Saturday, May 17, 2014

Regardless of your political persuasion..

I suppose it is inevitable that it plays out this way.  The Constitution is sort of like a book.  It provides a table of contents and the 3 branches of government write the chapters.  I guess the only discussion is do we want a War and Peace tome or an abbreviated e-book.

As always, at least for me, the answer lies somewhere in between--- a novel and preferably a non-fiction.  I think we are getting too much fictional government right now, don't you think?  :)

Source: Via AEI

Friday, May 16, 2014

Since 1994 we receive 150 more TV channels and but only watch an additional 7. Progress?

The number of TV channels the average person can receive in their homes has increased 375% (189.1-40.4= 148.7/40.4 X 100)

The number the average person actually watches has increased by 72% (17.5-10.2 = 7.3/10.2 X 100).

To put in in simpler terms, we get about 150 more channels but only watch an additional 7, since 1994.

Infographic: Many Channels, Few Watched | Statista

Where's the Beef? No, seriously, where is the beef!!

Here is a look at the past, present and future of the Supply Side of the meat industry. This data is from the USDA ERS for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. Part of 2014 and all of 2015 are predictions based on known numbers in the herds, flocks, whatever. Numbers are in "millions".

Here are the percentage changes, from 2012 to 2015 in the potential "Quantity Supplied" (in millions of pounds of meat) of meat for consumption:

Beef:  -6.2%
Pork: +4.5%
Lamb/Mutton: -5.8%
Broilers (chickens): +6%
Turkeys: -.7%

Beef production has experienced a steady decline since 2012.  Pork is still below 2012 production levels but expected to rebound in 2015.  Chicken is a bright spot in that it has increased at a fairly steady rate.

While the supplies of chicken and pork will increase, prices will not likely decrease as you might expect.  As the price of beef is most assuredly going to be higher, the demand for chicken and pork as viable substitutes will increase and put upward pressure on the price of  both of those meats.

TANSTAAFL---Now I am hungry for lunch.  Will it be Chicken or Pork Fried Rice?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My response to a Social Media posting regarding a restaurant owner who pays his workers $21.00 per hour.

There is a posting going around on Social Media (I have seen it on Facebook) about a restaurant owner and how much he pays his staff/waitstaff. It is a place called "Zingerman's Roadhouse" located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He is an advocate of increasing the minimum wage. His workers make about $21.00 in wages and tips and they get other benefits as well.  He calls this a "thrivable-wage" as opposed to a "livable wage".  I assume he believes all businesses in the food service industry should do the same.

I am not opposed to increasing the minimum wage.  What I do oppose are demagogues who think their opinion of how someone else runs should run their business is morally superior.  Especially when they don't walk in the same shoes.

Curious about his establishment, I went and looked at his menu.  It can be found HERE.

Below I clipped and pasted what a BBQ sandwich and an order of fries would cost me.

$18.50.  Guess I will have a glass of water with that---I am tapped out. Look at the menu.  That is one of the better deals.

Oh, and the Social Media posting does not mention this is an UPSCALE establishment nor does it mention the prices. And you have to make a reservation.

Show me a restaurant owner who sells me a sandwich and fries for half (or more) than what Zingerman's does and I will listen to him and his argument for raising the minimum wage. Zinger-meister is NOT in the same business as the former one is.

Why don't people get that?
Source: Zingerman's Menu Board

GUESS FIRST! Which State produces almost half of all rice grown in the US?? Ok, now you can read on...

After attending my daughters graduation from Texas A&M (economics!!) we drove from College Station to our home in the Columbus, Ohio area.

As much as time allows, I like to stay off the Interstate highways and drive the "country roads" to see places I have never been before.  This is where "America" happens.  Love to have those forehead thumping moments when I learn something I did not know before.!  (Head Thump!) Hate to admit it but I did not know that.  I assumed Louisiana and Mississippi had the comparative advantage of the proper land resource needed to grow it on a mass scale.

Much to may amazement, I saw unfamiliar field after field like this:

Source: HERE (for some reason I did not bother to stop and take my own picture!!

I have been to Arkansas but never East of Little Rock.  The map below highlights in GREEN the areas of heavy concentration of rice production.  You can see lots of dark green that lies just to the West of the Mississippi River into Arkansas.

Source: Wikipedia
Below is data on rice production in the US by State from 2007 to 2013.

On average over that time span, Arkansas alone produced 46% of the US Rice crop.

Source: USDA ERS

It was not inevitable that Arkansas would become the rice capital of the US.

Here is the story of how it happened (from Arkansas Rice Facts):
Growers in the prairie lands of Arkansas were in need of a crop that could be grown dependably and profitably. Almost by accident, rice became a contender when in 1896, W.H. Fuller ventured southwest to Louisiana on a hunting trip. It was there that he first saw rice growing, which ultimately led to the development of a leading agricultural industry for the state. Fuller, along with his brother-in-law John Morris and John’s wife Emma, are generally credited with founding the Arkansas rice industry. By 1910, rice production, research and milling were established in the state. Today, the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie in Stuttgart, Arkansas, showcases the history of this major center for U.S. rice production.
Now you know it too.

Guess it will be chicken fried rice for lunch today...
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