Morning Links

Monday, August 31st, 2009
  • I haven’t read Cheap, but judging by this op-ed, the book would make me angry. There are really people who believe this crap? What arrogant, self-righteous BS.
  • Here’s a good piece the valuable work the ACLU has done it is campaign against government abuse in the war on terror.
  • Consumer Reports turns snitch. Also, according to the CEI press release, the EPA is going to make shower heads even more low-flo?
  • Wrongly convicted man speaks from the grave.
  • So near as I can tell, this Alternet piece doesn’t really have any specific criticisms of Whole Foods other than that it’s “too big,” which the author states without any supporting evidence is “unsustainable.” Yeah. I’m not convinced.
  • The American Conservative declares legalization of online poker a “sure bet.” Tip to the Washingtonian and other Beltway mags: Someone should write a piece on the masterful lobbying effort the Poker Players Alliance has done on this issue. And for once, when I say “masterful lobbying effort,” I mean it in a good way.
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  • 53 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  SJE | 

      Nevermind the cheapness of goods, howabout the intellectual poverty foisted upon us by those who believe that we should pay more for everything only because they said so.

    2. #2 |  Highway | 

      From last week: South Dakota Supreme Court throws out a conviction based on an illegal search by a cop with a dog.

      http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/28/2883.asp

      You can find fun things at Thetruthaboutcars.com

    3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

      Radley, since you would know better than most of us, any chance that IJ and the ACLU might start teaming up on some cases? Or have they already?

    4. #4 |  Aresen | 

      I saw Cheap in the bookstore, browsed it for a moment and put it down. It is exactly as the reviewer described: A typical elitist, interventionist, “we know better than you” apology for statism.

      In addition, last week’s Time had a cover story about how we should all pay lots more for food.

      One thing to note about the people who right these things: Almost without exception, they have very high incomes, so the price of the basic things that most people need to pay to get by is irrelevant to their personal lives.

    5. #5 |  paul | 

      The price of food should reflect the cost of production, but agricultural subsidies distort the market and favor industrial agri-business over the little guy.

    6. #6 |  Cappy | 

      I did a bit of research on who funds Alternet last week after being presented with an article found on their website. It’s not pretty.

      Who funds AlterNet?

      1. Tides Foundation – Liberal organization that funnels money from one group to another.

      2. Arca Foundation – Direct ties to the UN… Read More

      3. Bauman Foundation – Anti-Free Market

      4. Cloud Mountain Foundation – Environmental Group

      5. Compton Foundation – Environmental Group. Gives monies to radical groups such as the HSUS and Green Peace.

      6. Glaser Progress Foundation – Animal Rights Group

      7. LP Brown Foundation – Environmental Group

      8. Nathan Cummings Foundation – Funds the same groups as the Compton Foundation.

      9. Panta Rhea Foundation – Environmental Group

      10. Park Foundation – Environmental and Animal Rights Group.

      11. Wallace Global Fund – Environmental Group

      AlterNet is a program of the Independent Media Institute. With that kind of funding from these groups…once you take the king’s gold, you do the bidding of the king. Not so independent.

    7. #7 |  Bob42 | 

      Meet Wesley Cheeks.
      Wesley is a police officer.
      Wesley has a good imagination and unlimited authoritah.
      Wesley makes up laws as he goes along.

    8. #8 |  J sub D | 

      I haven’t read Cheap, but judging by this op-ed, the book would make me angry. There are really people who believe this crap? What arrogant, self-righteous BS.

      Most damaging of all, says Shell, is the cost to America’s soul.

      Ellen Ruppel Shell – Worry about your own goddam soul.

      Let’s put this pampered ivory tower woman on food stamps and see what food decisions she makes. Let’s give the snob bitch a $12/hour job (w/ kids) and follow her around when she purchases clothing and furniture.

    9. #9 |  geoff | 

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Cheap were irritatingly self-righteous, but I’m not sure that libertarians should be so quick to dismiss what seems to be the author’s thesis: the possibility that we’re distorting the true cost of low-cost goods by failing to price in the numerous externalities mentioned in the op-ed.

      Her argument seems to be that low-cost goods aren’t, in fact, all that inexpensive – they just appear that way because our pricing mechanisms aren’t calibrated effectively. (It’s difficult to tell for sure, but the op-ed seems a lot more angry than she does.) You may not agree, but the vitriol she seems to have elicited here might be unwarranted – especially since no one has actually READ the book.

