Sunday, 9 November 2014

Blog  13  Part 2 The politics and economics of food

I finished that last blog with the thoughts “drink raw milk”.  The principal needs to be explored further, and so we will do in the different aspects it encourages. If you remember, the last article we talked about Sam who brought in the white stuff into America – sugar – and Dave who brought in the white stuff drugs,  and compared the returns from the two of them.  Now let’s talk about the third amount of white stuff – milk.  We will pretend that Mike is a dairy farmer producing this white agricultural substance called milk.  Let us say Mike has thirty cows and sells his milk to the local coop, such as Formost or Dairy Farmers of America. He gets about $10.00 per hundred weight  for his milk, which is less than what farmers received before WWII.  In order to maximize his return he has some other Holstein cows and feeds them lots of grain.  So he has modern Holstein  190 hundred weight per year from each cow which works out to a total yearly income of $57,000.00 yearly, most of which is eaten up with feed and vet bills.  His wife has to work to bring in some cash and obtain health insurance. They live just above the poverty line. If they had gone into debt and the prices dropped even a little bit, or the cows produced less than unexpected they would lose their farm. Let’s now  look at what Mike’s income would be if he had grass based dairy and sold milk directly to the public.  He would use Guemseys, or Jerseys or some other old fashion breed because these cows do better on grass.  He would get only $100 hundred weight per cow per year, about half as much, but if he sells milk at $4.00 a gallon he would get at least five times as much for his milk. Actually,  some farmers are getting $8 or $9 per gallon for their raw milk, but let us be conservative. He could sell it at $4.00 gallon and  an equivalent amount for butter at about 10.00 a pound, and  cream about $9.00 per quart that makes about $50.00 per hundred weight rate. If he makes a good cheese, he can actually make more per pound per hundred weight. In France, the value added product that brings the most to farmers is not wine but cheese.
At $50.00 per hundred weight he grows his grosses $5000.00 per cow every year.  With 30 cows his gross income on the milk alone is $150,000.00.  But there is more, because  Mike makes butter, cream and cheese he will have  whey and skim milk as by-products which is free food for pigs and chickens. So in addition to milk and milk products, he can sell eggs, chicken, turkeys, pork, bacon or lard as by-products.  The male cows go for veal or beef. Depending on how hard he wants to work, he can put his manure to good uses  by growing vegetables  or fruit. He may produce maple syrup or honey,  so let’s say for the sake of argument add  another$50,000.00 which is conservative to total but bringing  us to $200,000.00 gross income for a farm with 30 dairy cows and something like 100 acres, if they sell all that  they are able to produce.  Of course there are capital investments and the cost of land  to consider. This is going to be the same no matter what Mike was getting for his milk, but his operational expenses are much lower because he is bringing in a minimal amount of food from outside.  His vet bills will be very low, the fertility of his animals will be high and his cows will live a long time.  While this is a lot better than Sam does with sugar, or may even better than Dave does with his white agricultural product (not to mention the occupational hazards attached to producing illegal drugs), actually the best thing to do for the opium poppies and a legal way to consume them is to give them to cows.  I am not making this up, the best cheese in the world in my opinion is was a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Italy which is made from cows fed poppies so that they are more contented and produce the wonderful milk to make  the cheese. This cheese sells for $15.00 per pound which is equivalent to about $500.00 for hundred weight of milk.   The farmer may only get one fifteen of this but that is $75.00 per hundred weight. That is an incentive.
The whey left over from making this cheese  fed to the pigs which is the source of the wonderful Prosciutto ham which sells about $30.00 a pound.  This explains why  the most delicious ham and most beautiful clothes, shoes handbags and furniture come from this region  of Italy, here is tremendous disposable income from these kinds of locally made products.
Returning to the US what does these numbers do for the local communities and local employment If just 10% of the US population bought raw milk, raw  butter, raw cream and raw cheese directly from farmers and other products produced on the farm, we would need about 75,000 100-acre farms  each with 30 cows.  If each farm generates an annual income of $200,000.00, the total revenue is 15 billion, year after  year, much of which stays right in the local community. If the whole country drank raw milk the total would 1.5 trillion or 8% of the current gross national product. You see now why the original and source of wealth is cattle. Cattle are the stock of the stock market and the word capital is derived from the Latin for heads of cattle.
Let’s talk about local communities – I thought mention these comments as well.
