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Monday, July 30, 2007 ISSUE #466
 

Corn and milk lose out to water and ethanol

#466, July 30, 2007

COLUMBUS: These bottled water wars have netted a couple of big fish. Pepsi and Coke came out and admitted their fancy bottled water is right from the tap. No cool mountain streams, no gushing bubbling springs. Just plain city water.

If you want to start a business, this bottled water enterprise seems to have a better margin than most. You can buy all the city water you want, piped to your front door, five gallons for a penny. You pour it into little bottles, screw on a lid and sell the same five gallons for ten or twenty dollars. Even more if it's cold. Now, I ain't no economist, but if you can invest less than a nickel in water and an empty bottle, then an hour or two later sell it for a dollar, where markup is concerned it sure beats farming. That's bordering on Mafia territory.

This water business has got to be might tempting to the old dairy farmer. Instead of feeding corn to an old Holstein and letting her wash it down with 30 gallons of water a day, why he'll dispense with the cows, bottle the water and grow the corn for ethanol. "Got milk" will become "Had milk". Exxon could stop selling gasoline, (it's down to $2.50 a gallon), and start pumping bottled water.

This whole argument over bottled water started out over the bottle, and where you throw it. In the old days, remember, you bought a bottle of pop, and when you returned the bottle you got a penny or two back. Well, put a nickel a bottle deposit on these water bottles, and you'll solve the problem.

The House passed a Farm Bill. They've been arguing over it for more than a year. If they had passed it when corn was $4 a bushel, they could have cut the payments without the farmers hollerin'. But they waited till corn dropped to $3.25, and now Congress feels obliged to step in and carry their second mortgage.

Even if the Senate passes it, don't be surprised if the President vetoes the farm relief bill; Coolidge did in 1927, so we're about due another veto.

Congress will take their August vacation first. The Iraq parliament is already on vacation. Only ones still working through the hot weather are the American soldiers.

Iraq won a big soccer game and it touched off a celebration across the country. They stopped shooting each other for a few hours. The only Iraqi fighting I read about over the soccer victory was in... Michigan.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"The Senate relieved the farmers on Friday; the House of Representatives is supposed to relieve them tomorrow. Rotation of crops and less automobiles will relieve them whenever they decide to try it." DT #170, Feb. 14, 1927

"Tax relief, farm relief, flood relief, dam relief ... none of these have been settled, but they are getting them in shape for consideration at the next session of Congress with the hope that those needing relief will perhaps have conveniently died in the meantime." DT #557, May 9, 1928


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