    10. #10 |  Jenn | 

      These cheap people are all the same people who, in the ’70′s, were saying that we would have all starved to death by now because of a world wide famine.

    11. #11 |  Marty | 

      once Ellen Ruppel Shell pushes a few restrictions on what we eat and sit on, she’ll be pushing for gps tracking to limit us from visiting places that aren’t worthwhile… we should thank her for her tireless meddling into our lives.

      without fail, it seems the people who most want to restrict others’ behavior and rights have a couple of huge skeletons in their closets… hers will pop out eventually.

    12. #12 |  Athena | 

      RE: Cheap.

      Dear GOD.

      I’ve just gone into the sustainability consulting industry and, in my world, sustainability is necessarily characterized by efficiency and, thus, *lower* production costs and prices. By its very definition, sustainability MUST make economic sense.

      My organization will NEVER encourage people to go “green” simply for the sake of being “green”, and I shudder at the thought of being associated with Shell’s brand of insanity. I can only hope that this elitist drivel dies out before it does damage to what I consider to be an economically promising movement.

    13. #13 |  RobZ | 

      The reviewer:

      “…farmer’s markets, where a loaf of “artisanal” (and also “sustainable”) rye bread sells for $8, ice cream for $6 a cup and organic tomatoes go for $4 a pound.”

      I see some high priced stuff at my local farmer’s market but generally, prices are low and the quality is very good.

    14. #14 |  Highway | 

      Athena, you make a good point. Manufacturing things that are unnecessarily expensive, difficult, or input-intensive isn’t ‘sustainable’. It’s just subsidy.

      I do agree with geoff that we should try to reduce the costs that are externalized in the production of goods. But I think we’ve gone a long way towards doing that already. About the only major things that are outside the costs now (although I’m sure Cheap would disagree) is whether you think the costs of CO2 emissions are included or not, and other environmental damage like harm to habitat (including things like overfishing, overfarming, deforestation to plant crops, etc). But for other things, no matter what the Localistes would like you to believe, they’re already included. Transportation costs? Included. Economies of Scale? Included. Amendments to make things grow better? Included.

      And there are times where local things *do* turn out to be a better deal, like RobZ indicates. A farmer that grabs a bunch of stuff out of his garden and takes it to the market is spending almost nothing to sell that excess production, so the prices stay low. But he also doesn’t have to pay for storage facilities, big transportation infrastructure, middlemen selling his items, and all that other stuff. You also don’t get much out of season.

    15. #15 |  seeker6079 | 

      Bear in mind that this is the same Charlotte Allen who feels that feminism has caused as much destruction to humanity as nazism and communism…
      http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/points/stories/040305dnediallen.35261.html
      …and is on record as believing that women — saving her royal self of course — are dumb, flighty twits, “the stupid sex”.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/29/AR2008022902992.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

      Yeeesh, Radley, consider the source.

    16. #16 |  SJE | 

      Properly pricing externalities is important, and there are a lot of goods that appears inexpensive because they externalize a lot of costs. However, I question whether that is what is really the thesis of the book. Are externalities just been made up to punish the unfashionable?

    17. #17 |  KBCraig | 

      The “speaks from the grave” video requires internet explorer.

      Major fail.

    18. #18 |  Professor Coldheart | 

      Not only is Consumer Reports snitching manufacturers out to the EPA, they’ve also been strong advocates of the CSPIA (the lead-testing regulation that you mentioned a few posts down).

    19. #19 |  thomasblair | 

      In the event that any of you are curious, Megan McArdle did an email dialogue with the author of Cheap, Ellen Ruppel Shell. The first part is here and it lasts for about 5 days (~1/day).

    20. #20 |  LivingInHippieTown | 

      Now because everyone is dumping on the book “Cheap”, I am going to have to read it, just to see what it actually says. BTW, that why I read “the politics of food”, turned out to make some interesting points.

      I like to buy local food when I have the chance. We have a cool little family farm down the road from us. During the summer you can pick up some outstanding produce cheaper than grocery store. To me, shopping at the farm is more about flavor and quality than anything else. a tomato straight from the field tastes a whole lot better than something picked green and shipped 1000 miles. I also enjoy the variety. The local guys around here grow some heirloom variety produce, and it is markedly different than what I can get at a Safeway or Albertsons. Again, I point to the tomatoes, the older varieties have thinner skins and are much more acidic than I can get at the store.

