Thursday, December 02, 2010

Will Agricultural Be The Political Litmus Test?

It is interesting to juxtapose these two pieces. The first is about rising U.S. exports of agricultural products, partially because of declining Russian production of wheat and partly due to expanding global demand, particularly from China. If the latter is a trend, perhaps it should inform our policy.

This other piece is about the ethanol subsidy, which is due for expiration and whether it should be renewed. Tea Party advocates say it shouldn't. I'm inclined to agree on this one.

I wonder why these issues are getting more press.


Bryan's workshop blog said...

Very interesting pairing, Lanny.

I doubt either will get much media play.
First, tv news is the leading way American get news, and easily the worst, most stupid news venue ever.
Second, agriculture doesn't matter to urbanites and suburbanites, generally.
Third, the ethanol story is pretty ugly, and hence embarrassing, esp. to Obama (remember his Iowa campaign?). So it'll disappear - for now.

-Bryan, the cheerful

Lanny Arvan said...

Bryan - if you think that was obscure...
...there was a piece in the New Yorker a few weeks ago about Asian Carp, which have taken over many of the rivers in Illinois and may be in Lake Michigan now. A sidebar of that was that China views them as a delicacy of sorts and there was mention of a small scale business where the U.S. exports the carp to China. I was scratching my head about what the scale of this operation isn't increasing more rapidly, given that many here view the carp infestation as an environmental disaster.

Also, at some point it will make the political discussion that the U.S. is coal abundant and that China is the leading coal importer.

All of this is part of a bigger picture that may eventually get into the news. But the politics that comes in now has to do with the Tea Party reps in Congress and how they might push. Will be interesting though I agree that TV doesn't seem to be able to handle more than one storyline at a time.

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Fishing politics is also obscure for much of today's media, I agree. Good thing there's the Web.

Coal is a different thing, esp. in the Chinese context, because it plugs into some larger stories. Fear of China, for example. America's weird energy policies, for another.