In her life time, she has witnessed first-hand what kind of farm revenue does for local communities.  During the 1960s the time of Healdsburg, California was a dump.  It had been a thriving town before prohibition shut down the local wineries.  But during the 1960s the local farms produced pears and prune plumes commodity crops that were  bought by large corporations which sold the pears fresh and dried the prunes.  Everything was run down, there was no good restaurant in town and much of the buildings needed paint.  Today Healdsburg is hopping, there are numerous trendy shops around the central square, several great restaurants, a fabulous hardware stores, several bakeries and an independent grocery store that does well in spite of the fact there is a big Safeway on the other side of town.  There is even a nice hotel across from the central square, everything is neatly painted and attractive. What caused  the change? It is the rather sudden switch from a commodity crop to a value added one, from prunes and pears to one of grapes and opening the various wineries selling their value added product.  Wine is a rich man’s hobby, grapes are very expensive to plant as it take about 6 years for them to fully mature, then two years for the wine produced from the grapes to be ready to drink. In contrast return from raw milk business is relatively easy.  If you purchase a cow for $1,000.00, sell the milk for $50 per hundred weight you could recoup  your investment within three months.
As for  employment let’s assume that 75,000 farms employs 3 people full time – the farmer, wife plus one older  child or the couple plus one hired person, perhaps the head of another family which lives on the farmer’s land as well.  The total for these farms would be 225,000 individuals.  It is also a multiplier effect usually given as the ratio of 2.7.  That is each direct farm employee  there will be  2.7 independent employees, that is for each dairy employee there will be 2.7 indirectly employees.  Thus the total employment created, direct plus indirect, is 872,500 people, about  the number of unemployed  in the US 2003. If we add to milk farm products other items can and  should be produced locally, healthy soft drinks, bread and other bakery products sausage and broth lacto-fermented vegetables and so forth you would see an unbelievable explosion of local prosperity, a small town renaissance throughout the US we’d see a return of local small clothing and shoe factories, with the right technology we can make paper from hemp locally and in an environmentally friendly way. Craftmanship would flourish, furniture making carpentry, homebuilding, dressmaking, gourmet cuisine, art and music. Medical bills and insurance costs would decline, there would be employment for all. In fact, shortage of labour would result and a decent minimum wage for everyone willing to work.
One major impediment to this picture is the anti-raw milk agenda of mongering, propaganda and compulsory pasteurization laws.  Can you see how compulsory pasteurization has been the major factor in the destruction of America’s local economies? Fortunately, there is a way around these laws with our cow share, herd share, farm share programs. In fact, now that we are rolling back the propaganda and creating more and more customers for the raw milk and related products these pasteurization laws can actually work to the benefit of the farmers.  If People cannot get raw milk in stores, they will make the effort to come to the farm or pay for the service for the   delivery  those products to their door step.  The farm share system also allows you to provide other value added products which health laws prevent you selling directly, that is farm butchered meat, sausage, baked goods and so forth which could ‘provided’ not ‘sold’ to farm share owners. Although we can constantly hear rhetoric explaining  the efficiency of large farms, rising costs and declining prices are rendering these farms more and more untenable. The farm of the future is not the mechanized CAFO or mega monoculture of farms but the 30 cow dairy farm that sells directly to the public or provides products to shareholders.  This model will flourish  because the day is coming when no conscientious couple will dream of starting a family until they are finding sources of pure and healthy raw milk for their children. When no town planners will proceed without first setting aside the most fertile land for their dairy, when no  doctor will omit raw milk as part of his treatment, and when no government official will dare to impede access to any way to raw milk, and other pure foods, and that raw milk will come from small local farms.
So let us focus on solutions.  We do have a very serious situation in the US, a precarious economic situation that can only continue through a system of theft, not only of American assets, but those of people throughout the world. We need to be aware of this situation, of course, and it is important to put our thoughts in solutions not problems.  Problems dwelling on all that is wrong, on the conspiracies, the worst case scenario and so forth is like eating  junk food, junk food terrible economic and political situation is out there but you don’t have to  put your attention on it just as you don’t have to eat junk  food , and you won’t eat junk food if you realize that healthy food tastes better is more satisfying. By the way I do not agree with Catherine Fitts’  that the decline of the Philadelphia neighbourhood was initiated by drug dealing.  The first step in that decline is the step in which we all carry responsibility, that is that our children buy popsicles  made from sugar, Sam’s commodity.  