      Americans for the most part are pretty disconnected from the source of their food. Let it be known that I am no vegetarian! I buy local or meat sourced from people I know for a couple of reasons. First I like knowing that the animal I am eating had a decent existence before it hit my plate (just a personal preference). Second, when I buy half a steer from Ted he makes more money than selling it at auction and I get a lower price than if I go to the market. Third, I like the grass fed taste better. Fourth, the guys at 4 star meat company get to make a living and cut my steer or hog however I want it (the same for any game that I bring in). Fifth, I know that none of the people I buy from add antibiotics to their feed. They only use them if the livestock is actually sick. Sixth, supporting my local farmer keeps that field from becoming just another bunch of knocked together houses that will look like hell in 5 years.

    21. #21 |  Samsam | 

      If the EPA reduces shower head flow rates any further, the percentage of modified shower heads will go from 25% (wild guess) to 90%, simply because they will be unusable without modification. Water usage will go UP.

      The last showerhead I installed had a diagram in the instructions that pointed to a small cylinder with a smaller hole in it and text that said “IMPORTANT! Do Not Remove Flow Restrictor.”

    22. #22 |  ktc2 | 

      Yeah, most showerheads these days are useless. You have to modify them to make them usable at all. It’s like trying to get a shower under multiple periodic drips.

    23. #23 |  perlhaqr | 

      I have to wonder why these so called “progressives” hate poor people.

      I mean, for some people, the choice isn’t between “a third pair of Nikes and a cell phone or locally produced, four-times-as-expensive food”, it’s between “food, or no food”. Raising the price of staple foods means some people will go hungry, period.

    24. #24 |  John Markley | 

      Industrial mass production of cheap consumer goods is a great leveler, narrowing the gap between average people and elites by making the sorts of things that used to be affordable only for the very rich available to the masses. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is precisely why so many people on the left despise it and raise artisanal production to the level of a moral virtue; they are reactionaries at heart and retain an aristocratic contempt for an economic system that allows peasants to mimic their betters and rise above their proper station.

    25. #25 |  Kwix | 

      LivingInHippieTown wrote:

      Americans for the most part are pretty disconnected from the source of their food.

      I have to agree with this whole heartedly. Seeing as how I just helped a friend butcher a pig and two moose on Friday I now must contemplate how to get closer to my food. Perhaps I will build a hog sty this fall for piglets in the spring. It’ll have to wait until I get my moose later this month though.

    26. #26 |  Nick | 

      One more morning link… Mackey on 20/20…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ8SkS0kOe8

    27. #27 |  Dwight Brown | 

      “The last showerhead I installed had a diagram in the instructions that pointed to a small cylinder with a smaller hole in it and text that said “IMPORTANT! Do Not Remove Flow Restrictor.””

      Heh. Heh. Heh.

      “Do NOT add this to five gallons of warm water, and do NOT add ten pounds of sugar, and yeast, or it will become wine, which would be ILLEGAL!”

    28. #28 |  Frank | 

      #7 As I stated in the Friday open thread, “Officer” Buttcheeks is a rent-a-pig hired by the school district to make sure no one eats the building. Don’t know if he was following orders or did this on his own, but I do know his boss’ email inbox was rejecting new messages because it was full. I expect the school district will be dealing with something that has gone national instead of preparing for the new school year as they should.

    29. #29 |  ChrisD | 

      How do you get to be a professor of ‘science journalism’ with a BA in English? At UC Berkeley no less. I’m in the wrong field.

      It kills me that those who “stand up for the poor” seem like they’re trying to make this more expensive and mocking rednecks….

    30. #30 |  Tim C | 

      Showerheads – sheesh. So stupid it’s comical. Let’s say for the sake of argument that they figure out how to make these with non-removable flow restrictors (say, out of some kind of material impervious to drills, whatever). Don’t these idiots realize that if the showerhead emits less water, it takes longer for each task under the shower? Duh duh duh!!! Right up there with 1.6 TPF (turds per flush) toilets, yep, having to flush again sure saves water!!!

    31. #31 |  the friendly grizzly | 

      Simple answer on the shower heads. Fabricate a T, and install two shower-heads.

      Not to get too personal here, but my nickname indirectly describes some of my characteristics, one of which is a big beard. Ever try to rinse shampoo from a big beard using a typical low-flow shower head?

