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How is wealth created?


Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary



There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth:

The first by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors -- this robbery;

The second by commerce, which is generally cheating;

The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man received a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry."

Benjamin Franklin,

April 4, 1769

I read in last week's Commentary that "Government cannot create wealth." If this is true, then what exactly is wealth and where is wealth created? There are many areas that wealth is created, but I would like to point out one area that is often overlooked or discounted.

New wealth is created when a new type of or use for a natural resource (including land) is commercialized in the market. For instance, much new wealth was created with the development of ethanol for fuel, the use of solar, water and wind power for electricity, the use of radioactive minerals for energy, and with the irrigation of arid land for agriculture.

Most important, new wealth is created in agriculture every day since man first settled to cultivate the land. For instance, every time a new calf, lamb, piglet, etc is born, new wealth is created. Every time new seeds are planted, sprout in the field, grow and are harvested, new wealth is created.

Many people take food production and agriculture for granted. Children in large urban areas think that food comes from the grocery store. Policy makers and their constituents simply do not understand the economic importance of agriculture to our nation and our state. Rules and regulations are sometimes implemented without first considering how farmers and ranchers will be affected. Oftentimes farmers get blamed for an increase in food prices, when in reality, it is transportation of the product, packaging, labor, marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing that account for 80 cents of every food dollar spent in the United States! This means that farmers receive only 20 cent of every food dollar that consumers spend on food.

How much of our income in the United States is spent on food? According to the U.S.Department of Labor, in 2010 average American families spent just under 12 percent of their income on food, just seven percent for food at home. The .....
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Guest Commentary: Teachers, unions and collective bargaining

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary



As a retired Minnesota teacher and a former union member, I can sympathize with the teachers in Wisconsin and other states where Republican governors are attempting to weaken or destroy collective bargaining and public unions.

First ..... 
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Government cannot create wealth

Fri, Feb 25th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Based on millions of instructions millions of Americans give the marketplace every day, the market is super genius in allocating resources. Government however, is a comparative dunce given that the spending decisions it makes is based on politics. I ..... 
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Flights of consciousness before sleep

Fri, Feb 18th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

I don't seem to be able to control my thoughts before I fall asleep. At the risk of being labeled a misogynist, I must admit I have been thinking about Michele Bachmann's historical error of claiming the "founders" worked tirelessly to end slavery, ..... 
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Green Acres Property tax law gets pruned

Fri, Feb 18th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

By Jeremy Miller, State Senator for Minnesota District 31

In addition to the primary tasks of balancing the budget and putting more Minnesotans back to work, there are a number of other initiatives that we are occupied with in St. Paul. Withi ..... 
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A new way of being

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Deer appear in our yard in Preston at dusk and dawn and sometimes during the day. They eat the bark of our trees, nibble the needles of our evergreens, eat the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds and, in the summer, help themselves to our garde ..... 
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A new way of being

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Deer appear in our yard in Preston at dusk and dawn and sometimes during the day. They eat the bark of our trees, nibble the needles of our evergreens, eat the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds and, in the summer, help themselves to our garde ..... 
[Read the Rest]

One moment, please... Our president

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone: 507-251-5297

In my opinion, our president doesn't get paid enough! As matter of fact, our president doesn't get paid at all. No, I'm not talking about the President of the United States of ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Our president

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

In my opinion, our president doesn't get paid enough! As matter of fact, our president doesn't get paid at all. No, I'm not talking about the President of the United States of America. Obama clears over $400,000 per year - for the rest of his life. ..... 
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