Monday, December 8, 2008
My Previous Post
I have received a number of emails regarding my last post. My apologies if I don't get back. I have been home ill, and I am 400 (no exaggeration) or so emails behind as it is.
People had much to say about anarchy. I don't know why. I don't think that is much of a risk. I guess the link to Gerald Celente's stuff got some folks riled up. Celente has an incredible track record, and I am not dismissing him outright - but I wanted to point out what is happening in Detroit and other cities around the country.
We have 10% of the U.S. population on food assistance. If the economy contracts further, and that appears to be a foregone conclusion, that percentage is SURE to rise. So it would seem to me that inner city homesteaders, truck farms, and vegetable gardens were a fantastically positive sign.
The contraction in the economy has taken the pressure off of agricultural prices because of the decline in diesel, natural gas, and fertilizer prices. This is a two edged sword. Declining crop prices lead to declining plantings, which leads to future declines in harvests until such time as economic equilibrium is met for the FARMERS. Notice I said "FARMERS", not consumers. If economic equilibrium for the farmers does not equate to equilibrium for food supplies and consumers needs, its is the consumer who loses. This is what the USDA was founded for. To make sure the farmer's x and y graph took the consumer's x and y graph into consideration through farm subsidies. Did I mention that the ability to get credit affects the farm economy just as much as "Main Street"? And that any failing here could lead to some incredible consequences? Of course, I always look at this from the investment side... but I can't help notice that when you are talking FOOD, their are significant political and social liabilities and issues as well.
Celente thinks we will be experiencing rioting for food by 2012. I don't deny the possibility. I do think, however, that the greatest liability for this is in the working class cities - LIKE DETROIT. If cities like Detroit can remake their urban landscapes into mini farms, dairies, and orchards, it seems that Celente's vision does not have to be our future.
This is not to say that megalopolis's like New York Metro or the Washington to Boston Corridor could support themselves this way - they cannot. Population will by necessity be redistributed.
For food supply issues, it is the rate of change that matters. Unfortunately, world inventories of wheat, corn, and rice are insufficient to handle a fast rate of change.
It is what it is.
Mentatt (at) yahoo (d0t) com
Posted by The Short Story Man at 6:30 PM