This is the step that sends the food dollar out of locally community, that makes the body chemistries susceptible to drugs. The fix that initiates the decline of our standard of living is the sugar fix. So let us conclude by painting a picture of the kind of life where we all make this one change, we all drink raw milk, and we purchase directly from the farmer.  We may remember the humourous parody of various economic systems that made its way across the Internet world ideologies explained by reference to cows . For example, FEUDALISM – you have two cows.  Your Lord takes some of the milk.  Socialism – you have two cows. The government takes them, puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers.  The government gives you as much eggs and milk the regulations say you need.  Bureaucracy: you have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them, then it pays you to not milk them, then it take both shoots one milks the other and pours the milk down the drain.  Then it requires you to fill out forms to accounting for the missing cows.  Enron Venture capitalism.  You have two cows.  You sell three of them to a publicly listed company using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank.  Then execute a debt equity swap with an associated general offer so you get all four cows back with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sell the rights of all sever cows back on their listed company.  The annual report says the company owns eight cows with an option of one more.  Sell one cow to buy  a new president of the United States leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public  buys the bull.
Raw milk economics: You have two cows.  One cow is NON- genetically manipulated and produced through naturally breeding who feed on fertile green pastures who produce delicious high fat milk, and carefully milked by you year round, and the milk supports round faced children having naturally straight teeth and wearing pure cotton clothes, clothes colored with natural dyes and produced in the nearby town.  The cows give birth to calves every year and soon you have a herd of 30 cows all producing delicious, healthy milk.  Sam and Dave have retired and their grandchildren are around to help with the milking.  Out-of-work orthodontists gather up manure from the milking shed and distribute it on your pasture where happy chickens run around turning over cow patties and eating bugs to product nutrient rich eggs.  You make naturally yellow butter from the cream and delicious cheese.  You feed the various whey and skim milk to your small herd of hogs which in return turns into bacon and lard for cooking. Reformed FDA officials help you make lacto-fermented juice from the fruit grown in your orchards and pickles and chutneys from your garden produce.  All these products you provide in your on farm store to your farm shareholders many of whom are grateful survivors from the low fat era.  You make more money than you can possibly spend on yourselves so you donate to the town schools, theatre, symphony, orchestra and opera company.  You also build a nice house on another part of the farm where another family lives and you pay this family handsomely to help you on the farm.  This allows you to take a big vacation twice a year and then learn how people live in other parts of the world.  Missionary groups teach raw milk economics to people living in other countries and every year two foreign exchange students come out to help on the farm.   You have two hundred thousand farms all producing raw milk products and providing them in on farm stores or by home delivery.  These farms create an explosion of prosperity at the local level.  Small farms revive and along with them small businesses.  Every town produces a distinctive naturally fermented soft drink and every farm supports several great restaurants.  Fast food places are transferred into local hands. New owners cook the French fries in tallow or lard.  Unemployment disappears and everyone makes a decent wage.  No one uses pesticides on their farm so the chemical companies close down that part of their operation. When the corporate employees are freed up from their system, they will  find better pay and more fulfilling work with the local businesses or on farms.  It will become more profitable to have land just outside cities and towns as dairy farms than houses.  Towns and cities will grow while urban sprawl will  give way to green spaces.  Wealthy farmers and wealthy small businessmen will put their money into local credit unions, the power of international banks wanes and so does their influence in Washington. This new wealth is real so there is no need to wage war any longer to keep the economy afloat.  Health  crises resolve, inner city hospitals are torn down and replaced with intercity dairy farms supplying fresh milk to intercitiy families.  School lunch programs feature raw milk and products of local farms; because the children are eating real food their brains get wired properly. They are filled with curiosity and learn easily.  Teaching becomes a joyous profession once again.  Happy well-nourished children contribute to an artistic flowering music, painting, literature, dance and dramatic arts flourish.   You have two hundred million people who drink raw milk  - and all of them live  happily ever after.
Why not!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Blog 13 - The politics and economics of food - Part 1