      Fortunately, the one I have seems reasonably decent, but there is NOTHING like a good old fashioned pre-mandate high-flow shower head for rinsing out one’s face-fur properly.

    32. #32 |  James | 

      There is nothing unsustainable about modern food production. The people who use that term, at least 99%, anyway, don’t mean efficiency. They are trying to convince you that the methods used to raise the human race from unimaginable poverty and filth, and actually western civilization, aren’t sustainable and that sooner or later we will have to revert to our natural state – stupid, dirty, hungry, and poor. “Externalities” and “Sustainability” are pseudo-economic crap. They are words that are made up by socialists in order to confuse people and allow them more control over things they don’t own, don’t understand, and could never create themselves. Like when they use “stakeholders”. It is a concept invented to replace shareholders – you know, the people who actually own the company – and to dishonestly gain control of their property.

    33. #33 |  Matt D | 

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Cheap were irritatingly self-righteous, but I’m not sure that libertarians should be so quick to dismiss what seems to be the author’s thesis: the possibility that we’re distorting the true cost of low-cost goods by failing to price in the numerous externalities mentioned in the op-ed.

      Her argument seems to be that low-cost goods aren’t, in fact, all that inexpensive – they just appear that way because our pricing mechanisms aren’t calibrated effectively. (It’s difficult to tell for sure, but the op-ed seems a lot more angry than she does.) You may not agree, but the vitriol she seems to have elicited here might be unwarranted – especially since no one has actually READ the book.

      Oh, but you forget–one of the tenets of libertarianism is that you should never question the value of cheap crap manufactured by communists and transported along trade routes patrolled by our massive taxpayer-funded military using fuel purchased from a cartel composed of theocrats and despots.

    34. #34 |  Judi | 

      On “Wrongly convicted man speaks from the grave…”

      Help me with my fight in Mississippi to make sure this doesn’t happen again by signing my petition:

      http://www.gopetition.com/online/25939.html

      Also go to http://www.johnmayo.com

      John is a House Rep from Mississippi who is aware of the Hayne/West fiasco and is fighting to ABOLISH the Death Penalty in his state.

      Go to his ‘contact’ page and give this Vietnam Vet a call of support!

      Thanx!

    35. #35 |  Sertorius | 

      Speakman showerheads have a handy removable flow restrictor (“for cleaning” lol). Highly recommended.

    36. #36 |  Patriot Henry | 

      “I haven’t read Cheap, but judging by this op-ed, the book would make me angry. There are really people who believe this crap? What arrogant, self-righteous BS. ”

      Of course it would make you angry, because you are a mostly ignorant American consumer who has no regard for the far reaching consequences of his actions, nor any understanding of the root causes of the “more for less” phenomena, which consist primarily of government subsidized industries and government fiat money that fuels the mass consumer culture.

      Your little world is gonna come crashing down. The money system is a pyramid scheme. The cheap crap you’ve bought and keep on buying won’t last. The deluge of cheap shit and cheap shit food still hasn’t solved the old problem of the insufficient supply and unaffordable cost of quality products and quality food.

      Enjoy the American dream while it lasts. You can keep hitting the snooze button but one day you’ll wake up and find yourself surrounded by a world of shit.

    37. #37 |  Patriot Henry | 

      “Nevermind the cheapness of goods, howabout the intellectual poverty foisted upon us by those who believe that we should pay more for everything only because they said so.”

      Yeah, because the argument against cheap shit is “because I said so”, and not because of the incredible cost externalized and paid for in taxes, environmental destruction, war, slavery, etc.

    38. #38 |  Tim C | 

      “#35 | Sertorius | August 31st, 2009 at 11:27 pm
      Speakman showerheads have a handy removable flow restrictor (”for cleaning” lol). Highly recommended.”

      Sounds like they just gained a new customer. Awesome.

    39. #39 |  Patriot Henry | 

      “I saw Cheap in the bookstore, browsed it for a moment and put it down. It is exactly as the reviewer described: A typical elitist, interventionist, “we know better than you” apology for statism.”

      Statism is what is responsible for cheap shit. It would make a great deal of sense for most opponents of statism to support a different form of statism as they know nothing else or better. The solution isn’t the cause of the problem, but that doesn’t mean the author doesn’t have some valid facts and or points about the problem.

      “One thing to note about the people who right these things: Almost without exception, they have very high incomes, so the price of the basic things that most people need to pay to get by is irrelevant to their personal lives.”

