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Farmers aren't to blame for increased food costs


Fri, May 9th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In a world of finger pointing, farmers have had to shoulder the blame for the increased costs of food, when in reality, the facts point to other influences that contribute to the rising costs. I would like to share some statistics with you:

• The biofuels industry is reducing gas prices by 15% per gallon today. So, if the cost of gas is currently $3.39 per gallon, it would be up to $3.89 today without the use of biofuels;

• The average food item travels more than 1500 miles before reaching the final consumer;

• Gasoline prices have increased 198% per gallon; diesel has increased almost 250% per gallon; and crude oil has increased 453 percent, over the last 7 years;

• the United States has spent more than $130 billion subsidizing the oil industry over the past 32 years, which averages out to be almost $4.1 billion per year, and this does not account for the billions spent to protect our military interests in the Middle East;

• On the average, farmers receive only 20 cents of every dollar that consumers spend on food, the off-farm costs of marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing account for 80 cents of every food dollar spent in the United States. For more information on the "farmer's share," go to www.nfu.org/issues/agriculture-programs/resources/farmers-share;

• a $1 increase in corn results in a 0.3% increase in the consumer price index for food whereas a $1 increase in gasoline results in a 0.6 % increase for food;

• increased production of corn-based biofuels is estimated to account for only 3% of the 43% increase in global food prices,

Exxon Mobile reported its 2007 profits were the highest ever recorded; earning more than $1,287 of profit for every second of 2007, for a total of $40.6 billion; and Oil is $120 per barrel.

President George Bush himself stated that ethanol has contributed to food costs, but that it was not the main reason for rising costs and that energy costs, which impact the costs of fertilizer and transportation, are major contributors.

The challenge of higher food prices needs to be addressed, and the multiple causes must be looked into, which include factoring in increasing energy prices, reduced global production, a weakened U.S. dollar, international trade policy, distorted commodity markets driven by speculators, and increased worldwide food demand.

The reality is that risin .....
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Why not a greater Rushford?

Fri, May 2nd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It is worth mentioning, that according to the Minnesota Design Team, of all the greater Rushford residents who took part in the recent brainstorming exercise, R-P students made the most lasting impression.

High school senior, Carina Schiltz, ..... 
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It's time for an "elite" president

Fri, Apr 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Political discourse, besides becoming more confrontational, has become more Orwellian. It seems almost a requirement to name programs in a manner that obscures their intent.

The Clear Skies Initiative, that has obstructed the Clean Air Act ..... 
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The marvels of small things

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Take a look at your desk/work table. Notice all the small, marvels, things you can hold with one hand, which make our lives easier. Many of them have been developed in my lifetime, or not long before. A few are very ancient. I wonder how many other ..... 
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The beginning of the end

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The news from our leaders regarding the war in Iraq continues in the same old vein: just hang in there, it will all turn out OK. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, during their appearances before Congressional committees this past week, essent ..... 
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Everyone loves a loser

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Our collective mean streak sure does show itself on television. I know you think we're nice people. I think I'm nice, my friends are nice and some of my relatives are nice but somebody is enjoying the blood sport of televisions "You are a Loser!" fr ..... 
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The Three Trillion Dollar War

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

A new book, by Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Blimes, a public policy professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, called The Three Trillion Dollar War - the true cost of the Iraq conflict challenges the Bush administration's ..... 
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Looking back five years later

Fri, Mar 28th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Now that we've come to the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, it's time to look back and see what we have obtained by prematurely abandoning the search for Osama bin Laden to invade Iraq. At least we should see how the predictions of great minds that ..... 
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Water, water, everywhere?

Fri, Mar 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Recent newspaper and television stories have reported scientific concerns with the appearance of medications, both human and animal in our water supplies. These are only a tiny drop in the enormous bucket of the problem. I believe that in the future, ..... 
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