those protesters trying to pierce through my veil of apathy.
I give thanks to the news media for blowing up non-problems and making my life interesting.
I give thanks to organizations like the KKK, National Organization for Marriage, and Westboro Baptist Church for letting me know that “equality” will destroy my privilege, which I deny having anyways.
I give thanks to the money funding those sparkly parades and football games that couldn’t have possibly been used to feed the starving or save the environment.
I give thanks to the textbook companies that constantly tell me that America was perfect from the beginning, and to the news outlets that promote that image.
I give thanks to Rupert Murdoch for commanding what I can see so I never have to step outside my bubble of preconceived notions.
I give thanks for the songs and slogans that make me think nothing could ever be wrong with America, and even if there was something wrong it would immediately be fixed simply by public opinion.
I give thanks to large corporations for laying off my friends and family without any benefits. They probably deserved it.
I give thanks to apathy for letting me live my life and never care about the truth.
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