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Senior Advisor

The problem, and are there any soluations ?

Another down day here today, nothing going since things are shut down for the weekend (yet another post)

Did some reading and some reflection....

I remember a conversation i had with a university economist a year ago or so. we were talking about the economy.

This fellow had traveled the world, and was trained both here in the US and europe.

After talking about a few things, we got down to the meat and potatoes.

the only way to make real wealth is to make it.....i.e. you must make something physical. 

He give several examples in the past, and he was of the opinion, that is the basic problem we have....

we no longer make anything here in the united states. we have exported our manufacturing capacity overseas,

and had we noted, they are starting to prospor now ?

the current thinking is, that "paperwork" is something that is manufactured, but is not a real good.

the thing that has distored everything is the corperate structure of things.

He cited company after company which the jobs have went overseas....and where they have went, the people

have better lives....while here, in the united states, we have become a "service economy", which in theroy works,

for a while, but it is an endless cycle, not a true wealth builder.

As such, today, many can make their bills, but not much that economic progress ???

We have went long enough, that the mindset is, not to work, but somehow create a way to make money.

Today we have managers, salespeople, etc....etc......the question is, what do they make....the answer nothing, so

thusly no "real wealth".......

Can we change this......i don't is what needs to be done, but can it be done. too much is controled by the

corperations, and they will go where the least cost is, and that is not here.

they have taken the money, and only those few on the top make money....and what does all those huge office buildings

make......nothing, no real wealth.....more of a parisite on the cost of items.


had a discussion with some older fellows.....the WPA program was talked about....yes, overall i believe it was a good

program. it helped out those needing a job, and built infrastructure  our community needed.  many of these structures

are still in use, and are built well and strong......all with simple tools and "unskilled" labor.


but it would not work to many "if's and but's", in things....first, we use heavy machinery trained labor,

also today, things are not labor heavy, we want to use since we have to use a machine, and nobody is

trained to use the machine, plus we want to use premade things, things would be quite high priced, and would anyone

sign up ???


several years ago, we had a simular program, but the biggest economic boost was not the united states, but mexico.


i had several lament to me today about things in agriculture. i give them a short lesson on how to cut costs, and how

storage hedges work, and my figures i told them how to make about $50 an acrea more...

no, they were not going to do it, too much work, they don't understand, etc......and i'm laughed at.....and one said

"oh you know it all, and have all the answers".....

that made me mad.....but the more i thought about it, they were right.....and yes, i do have several answers, and some


i guess our family doesnt know how to give up.....even when sick....we have always fought.  tried options available, etc,

"just giving up" wasn't an option.  The hospice people visited my dad once, they told him he only had a few months to

live, he told them where to go, and how to get there, and how fast they should go there.......he lived three years longer.

i didn't say every day was good, but none of us, our family nor him, would have had it any other way, and we all

cherised our time.


same with the ag try, you think, you learn, you adapt....the later is the hardest.

but many do not want to...


oh......i had a smart fellow tell me "oh we have to go to big farms, they make more money"........well the problem with this thought is, yes they make "more money", their profit per acre may be lower......yes there is economy of scale, but that

has a finite limit......


so, we may be able to figure out the problems.......but danged if i can figure out a workable soluation.


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12 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

There are so many things that are wrong with this country and the way business is done, most of which I beleive are general caused by goverment policy.  WPA projects would never happen now because permiting, OSHA, and Beuacracy red tape, and eviromentalist would stall projects forever

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Honored Advisor

Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

I am not sure that is true.... "yes there is economy of scale, but that

has a finite limit......"


While that is true at any one moment,,,, and has been for years,,,, that limit keeps moving...  

Like livestock confinement changed livestock, so has technology changed grain production.  Limited tillage and no-til, coupled with the latest computer and satalite technology have moved that "finite limit" to greater and greater levels......

What used to be a lap around the track to reach that manageable limit on economy of scale has become a 26 mile marathon......That limit got moved a lot.  The potential for the institutions that have money and the ones that print it -- is disturbing...if ya think about it too long....  



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Veteran Contributor

Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

My grandfather had a saying that falls right in line with what you and the economist was saying.  "All new wealth comes from the ground."  Whether it is timber, mining of any kind, or ag products like corn, soybeans, wheat etc. Every one else is just adding there value to our products but we get the ball rolling.

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Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

Nothing to be done now but first would be to look in the rearview mirror and admit that the ethanol program was poorly crafted and created a lot of distortion that's now being squeezed out ofthe market. I know no one wants to talk about it because we now need to hang onto all of that demand we can, but it is true. The money all flowed through farmers' fingers and to the land and suppliers anyway.


Doesn't mean that any red blooded American would ever look the gift horse in the mouth and say no when the nice lobbyist comes sellin' band instruments, though.


Second would be to enforce anti-trust statutes against the genetics, fertilizer and chemical cartels.There's obviously a form of price leader oligopoly going on in equipment as well, but who's going to sue the paint brand they love?


BTW, a cap on insurance subsidies would have lowered rents a bit, but oh well. Can't fix stupid.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

Hardnox.........I'll give you props for correctly interpreting how the ethanol boom/bust would play out the past ten years....




Ray J

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Senior Contributor

Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

That was told to us long ago that our country would become a service my opinion a service economy cannot last. 

America was blessed with an abundances of natural resources i.e.coal,oil,timber,iron ore,natural gas, the great plains and corn belt for food aling with the temperate south for citrus and vegetable and for cotton. Mighty rivers to move products. but in the chase for the almighty dollar the corporations which this country gave birth to have abandoned it!  We buy things made in other countries then borrow that money back in order to pay for a lifestyle we cant afford like putting stuff on a credit card! 

Growing up in the 60's i was always told that we have the ability to have a better life than our parents did. As i look at how we live how much better do we need it? We have two cars a home ,clothes,food on the table and bills that are paid. Half the people in the world arent that fortunate!  If we continue exprting our jobs and resources and letting the richest people continue to amass more and more wealth we will bcome a third world country too!


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Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

How do we export resources? Do you want all of the grain raised here to stay home?  To what use?  And all of those things you list are still being produced here. But greatly concentrated in control, yet none has gone fallow in these here parts and I doubt in yours


Little people who have had a piece of or stake in that have inexplicably supported politicians and business  interests who engineered that.

Honored Advisor

Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

Bruce it is the TV effect........ You don't have to read and write to know all ya needs to no.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: The problem, and are there any soluations ?

Well, for every raw bushel of grain that we export, I see alot of lost opportunity, I suppose it`s "better than nothing" but that is all that you can say.  


We grow corn on fringe, cattle pasture acres so that supply makes it below our cost of production, then we ship it overseas and they send us back all the finished crap that you buy at really doesn`t back sense especially when there`s 94 million out of the labor force in this country.


In the perfect world, cattle would be grazing on the fringe acres and our corn would be run through livestock.  If the foreigners want to buy our "corn" to feed to their cattle and hogs ..we`d have a heck of a deal for them, they could buy pork and beef from us...that is if they expect us to buy their "pink flamingos". 


A raw bushel of grain doesn`t have much "value added" to`s basically 8% protein with amounts of phosphorus, potash and other minerals.  Meat production however, employs more people.

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