I am indebted to Sally Fallon who belongs to the Weston Price Organization for some of these thoughts.  We both made presentations at the annual meeting in Amherst, Mass. for the North East Organic Farming Association in 2003.  Her thoughtful and intelligent remarks certainly helped me to understand what has to be done for the future of feeding people for the benefit of future generations. Since 2003, situations have changed and her reasoning is ever more imperative. I can justify giving talks about farming because I know how we need to grow and produce our food in order to be healthy, and my excuse for holding forth on these robust topics politics and economics rests on the fact that what we eat determines the kind of government and economic system we will have. It was Dr. Weston Price who formulated the principles of healthy diets and demonstrated the fundamental importance of grass-based animal husbandry to ensure that essential nutrients would be in our food, particularly in the butter fat of our milk and milk products.  Modern milk production takes our animal off pasture and puts our dairy animals in barns where they receive dry feed then ultra pasteurizes the milk resulting in a product vastly inferior to the milk Americans drank 60 or 70 years ago. In fact, more and more people today simply cannot drink modern, commercial milk.
Dr. Price showed how certain nutrients, namely vitamins A and D, found exclusively in animals foods like butter and organ meats from grass fed animals, protect us from cancer and heart disease and ensure that we have  healthy children generation after generation.  Dr. Price demonstrated that fact that the marker for a good diet is uniformly broad faces and straight teeth in all members of the population, physical attractiveness bestowed  not just on the few but the natural birthright of everyone. I will approach this subject economics of food in order to answer the following questions.  What kind of economic and political system would we have as a consequence of making food choices that are truly healthy, fundamentally supportive of optimal development and superb well being, instead of merely convenient.
I could say this is the blessing of technology.  Let me say that I am not a Luddite.  I am not against industrialization, I am not against machinery, I am glad I live in era of automobiles, airplanes, computer (which I can’t work very well), dishwashers and above all cuisinars! In fact, you can make the argument that industrialization and in particular modern reliance on oil has been good for the environment. We often fail to realize is that the need for wood for warmth, for cooking and to produce metal objects in  forges denuded large areas of Turkey, Greece and others parts of the middle east which use to be covered in trees.  The early sugar industry depended on wood to refine sugar resulting in the stripping of trees from the Madeira islands and then progressively westwards to the Caribbean and Latin America.  America has far more tree coverage than it did in 1900 because we have transitioned from the horse to the car much land was denuded to grow hay for horses.  Today the undeveloped hills are covered with greenery.  Photos from 1850 show these hills completely bare because Americans needed wood for fires. Nevertheless, like all other areas of life we need to be selective about how we use these modern inventions.  We can use machinery to build huge tractors or nifty gadgets and make it easy to plough with a horse.  We can use our industrial know how to keep our cows in huge confinement dairies or to management cows on pasture with solar powered electric fences.  Most problematic is the use of poisons to control weeds, insects and other impediments to the profits of industrial farming. These threaten to extinguish a large part of life on earth if we don’t come to our senses very quickly, just as Rachel Carson pointed out in her telling book Silent Spring.