      Why make the discussion about the incomes of the people instead of the nature of the practices they oppose?

      For the record, I’m making under 20 grand a year, and I commute to Silicon Valley. I pay 6-7 bucks for a dozen eggs, and gladly so. I pay 20 bucks or more for a chicken. So on and so forth. It’s worth the extra money to buy food that isn’t government food that destroys the earth and waters (yeah, really), the workers, the farmers, the eaters, etc.

    40. #40 |  Patriot Henry | 

      Dear Matt D,

      “Oh, but you forget–one of the tenets of libertarianism is that you should never question the value of cheap crap manufactured by communists and transported along trade routes patrolled by our massive taxpayer-funded military using fuel purchased from a cartel composed of theocrats and despots.”

      Well said. I’m filing that in my “Wise Quotes” notebook. Thank you sir.

      Aloha,

      Patriot Henry

    41. #41 |  Patriot Henry | 

      Dear James,

      “There is nothing unsustainable about modern food production. ”

      Really? So we can always take from the earth an incredible complex mixture of various elements, minerals, vitamins, etc and replace them with a simple mixture of N, P, K, pesticides, and herbicides and it’ll work forever and ever?

      “The people who use that term, at least 99%, anyway, don’t mean efficiency. They are trying to convince you that the methods used to raise the human race from unimaginable poverty and filth, and actually western civilization, aren’t sustainable and that sooner or later we will have to revert to our natural state – stupid, dirty, hungry, and poor.”

      Stupid and poor surely haven’t changed, although the fake money tree pyramid scheme conceals it with cheap degrees and cheap goods. Dirty and hungry will return shortly after the fantasy falls apart.

      ” “Externalities” and “Sustainability” are pseudo-economic crap. ”

      An externality is “making other people pay for your crap”. “Sustainability” means “perpetual productivity”. Both are real concepts.

      “They are words that are made up by socialists in order to confuse people and allow them more control over things they don’t own, don’t understand, and could never create themselves.”

      Well said but it’s not true. Externality, according to Webster’s, dates from 1673, and means “a secondary or unintended consequence”. Sustainability dates from 1727 and means “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged”.

      The words mean what they mean and they most certainly apply to the issues at hand.

      “Like when they use “stakeholders”. It is a concept invented to replace shareholders – you know, the people who actually own the company – and to dishonestly gain control of their property.”

      Isn’t shareholders a concept invented by fascists (government corporatists) to replace individual human beings and businesses in order to dishonestly gain control of their lives and liberty?

    42. #42 |  Patriot Henry | 

      From the LA Times article:

      “Meanwhile, Professor Pollan, eat all the “plants” you like — but don’t try to pry me from my Häagen-Dazs dark chocolate ice cream. I bought it at Safeway, and it’s sitting on my IKEA kitchen table.”

      How nice. Government subsidized ice cream, made in a government regulated and controlled plant, using government subsidized milk the price of which is government controlled and is produced using government subsidized corn which in turn is grown using government subsidized oil, and then that ice cream is sitting on a table probably made by Chinese wage slaves (quite possibly in a company town in perpetual debt to the company store)…and the real kicker of course is that since America can’t afford all of those subsidies, the poor Chinese table maker was taxed even further into destitution and that money was loaned by the Chinese government to ours to pay for those subsidies.

      My oh my. What an arrogant self righteous prick I am to give a damn about the massive amount of statism required to put a pint of ice cream on a kitchen table in America in the year 2009.

    43. #43 |  Dave Lincoln | 

      Seriously? 20 bucks for a chicken? Henry, you ought to get a chicken coup and start raising them and get some eggs for less than 6 bucks a dozen. As for feed, chickenfeed costs, like, chickenfeed.

    44. #44 |  billy-jay | 

      I’d read her book, but I’m too cheap.

    45. #45 |  Hannah | 

      I’ve come to the conclusion that Patriot Henry is either single, probably still living with his/her parents or has a roommate that helps with the bills. Because hell I can’t for the life of me figure out how PH is paying $20 for a chicken and $6 for eggs let alone other groceries on 20 grand a year and still make the bills. I sure as hell know that with a family of 4 my husband and I couldn’t do that on that income and still make our bills.

