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04/22/2012

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Manu  Oquendo

In talking about agri-productivity it might be interesting to do a bit of production-chain analysis.
Seventy or eighty years ago, corn or barley were produced autonomously by the farmer's household. Almost 100% if one takes into account the local village blacksmith for the plow, sickle and horse-shoes.

Today, more than a 100 huge suppliers --many of them part of the Dow Jones-- have a hand en each grain of cereal during its life cycle. From chemicals to food processing, distribution and fast food chains plus the ubiquitous guest;Taxes of all kinds.

We have moved away from vertically integrated, distributed production and vicinity consumption towards a complex integrated and globalized process.

It is therefore far from verifiable that employment in the food production cycle has shrunk. Maybe, but we don't really know. True,there are less farmers but we have millions of "newcomers" to the food chain.

What we know is that nobody dares to compute the amount of corporate profits, board bonuses, stock options and taxes that the price of every seed of wheat or corn is destined to pay.

We keep looking at the working population as in the industrial revolution but the analysis is not really as meaningful as we'd like it to be.

Best regards

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That is a legitimate concern when one is talking about products that are essential for national security or economic welfare, such as military aircraft; and obviously our military production is heavily and justifiably paid for largely by the government, although some is paid for by foreign buyers.

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Some manufactured products, vaccines for example, confer external benefits: when most of the population is vaccinated against some disease, the risk to the rest of the population may be so slight that they stop buying the vaccine: they are benefiting from it but not paying for it. - i agree.

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we am concerned about the dissonant, de-personalized social milieu that results from the inorganic ordering processes that the factory system is based upon

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