Let’s talk about the economics of theft. Let us turn to the subject of economics – I am sure many of you realize that today we have a system in which money is created out of nothing.  Money is the medium of exchange that can be based on the productivity of a society.  In other words, the government prints money based on the gross national product, the sum of goods and services produced in the country, well money can be created out of nothing by private banks and loaned to government at interest. Because or money today is created out of nothing it seeks to get the clutches on oil production, industry, agriculture, trade and so forth. This has been called Vulture Capital which I believe is a very interesting word.  Vulture Capital is always in search of prey, it cannot live without eating up the real sources of wealth.  In her book Stolen Harvest, Indian activist Vandana Shiva, makes the following statement (she presented at the NOFA conference with some excellent talks – she is someone one needs to listen to and read her statements). She says, “After the past two decades every issue I have been engaged in as an ecological activist and organic intellectual has revealed that the industrial economy calls growth is really a form of theft from nature and people  in agriculture as much as in forestry, the growth illusion hides theft from nature and the poor masking the creation of scarcity as growth”.  She describes how the resources were of the third world poor – their  farms, their shrimp ponds, their health, even the life of the soil are being stolen to generate profits for giant corporations.  According the Catherine Austin-Fitts, a perceptive  commentator on realities of modern economics, the global first world economy actually has a negative return on investment.  So called growth comes from a four phase process which is a kind of theft.  The first phase is destruction through organized crime, covert operations, warfare, or a variety of all three.  Remember that famous line in Gone with the Wind when Scarlet asked him how he has managed to do so well during the Civil War, he says, “My dear, there is much more money to be made in a destruction civilization than building it up”, I fear this is true.  In the third world countries this destruction is accomplished with bombs that take out lives and infrastructure, for the American communities this destruction is accomplished through crime and drugs as our neighbourhoods deteriorate, or low farm prices that cause farms to go bankrupt.  The profit generated from breaking up is then used to buy or seize legal control at a discount.  This is the second step.  Phase three is the “fix it” phase.  Government funding, credit and subsidies are used to begin repair while harvesting remaining assets continues, including narcotics trafficking, sex slavery, and other forms of liquidating the human- intellectual- environmental- physical capital. In Iraq, the harvest is huge, not only of oil which is flowing into Tankers once again, but not yet directed to resorting essential services to the Iraq peoples, but also gold and archeological treasures. Phase four is to declare victory so that a flow of foundation and academic grants funded by the Break it-Fix it profits generate awards, photo opportunities and official archives and documentations for the perpetrators to be admired for their bringing of advanced civilizations to the natives.  In the United States, the result of this theft, the real assets has a total debt that works out to about $100,000.00 per person which is experienced as rising unemployment and seen visibly as the decline and quality and safety of our neighbourhoods, small towns and country sides. Fitts argues  the creation of solaries which she describes as investment databanks, investment advisors for a place, typically no larger than 10,000 people, that will allow global investors to generate high capital gains from building healthy people and beautifully safe and environmentally rich and cared for places, not just extraction and consumption, or as the poet Wordsworth said, “not just getting and spending”.  Fitts has created what she calls  the Solari index which is a measure of the desirability and safety of the neighbourhood.  She adds, `When I was a child growing up in the 1950s at 48th and Sarah Wood in west Philadelphia, the Solari index  was 100%.  It was unthinkable that a child was not safe going up to stores on Spruce Street for a popsicle and some pinball.  Today, she reckons that the Solari index in her neighbourhood is 0%.  No parents will allow their child go alone to the corner store.  A great deal of that decline she pins on narcotics trafficking and the people that narco dollars put in power on our street, in cities, in the banks, in  the congress, the corporations and investors downtown and that ring the city.  Fitts likens this system to a tape worm that parasitically eats away at its eco system.  The tape worm prospers by injecting a chemical into its host that triggers a craving in the host for what the tape worm wants for its dinner.  By managing its host`s desire, a tape worm manipulates its host to set aside self interest so as to please its parasite. So the tape worm proceeds to consume its host`s energy and health, with the host doing most of the work.  With that happy thought I pause and then continue with the next blog....

