Archive for ‘big government’

August 1, 2011

CARGILL: Who’s to blame for surge in food prices around the world? Food-hoarding governments

BLOOMBERG: “Cargill Inc. Chief Executive Officer Greg Page, who runs the largest agricultural company in the U.S., has a good idea whom to blame for the global surge in food prices at the end of 2010: governments.

Page urged 708 delegates and guests at the National Grain and Feed Association convention in San Diego in March to take action, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its September issue. He said government hoarding was the biggest contributor to the rise in prices, which had soared 15 percent from October through January and pushed 44 million people into poverty, according to the World Bank.

“Ill-timed, ill planned and really a beggar-thy-neighbor strategy,” Page, 59, said of moves by Russia and others to ban grain exports as droughts and floods helped send stockpiles to their lowest levels in two generations.

Page warned that further disruptions might ratchet up costs so much that governments would jump in with more regulations — not only on grain shipments but also on energy, trade and financial markets.

Cargill is a big fan of the private sector — and of privacy, period. Founded in 1865 by William Cargill, son of a Scottish sea captain, the agricultural-commodities giant is in its seventh generation of family ownership, a record unmatched by any other major U.S. firm.

Yet, Cargill has a huge hand in feeding the world. With 131,000 employees, it runs one of the country’s largest operations for converting corn into biofuels, as well as food for people and animals. It’s the No. 1 U.S. salt marketer and a top buyer and seller of cocoa and sugar. The No. 2 U.S. beef producer, Cargill can slice a cow 431 ways and fashion precise cuts so Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) doesn’t have to hire a butcher for every one of its shops.

In his San Diego speech, Page reiterated support for free- market policies, including limits on export bans, as the best way to feed people. That’s because willing buyers and sellers — not governments — negotiate prices.

[Read “Cargill Defines Food Chain While Assailing Government Hoarding” at bloomberg.com]

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June 29, 2011

NO FREE LUNCH?? UK TO PENSIONERS: WE DON’T HAVE MONEY TO PAY FOR YOUR FREE HEALTHCARE AFTER ALL. SORRY ‘BOUT THAT, LOVE. (You could try the U.S. with their Obamacare)

UK TELEGRAPH: “Paul Burstow, the health minister, ruled out introducing a new NHS-style free national care service for all, and urged the public to accept “the nasty truth” that all but the poorest will have to pay for their own care.

Plans to be published on Monday are expected to propose a limit on how much individuals pay towards the cost of a care home place, meals on wheels, home adaptations and visits from helpers. The government would then step in to cover costs above this cap, which is expected to set at between £30,000 and £50,000.

The aim of the proposal would be to ensure that individuals do not have to sell their homes to meet “catastrophic” residential care costs that can exceed £300,000 in extreme cases.”

Speaking to an audience at the King’s Fund think-tank in London, Mr Burstow warned that care for the elderly would “never” be free, describing the idea of a fully state-funded system as “a fantasy”.

It is not free. It never has been and it never, ever will be free,” he said. “That the boat has sailed on a wholly tax-funded social care system.”

Mr Burstow said he expected a public backlash when the reform plans are announced but stressed that one in four people already faces care costs of more than £50,000, while one in 10 will have to pay more than £100,000. “This is social care’s nasty little secret,” he said.”

[READ “Elderly couples face paying £100,000 for care” at the UK Telegraph]

May 24, 2011

SOWELL: “The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus. “

SOWELL: “Most American living below the official poverty line own a car or truck — and government entitlement programs seldom provide cars and trucks. Most people living below the official poverty line also have air conditioning, color television and a microwave oven — and these too are not usually handed out by government entitlement programs.” [Read Thomas Sowell’s article at  the JEWISH WORLD REVIEW]