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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
UncleDale
retired librarian fromMaine,living in Florida.
09:01 AM on 09/15/2011
There was the Dot Com crash in 2000 as speculators went into computer stocks. There was the great crash of 2008 as speculators-banks and Wall street, made fortunes financially slicing and dicing mortgages. Now many of these same institutions are into commodity speculation- oil and food. At least in the U.S. , congress and the regulators don't seem to care-all they want are the
campaign contributions.
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MontaniSemperLiberi
I love the editors who allow my expression. Thank
08:55 AM on 09/15/2011
once again, if you're not at the table, you are on the menu.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
frank day
Obama cares about all of U.S.
02:55 PM on 09/15/2011
Exactly !! Well said.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
gx5000
Life's too short, be happy..
02:56 PM on 09/15/2011
Needs more msg....yep.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Amr Abouelleil
Egyptian-American and proud of both!
08:54 AM on 09/15/2011
"That's still less than meet prices, which are expected to jump by nearly a third."

Wow, I didn't realize the cost of dating website subscriptions was skyrocketing! What will all the single people do?
08:51 AM on 09/15/2011
"That's still less than meet prices.." Oh come on! Are there ANY editors at HuffPo?! Your 'writing' has become consistently appalling.
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LafAtChristianFairyTales
Capitalism's End-Game: Stripped planet and no jobs
08:37 AM on 09/15/2011
Yes the banking and futures markets exacerbate shortages by spiking the prices. And yes we need to regulate it, but don't let this issue distract you from the real problem that's underneath it - this planet cannot support infinite growth in human population.

In the 100 short years of industrial society we've already consumed many basic limited resources - we are at or past peak oil, past peak gold, ocean fisheries are in steep decline, there's the depth of top soil in the mid-west and top soil elsewhere is crusting over with salt from too much irrigation, and there are endless legal battles over fresh water and old growth timber. So you think there's a 'technological fix'? Dream on. Capitalist-driven technology only consumes resources faster, it does NOT create new resources out of thin air (marginally debatable for nuclear).

So yes, futures trading on basic limited resources is evil and must be regulated. But the do-gooder liberal solution is catastrophic too. You will NEVER feed unlimited birth rates on finite farmland, regardless of how many well-intentioned shipments of food and seed you send. If you have a million starving people in an area of Africa, and you ship them a hundred million pounds of charity food, pretty soon you'll have two million starving people. We've been shipping food for decades and it continues to get worse.

I realize this sounds harsh, but we only have one planet. Deal with it.
03:23 PM on 09/15/2011
Do you recall that in the late 19th century, there was a panic in Great Britain about the possibility of running out of coal? That was the primary source of energy at the time, the key ingredient to Britain's dominance of the waves. There were coaling stations for the British Navy scattered around the world like a string of pearls. It was projected that at the then prevalent rate of usage, the world's supply of coal would run out in 20 years, and that would be the end of civilization as we know it.

Of course, with the benefit of hindsight we know that civilization simply moved on to the next source of easily available energy. Similarly, the looming food shortage of the 60s and 70s were solved by improved farming technologies in the so-called Green Revolution.

Oil isn't some sort of necessary resource. It's simply the cheapest source of energy we have right now given the market conditions and technological base. When we get better at extracting solar energy, for example, it may become cheaper than oil. Malthusian prophecies have never come true, because technology has always come through. Interestingly, as people's level of education and wealth increase, their birthrates naturally decrease. Most of Europe has a negative birth to death ratio, and America would too, if it wasn't for immigration. Devote more resources to educate young women and we'll be just fine for any foreseeable scenario.
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LafAtChristianFairyTales
Capitalism's End-Game: Stripped planet and no jobs
09:13 PM on 09/15/2011
Ahh, a true believer in the technological fix.

That fact that someone in 1890 took a wild guess about the world's supply of coal is meaningless. We now have reams of production data from oil wells around the world. The US was still EXPORTING oil in the 1960s. New Jersey used to be a big producer, seen any oil pumps in Jersey lately? Remember the term 'gusher'? When's the last time someone poked a hundred feet below the Texas sagebrush and had the oil blow the top of the rig off? The fact that you have resorted to pointing to an 1890 estimate of worldwide coal reserves shows just how desperate you are to prop up your belief in infinite growth.

It's going to run out. Run out real fast and real dry. The true power of capitalist-driven technology is it's ability to scrape the bottom of the barrel, world-wide, with no virgin new continents to sail to and start over. Technology only extracts resources faster producing a temporary illusion of limitless resources.

No alternative energy sources come close to petroleum for getting energy output for minimal energy to extract. Nothing else even in the ballpark.

The 'Green Revolution'?! Guess what. It's petroleum-based fertilizer, my friend. The top soil in parts of the mid-west 'bread basket' is only half as deep as it was a hundred years ago. You've bought into an economic system that requires 3% annual growth just to stand still.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sglahn817
08:33 AM on 09/15/2011
Did I miss the part about food supplies having an impact on price?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
UncleDale
retired librarian fromMaine,living in Florida.
09:04 AM on 09/15/2011
With speculation, the scarcity of a commodity has no meaning-it is just used as a factor for price manipulation.. We see that with oil after the Great Crash of 2008. the world is awash in oil and the price stays artificiallyhigh ,right up to the present time.
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roydoe
roydoe knows all-sometimes
08:28 AM on 09/15/2011
Don't knock the feudal system.
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new beginning
Practice random acts of kindness-change the world
08:24 AM on 09/15/2011
And the warlords who divert aid have nothing to do with food not getting to the people?
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GravitonX
10^300 bosons could care less.
09:22 AM on 09/15/2011
Warkirds are a minor problem and are relatively insignificant with respect to the macroeconomic picture.
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GravitonX
10^300 bosons could care less.
09:23 AM on 09/15/2011
Excuse the typo: warlords
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
new beginning
Practice random acts of kindness-change the world
09:49 AM on 09/15/2011
typo excused!