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Blog 12 - The energies of food, spirit and prayer

Blog 12 July 8 2014 - The energies of food spirit and prayer

Should one try to grow spiritual food? Yes, of course. Mind, body and spirit all have to be fit for a person to be whole.  To feed one’s spirit with prayer meditation and reflection brings one to higher state of consciousness and peace.  What does one do to feed the physical body upon which the foundation is built to support for this life energy. Nutrients are to the body what God and prayer are to the soul. To hold space for the grace of spirit to move through and within us our tissues need to be supported with living energies by foods that we eat. 
On a continual basis the vibrations of the human and planetary elements are radically changing and it is not enough in today’s world to find the right nutritional approach or to support the body with supplements and organic foods.  One has to be aligned energetically with the foods that they are about to eat in order to receive its healing qualities. Foods carry with them vibrational energies that resonate with thoughts, emotions, physical and spiritual states of being. They can either enhance, support or be a detriment to one’s body and emotional state. 
Everything from the quality, color, texture, the way a food is prepared to the aroma all effects the way it is received by the body and the spirit.  Food can create and heal illness.  It can bring on a euphoric state or depressed one.  In many spiritual traditions food has become sanctified as holy and a prayer is said before it is eaten.  In Christianity, during the last supper, Christ said to the disciples upon breaking bread with them, “Take this. This is my body.” The blessing of the food is transformed from matter into spirit. That same gift has been given to each and everyone of us to transform our food energetically into spirit, but to do so one’s body and mind has to be in a prayerful state. 
When one finds oneself in this place, attachment to various food changes.  One may then seek true nourishment as opposed to immediate fulfillment that is desired by the physical or emotional hunger. That is not say that eating food for these reasons is wrong, on the contrary, by eating in a prayerful state the spirit gets nourished which can then support the energies needed to fulfill our basic needs and human desires.   When working with emotional sustenance using food sources the body utilizes most of the nutrients to heal itself of what has been depleted of when one is out of balance of right consciousness.  For example, during times one is under extreme duress the majority of the nutrients will be absorbed by the energies carried during the duress, leaving little to be absorbed by the blood stream.  
If one can bring awareness and contemplation to the emotional body before eating it will effect changes of receptivity before the food source is even digested.  To then make a prayer blessing for the food the person not only comes into right relationship with the food, but with himself as well, making the union holy. To nourish oneself physically each person’s body has different needs of food energies to support it on a daily basis. 
It is suggested that whole foods such as vegetables, grains, fruits and a healthy source of protein fulfill the demands for a healthy body. When one learns to listen to the needs of these tissues a single source of food ingested at one time may be enough to support the life energies moving through a person at a particular time. The way a person eats will then become different.  The amount a person eats will also change.  For example, when one sits down to eat lunch and chooses a whole grain such a quinoa the healing and nutritional properties of the grain may be enough to sustain the body until supper.  This can only happen with the relationship to food becomes prayerful. I am not suggesting for everyone go out and change their nutritional behaviors, everyone needs to nourish themselves according to their own body needs. 
Healthy food sources are the one thing that will help us to maintain our physical wellbeing during this time on earth of change and spiritual evolution.  I am only suggesting that you compassionately look at your relationship of the way you nourish yourself on a slightly different level.  When in alignment with your meal the nutrients will then support you mentally, physically emotionally and spiritually. Thus eat prayerfully and enjoy the fruits of the earth. One has to remember we import in Nova Scotia approximately 90% of our food.  Where it is grown determines the energy content. We have to be in balance with the energy for our food.  Thus, we have to eat locally to be energetically balanced. This will the future changes. This will enable your body, mind and spirit to be strong.  This is imperative for our province and nation to survive the future changes.
Thank you.
Charles Hubbard  

Monday, 2 June 2014

Blog 9 April 6, 2014 Farming is at the heart of our economic problems… and our economic solutions

Blog 9 April 6, 2014  Farming is at the heart of our economic problems… and our economic solutions
(apologies this did not get published previously... please refer to Blog 8 and 10 for its placement in sequence). 
Scenario: there is an important strike, some problems are for more money, the government is deep in debt and has no spare money… so now what?

Conundrum: Approximately 50% of people work for the Nova Scotia government creating essentially no new wealth. This leaves 50% of which 25% cannot work due to being either too old or too young, and the remaining 25% (of which 5% can’t work) leaves only 20% of the population to create the needed wealth to run Nova Scotia. This 20% is seemingly diminishing, so what now of the future? A mystery to me! However, maybe there is a partial solution: Parity. Some years ago a parity Bill 215 was debated. This Bill would put the economy back on track,  get the unemployed and youth to work.  It will guarantee farmers cost of production plus a small profit.  It will lead to a balanced government budget and will not require subsidies or stabilization spending. Sounds too good to be true?

National prosperity is the dream of all Canadians. National prosperity is possible. The key is reintroducing the Parity Bill.

Parity is the truth.  It is a fact, not theory.  It has been proven in history backed with 40 years of research and a national economic audit. This key to national prosperity is parity based on Wilken’s law. Wilken’s law states that for any nation in the world to prosper, new wealth must be created.  New wealth comes from our basic resource industries farming, fishing, forestry and mining. New wealth represents something new is created, something of value coming from the soil or the sea.  Example: a farmer plants one bushel of corn and reaps 300 bushels of corn. That is 299 new bushels of corn that never existed and haves created.  That 299 bushels of corn is new wealth. Still behind the Wilken’s law is this: at the end of the great depression in the 1903s the US government hired a brilliant mathematician and economist Carl Wilken.  This task was to research and document what led to and caused the great depression.  In the course of his work, Carl Wilken uncovered an incredible relationship between new wealth and the state of the overall economy. Wilken discovered that of the four basic industries agriculture provided 70% of the new wealth into the economy each year. But what is more fascinating is that he discovered a direct relationship between farm income and national income.  Here is the key: Wilken’s research revealed that whenever farm income equaled 1/7 of the national income, the entire nation prospered, and whenever farm income equals less than 1/7 of the national income we slide into a recession, and if low farm incomes persist, we plummet into a full scale recession. I believe we are possibly on the brink of that right now, this certainly applies to Nova Scotia.