      As to your problems with the “government subsidized” Häagen-Dazs, my advice to you is move to one of the African countries, where pretty much nothing is government subsidized. Try to pick a country that isn’t going through some sort of civil strife. I’m sure the local growers would greatly appreciate you paying $20 for their scrawny chickens. I wish you luck.

    46. #46 |  Zeb | 

      Patriot, you are getting ripped off. I can get local free range eggs for no more than $3 any day.

      I think that most people who read this blog will probably agree that the food subsidies are a bad thing, and from that it is not unreasonable to conclude that we probably are paying too little for a lot of our food (if you don’t count the taxes that you pay toward the subsidies). But that does not mean that poor people should starve if they can’t put together enough money for a $20 chicken. The unobstructed market in food should lead to more efficiency, not less as you seem to think.

    47. #47 |  LivingInHippieTown | 

      Kwix- moose? I have never had moose before. Looks like a pretty big job! I almost hit one years back in Quebec (freaking HUGE)

      If you’re really going to raise some pigs, see if you can get some Berkshires. They have nice fat content and great flavor. Some of the best pork chops I have ever had.

    48. #48 |  Andrew Williams | 

      “Sustainable’s bad, mmkay?”

      Yeesh.

    49. #49 |  Andrew Williams | 

      And a little fun flashback:

      “Save water–shower with a friend!”

    50. #50 |  megs | 

      The area where I lived had a lot of droughts as I was growing up, with water restrictions. I learned how to take a shower turning on the water 2 to 4 times for short periods. It really sunk in, I guess, because I still shower like that and I moved to Canada where it is COLD and I shiver and then the water comes out COLD when I first turn the tap back on. I think I should be exempt from low flow showerheads, dammit. I am the hardcore showerer.

    51. #51 |  Patriot Henry | 

      Dear Hannah,

      “I’ve come to the conclusion that Patriot Henry is either single, probably still living with his/her parents or has a roommate that helps with the bills. Because hell I can’t for the life of me figure out how PH is paying $20 for a chicken and $6 for eggs let alone other groceries on 20 grand a year and still make the bills. I sure as hell know that with a family of 4 my husband and I couldn’t do that on that income and still make our bills. ”

      No cell phone. No alcohol/drugs except a 20/month tobacco pipe habit. Used car. No vacations. I bake my own bread, cook my own food, buy in bulk whenever possible, don’t eat out, don’t buy toys, cut my own hair, don’t go to movies, download my books for free online, don’t have a girlfriend wife or kids, etc.

      “As to your problems with the “government subsidized” Häagen-Dazs, my advice to you is move to one of the African countries, where pretty much nothing is government subsidized.”

      I have been thinking about and researching Somali more and more.

      ” Try to pick a country that isn’t going through some sort of civil strife. I’m sure the local growers would greatly appreciate you paying $20 for their scrawny chickens. I wish you luck.”

      I wouldn’t pay that much for an inferior product in a different market – that’s not the least bit frugal.

    52. #52 |  Patriot Henry | 

      Dear Dave Lincoln,

      “Seriously? 20 bucks for a chicken? Henry, you ought to get a chicken coup and start raising them and get some eggs for less than 6 bucks a dozen. As for feed, chickenfeed costs, like, chickenfeed.”

      True, but I also need to get a pasture and pigs and some cows or goats to replicate the polyculture that makes these eggs so damn good. All in due time.

      Aloha,

      Patriot Henry

    53. #53 |  Patriot Henry | 

      Dear Zeb,

      “Patriot, you are getting ripped off. I can get local free range eggs for no more than $3 any day.”

      Free range is a government defined word which essentially means “really big cage with a little door to a little pen outside that no monoculture chicken will ever dare use”. The eggs I get are from pastured chickens that actually are raised outside.

      “I think that most people who read this blog will probably agree that the food subsidies are a bad thing, and from that it is not unreasonable to conclude that we probably are paying too little for a lot of our food (if you don’t count the taxes that you pay toward the subsidies). ”

      The taxes go to pay the interest and national debt for past spending. The subsidies are paid for primarily by inflating the currency which hardest hits the elderly and others living on a fixed income, Chinese and Russian workers, and of course future labor.

      “But that does not mean that poor people should starve if they can’t put together enough money for a $20 chicken. The unobstructed market in food should lead to more efficiency, not less as you seem to think.”

      Were it not for the incredible waste, inefficiency, and check on progress and advancement created by the governments of the world we would have more than enough wealth to feed everyone.

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