But we really have no idea of the magnitude of the problem of corruption which is rampant in third world countries. Heck it is rampant here at home! You need to look no further than Solyndra as a half Billion dollar example,
08:10 AM on 09/15/2011
Yes and it has nothing to do with the dictators and warlords in Africa that literally stop and steal shipments of international aid. It is all the global futures market.

Should we revisit commodity futures? Absolutely, they should be constantly monitored and updated. Do the major banks and hedge funds manipulate the market? Again resounding yes and that has short term impacts on the commodity prices.

Naturally what is missed is the market has been screaming for the last 30 years, there is only so much supply and an ever growing population and demand. Food, energy, water, you name it.

Also, commodity prices are listed in US $$ so yes if you buy something in $$ and in a global market the $$ is dropping 30%+ against other currencies your price for that good is going to rise. For this you can thank the monetary policy of both W and Obama.

So go route out fraud and the manipulators, but what is ironic is the commodity prices are only reenforcing what the Green party has been pitching for years that we are running out and need alternatives.
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SoreEyes
Now my micro-bio is half empty
08:35 AM on 09/15/2011
Not true. Food is very inefficiently used and wasted in the developed world, sometimes with the sole purpose of propping price. Seed price manipulation, patents on Nature, non native crops, etc. That's what driving scarcity and price.

Water is a different story, we pollute it and we're running out of clean water.
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outasite
ipsa scientia potestas est
07:59 AM on 09/15/2011
“meet prices”..... I mean, come on now
08:13 AM on 09/15/2011
You get a gold star.
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Chris Carpenter
07:56 AM on 09/15/2011
Bankers and investors, it seems, have no compunction about the consequences of their everyday actions. If there is a time to question the sole of a man it is when he takes even the act of acquiring food by another as just a number on a page, not a life worth living.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
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Coinyer101
King of Doobiestan
07:52 AM on 09/15/2011
We can solve hunger and malnutrition......, with a handful of seeds, everyday......,

Hempnut is the most nutritious and easily digestible food on the planet, the only complete source of all the following: protein, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hemp is the only food which supplies all man's dietary needs in one source -- the only food which can sustain human life without any other source of nutrition.
Hemp foods contain 35% carbohydrates, 30% fat, 35% fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and in particular vitamin E, and only 8% saturated fat, or less.
Complete Protein
Hemp contains 25% - 31 % protein, second only to soy (35%), but the protein in hemp foods is more easily digestible, because hemp contains globular proteins, albumin 33% and 65% edistin (a Greek word meaning edible), which have structures very similar to proteins made by the blood, which makes them readily digestible. A handful of hemp seed provides the minimum daily requirement of protein for adults. No other food source provides complete protein in such an easily digestible form, not even soy. Soy protein content is fairly difficult to digest.
http://www.hemphasis.net/Nutrition/nutrition.htm

Yea we cannabis!
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
SoreEyes
Now my micro-bio is half empty
08:27 AM on 09/15/2011
Add amaranth and quinoa to that list and you get my vote
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kostya
Ineluctable modality of the visual
07:48 AM on 09/15/2011
There seems to be some confusion here. Banking as such is not evil. The main service is intermediation of transactions, which is why banks in modern societies are fundamental to supporting the payments system. They also providing access to credit. Lack of banking supervision or good banking laws, corruption and other factors are stronger determinants. Among the multiplicity of factors behind the current extermination of the Turkana in Northern Kenya and their millennia-old lifestyle, banking hardly tops the list. Also malnutrition can occur amid an abundance of food. Some people in mid- and high-income societies overeat or indulge heavily in processed foods that are poor in nutritional value, hard on their bodies, and cause chronic "life-style" diseases.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
UncleDale
retired librarian fromMaine,living in Florida.
09:06 AM on 09/15/2011
And Capitalism when it is not predatory can be beneficial.
07:36 AM on 09/15/2011
Why do we allow speculation on things like food, gas and oil, etc?

These are matters of life and death, and economic peril. A few people make loads of money at the cost of everyone else.

Again, why do we allow this?
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lrae2007
08:43 AM on 09/15/2011
Really concerned citizens have few options:

1) Pay your politician
2) Vote them out
3) Do what other pissed off citizenry around the world do when everything else has failed
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
UncleDale
retired librarian fromMaine,living in Florida.
09:07 AM on 09/15/2011
#3- Riot?
09:20 AM on 09/15/2011
#2, Vote!

Republicans control the House now only because Democrats stayed home during the last election. Staying home instead of voting is choosing to be a victim.
shessomoney
Liberal Elite-Made In U.S.A.
08:47 AM on 09/15/2011
And those few people making loads of money pay less in taxes than the people who work for a living. They own the money and the government.
09:24 AM on 09/15/2011
They pay taxes at 15%, the same as people who make $8,501 to $34,500.

Normal wage earners who make over $34,500 are taxed at a higher rate.
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hcbrand
Before the Flood
07:18 AM on 09/15/2011
Indentured servitude never actually went out of style.