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Posts Tagged ‘Economics’

The Side Step


Yeah, it is Friday! This is the year where once again here in the U.S. we have not only the Presidential Election but, depending on where you live, Senator, and Legislators. The ads have ramped up in the last week. Every other commercial on TV for weeks now and for the next 4 weeks will be political ads, whether they be for or against a State proposition, or the candidates. And, I decided that today, we needed to have some fun with this!

This brought to mind a segment from a movie, in which the actor was actually nominated for an Oscar for his performance. The movie: “Best Little Whore House in Texas.” The performer: Charles Durning. The song: “The Side Step.”

And now, here is Charles Durning performing “The Side Step. Be sure to listen to the questions being asked of the politician. Let me know if this reminds you of the politico today!”

Charles Durning performing “The Side Step

Remember to go out and vote! And, remember the words to this song when you do!

Now go and have a great Friday!

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This blog begins with me wondering how many folks buy items through mail order. I know that I do only because I can’t stand shopping for holiday presents in the stores. What I want to ask you is this: Do you ever see where, in the catalog, the product you are looking to buy is made? Wouldn’t you like to know this?

Three years ago I bought two sets of dinner dishes through a catalog. When I received the dishes, I carefully unpacked them, and turned over the first plate that I pulled from the box only to discover that what I bought was made in China. Today, I regret buying those dishes as the finish is wearing off and I need to now replace them.

Living here in the Sierra Foothills, our U.S. Congressional representative is Tom McClintock. I looked him up and sent a note: A note requesting that we, as consumers, are informed where the products we buy through catalogs, or any other source are made. I asked that this include companies that are noted on packages as “distributed by.” The distributor may be a U.S. company, but where was the product made? I want to know what economy I am supporting.

The “occupy” movement is about corporate greed. Where does this start? Take a look at the bottom line on any publically traded company. Stockholder’s invest and they want a return on their investment. If they don’t get it, they pull out their money. So what do companies do to keep their stockholders? Decisions are made that reduce the costs of production by taking the production to a country where production costs are less than they are here in the U.S. It looks like they are cutting costs but are they really? Look at the number of recalls U.S. companies have had, and how many issues there are with quality.

Are you tired of spending your hard earned money on something that will break in two to three months? Are you tired of the poor quality of what you buy? Are you tired of company’s not caring that you are only one small, tiny, miniscule piece of the big pie: The Bottom Line? As a citizen of the United States, would you like to support this country by helping to create jobs, and by pumping money into this country? Has your job or maybe the job of someone you know have their job disappear due to the company moving production to another country? Did that savings to the company end up in the pockets of the executives of the company you or someone you know worked for?

I ask that you too contact your federal representative to ask to have information on where a product is made disclosed so that you too can support this country’s economy!

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I am not talking about Alfalfa the Little Rascals, but the rascal that feeds CA livestock. My husband and I take care of a wild mustang that visits us looking for food, not that there is not enough around the reservoir behind us, but he adopted us and we give him half of a flake every other day. When we first started buying him hay the price was $8.99 a bale. Our last trip to buy hay made our jaws drop! The price today for the same bale: $17.99! Why have the prices gone up you ask? We found out why…

A Bloomberg News story reported on this issue recently. It stated that it was cheaper to ship hay to China than to ship it up into the valley. This has to do with a limited supply of hay from foreign importers. The cost to export hay runs from $16 to $25 per ton while the cost to ship into our area is $45 to $50 a ton. What is driving the price down on exporting hay are transportation costs. The ships that bring imports from Asia are not able to fill the space on the return trip, so this drives down the cost of transportation resulting in a lower cost of transporting hay to Asia.

Did you know that a bale of hay with three ties is normally 15 inches high, 23 inches wide and 48 inches long? The hay going to Asia gets compacted to 15 inches high, 23 inches wide and 20-21 inches long. This conserves space. So more hay is able to leave the country and sales are greater reducing the price. And, of course there are bucks to be made by selling in huge quantities which limits supply in our area. I have to ask: If compacting hay reduces the space needed to transport an item, then why are they not compacting hay that is sent to us in our neck of the woods? Takes up less space, more can be transported, and aside from weight, which will not change, would not the cost of transportation come down? Hmmm…

Oh, the old supply and demand model we learned about in economics! And here is where the market comes into play. Farmers have shifted from alfalfa to other crops, such as soybean, corn, almonds and pistachios, leading to a decline in availability of alfalfa too.

The US Department of Agriculture has reported that alfalfa production in 11 western states is lower than last year, and reported the lowest yield of alfalfa since 2006, which equates to about .1 ton per acre.

The bottom line is money. Say you owned a car dealership and you sold one car per month at the highest price possible. Or, say you owned the same car dealership and you were able to sell 20 cars in a month at a reasonable price and still cover your costs. Where are you making more money? You make more selling 20 cars than just the one.

Products will go where the money is to be had. That is the bottom line. So, what can we do? I think you might want to think about that considering the failing US economy. Buy US made products and boycott products from China.

Source: Lee’s Feed Article “Export competition adds to ‘SCARY’ HAY MARKET” written by Steve Adler.

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