Saturday, November 27, 2010

Al Gore Regrets Corn Subsidies, Glenn Beck Should Listen

Recently, Al Gore lamented supporting corn subsidies during the nineties, citing political reasons for the policy.
Now he tells us. Al Gore says his support for corn-based ethanol subsidies while serving as vice president was a mistake that had more to do with his desire to cultivate farm votes in the 2000 presidential election than with what was good for the environment.

"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Gore said at a green energy conference in Athens, Greece, according to Reuters. First generation refers to the most basic, energy-intensive process of converting corn to ethanol for use as a motor vehicle fuel additive.

On reflection, Gore said the energy conversion ratios -- how much energy is produced in the process -- "are at best very small." "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee," he said, "and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

Federal ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year, Reuters said, and the bio-fuel industry faced criticism in 2008 as food prices rose with ethanol consuming ever more of the corn crop and drawing down feedstocks. Gore now favors second-generation ethanol, using farm waste and switchgrass to produce the fuel.
Why should Glenn Beck pay any attention to the words of former Vice President Al Gore?  Because Glenn Beck could learn another reason why his food commodities conspiracy is just wrong.

Glenn Beck had claimed earlier this year that food markets were about to collapse as a result of crippling inflation, and that his followers should purchase food insurance from a sham corporation he promotes.

Here was Glenn Beck's shameless plea:
I'm going to share with you in a couple of days -- General Mills is saying that they're going up. I think their food's going to go up -- what is it? Eight percent? Fourteen percent? Already, food has gone up for the manufacturer, and it's already starting to go -- milk, I think, is up 18 percent in the last month. It's bad. It's bad. They'll tell you there's no inflation, but it is, and it's coming.

Please, I beg you. I beg you. Do it any way you have to do it. But please, if you have extra money now, please buy extra food, just in case. If you're a grandparent, please, if you have extra money, buy it for your kids if they can't afford it. Make sure that the family is taken care of.
I had originally pointed to a price war between General Mills and Kelloggs as a contributing factor for any price increase in the grocery store, but I thought the article referencing Al Gore brought to light another contributing factor to increased prices - farm subsidies.

If there are subsidies to produce ethanol from corn, and ethanol is consuming more of the corn crop, then wouldn't it make sense that the supply of corn for manufacturers of products like Corn Flakes would decrease, and as we all know from economics courses (not Glenn Beck since he never went to school), when supply drops, prices rise.

I also just noticed something about Glenn Beck's comments that demonstrate Beck's ignorance on the matter - he calls for his listeners to horde food, because in his opinion, the price of food is going to increase exponentially so people better buy now while they still can.  These actions can also contribute to decreasing supplies - just think of this holiday's Black Friday sales and how 40" television sets and inexpensive Wiis flew off the shelves because there was a limited supply at a lower then average cost.

Maybe Glenn Beck should do a little more research at his local library before he comes up with another half-assed conspiracy that will benefit his advertisers.  Here's a thought - just what exactly will Glenn Beck's listeners be able to buy with their food insurance and overpriced gold coins from Goldline in the future apocalypse?

♪♫ Like a good neighbor... ♫ ♪

Last time I watched Mad Max, nobody called their State Farm agent when they got into a car accident...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts and experiences in relation to this post. Remember to be respectful in your posting. Comments that that are deemed inappropriate will be deleted.