Friday, May 09, 2008

Playing the Ag Card

Pundits everywhere are saying that the age of America's clout on the international stage is just about over. And most evidence suggests that it's true. The Fed has gutted the dollar. Iraq has our military stretched way too thin. China pirates and replicates our technology even as it's developed. Our national debt continues to soar. The blight of illegal immigration increasingly stifles the economy. And the American lifestyle is characterized by living on credit – and those debts must be paid, sooner or later.

But there's one area in which America still dominates the world: food production. Here's a list of the world's top ten ag exporters:

World Top 10
Agriculture Exporters

Country In Million Dollars
United States 42,826
France 24,262
Netherlands 19,780
Germany 13,842
United Kingdom 11,613
Canada 10,107
Australia 9,824
Italy 9,446
Belgium 9,013
Spain 6,621

The U.S. accounts for 27% of world food exports! The oil-exporting Arab countries are net food importers. China is on the verge of becoming one as well. If push ever comes to shove, that's some serious leverage right there. Maybe the economic equivalent of the 'red button.' Unfortunately, all the influential pinheads would proclaim that playing the 'food card' is inhumane and deplorable.

Personally, I say we start pushing our agricultural weight around, sticking our adversaries with higher prices for our commodities. Interestingly, the Cult of Global Warming may be accomplishing this very feat as it drives up U.S food prices. Let's have the government impose a stiff tariff against those who aren't behaving nicely towards us. That would not only give them incentive to cooperate, but also possibly ease rising food prices at home.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Three simple ways to add sanity to agricultural policy (but they won't because of the mighty farm lobby)
1) Abolish agricultural subsidies
2) Remove tariffs on agricultural imports, especially on brazilian sugar, so that we could have truly cheap ethanol, and delicious coke.
3) Remove all incentives to waste corn on ethanol production.
3a) Promote nuclear power (okay that was four, but if we really need power, there is a clean way to generate it.