While Americans often complain about our jobs getting shipped overseas, the simple fact is that the global marketplace lets us receive goods for an incredibly low price.
We are paying less than our parents and grandparents did for goods, yet we have more debt and less money.
I recently watched the movie King Corn, a documentary in part about the way our crops are grown and our animals are fed.
Regardless of how you feel about genetically modified crops and conventionally grown beef, the documentary was informative about the agricultural policy change in the 1970s. While the United States used to carefully rotate crops and limit the crops that came to market, all of that changed when Earl Butz became the Secretary of Agriculture in 1971. He urged all farmers to plant as much corn as they could, and as a result of his policy changes, food prices dropped radically. Butz said in the movie, “The basis of our affluence is that we spend less on food now. . .We feed ourselves with approximately 16 to 17% of our take home pay.”