It would be interesting to study the contribution that bloated CEO salaries and corporate lobbying make to the general inflation rate. Consumers should also protest the low quality of the food they buy.
Charlie, a very complex and aggravating situation. You can blame Milton Friedman for (more or less) espousing unrestrained capitalism so the the captains of industry focus on the bottom line only - customer satisfaction counts only as it impacts the bottom line. Never because whatever increases customer satisfaction might happen to be the "right" thing to do based upon some moral compass.
You can blame the consumer for wanting fresh apples, tomatos, and other produce year round.
You can blame the major marketers such as Wal-Mart because their power is so great they tell manufacturers and suppliers what they want and what they'll pay for it.
You can blame manufacturer's who make processed food products because that's where the profit margin is. And they market them incessantly. Think Doritos, Marie Callendars, Hot Pockets.
You can blame society as a whole when Americans are working more hours, both parents -when there are two - are working or single parent households with limited incomes use processed meals for the sake of time and convenience.
Hell, I guess we can blame just about everyone and everything. And it is a most distressing situation.
Blame a "free market" that is anything but free. Blame a supine electorate that underwrites the status quo.Blame a government that is for sale.
Fly, I don't buy my food from the government. And if the public doesn't buy it, the "free market" will cease to provide it. And is this the same "supine electorate" that re-elected the President?
I was referring to monopolistic practices that serve no one. By the way, a recent editorial by George Will railing against banks too big to fail would indicate that he is in my corner on this one.
A non-supine electorate would push Obama a bit more. Obama is no socialist,despite the smear by right-wing bloviators, but rather a Nixon Republican. I would prefer to see less Nixon and more Roosevelt. Most bloggers here would disagree with me,but I feel a more aggressive approach is needed to deal with the many economic and social issues we face today.I might add that Roosevelt was also not a socialist despite the claims of modern Sewall Averys.
The Republicans lost because Republicans said and did a lot of dumb things.They fielded a weak and unappealing candidate. They shot themselves in their collective feet and continue to do so. My guess is that the Bushmaster is the weapon of choice.
Fly, I buy into your reference to the monopolistic practices in the food industry. One only has to look to Monsanto's treatment of farmers growing their patented soybeans.
And I too would push Obama more. But I would be giving him a big push to put some budget cuts on the table in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. All the other areas people rant about - foreign aid, PBS support, ad nauseum - amount to a pittance in the federal budget. These three programs, with defense, make up the preponderance of federal expenditures.
Back to food - the elimination of local suppliers in the food supply chain has greatly reduced the quality of retail food. And I realize we still have local farmers' markets and other small scale providers.
But, while in college I worked at a slaughterhouse. We provided meat to local groceries in a 15 county area, to restaurants, and even had retail sales. There are hardly any local meat processors any longer.
I worry not only about cost but the rapidly dwindling biodiversity of our grain crops.