That is Wilken’s law.  The income of the family farm is the key to the economic well being of everyone in the entire nation. It is that simple. But government and society fail to recognize it. Why is it that farm income is so important for the nation’s people? First of all, farmers create new wealth - 70% of it! Secondly, farmers support all the service industries.  Have you ever counted how many service industries ride on the farmer’s back? Look around you. Everyone receives from the farmer… the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker. Half a million Canadians are employed directly by the agriculture industry. If you think unemployment is high now, you have not seen anything yet. It can get worse, unless governments get back to basics, and support the agricultural industry. Why? The income that goes to farmers for producing new wealth turns into income for the rest of the people in the economy. These people spend it again, jobs are generated and the whole economy percolates.

Farmers are spenders! Simulators! And don’t hoard dollars in savings accounts. Every dollar that a farmer spends generates 7 more dollars into the economy ($3.65 stays in the county where the farmer lives). When farmers receive true value for the food they produce we call that parity. Parity gives the farmer the cost of production plus return on his/her investment.  That sounds fair and reasonable, doesn't it? A short while ago it was stated that the average North American farm family unit feeds themselves and 90 others. Parity gives that farm family adequate income to buy back the goods and services of 90 people.  This is what you call a perfect balance. This is what gives a nation or a province balanced economy.

We used to have a balanced economy and this country has known prosperity.  It is a national fact that the years 1942 – 1952 have been recorded as the most prosperous years ever known in history for entire nations. Do you know why? Because from 1942 to 1952 the farmers in the US, especially, were guaranteed parity by law (fair price) positive economic ripple effect was felt right around the world. Why farmers were guaranteed parity is because of Carl Wilken. How they lost it is the horror story we are living with today. I believe this applies now (but let us be positive). We can make changes for the better.

The next blog will be the history of Parity and we will continue the story.

Some resources: Carl Wilken

Blog 11 Parity in agriculture - questions and answers

Blog 11 May 24, 2014  
Some questions and answers about PARITY in order to start the conversations

1)      Will PARITY cause food price inflation? No. Comment: There is little relation between farm price and the food price.  Food prices have risen while farm prices plummeted. Consumers got the best food price bargains when farmers had PARITY (that is a fact and that is history).
2)      Aren't farmers better off than they were before? No. Comment: Farmers are worse off than ever before. Farm debt has reached an all time high.  Farm bankruptcy is now the worst it has ever been in history.
3)      Is it possible to have PARITY program based on abundance? Yes. Comment: With PARITY farmers are assigned allotments and acreage goals. These are set and based on domestic needs. Export needs and food reserves for emergencies and disasters each farm family unit applies for their allotment each year.
4)      Can exports or alternative uses for grains solve our problems? No. Comment: Exports have reached an all time high and farm prices have reached an all time low. Exports make grain merchants rich, not farmers.  
5)      Will PARITY mean more bureaucracy watching farmer’s every move? No. Comment: It is the subsidy programs that are bureaucratic and costly.  Former PARITY programs were run by elected farm committees, they were free of bureaucracy cost, the taxpayers very little, and did achieve PARITY for farmers. Farmers need a voice for what affects their lives.
6)      Will PARITY help big farmers at the expense of small farmers? No. Comment: Small farmers lose out when prices are low. This argument has been used only to divide farmers.
7)      Will PARITY price our Canadian grain out of the world market? No. Comment: It is stupid to price grain exports at less than full value and less than cost of production. World prices are set in North America therefore the international market would be forced to adjust and tie in to PARITY pricing. This way other countries and other farmers would benefit from the inevitable positive ripple effects of PARITY.
8)      Will PARITY inflate land prices? No. Comment: Land prices tripled while farm prices dropped.  When farmers had PARITY land did not skyrocket.  Since so many farmers have gone bankrupt, and there is more available land than buyers, land values have gone down. PARITY would restore land values.
9)      What about government involvement; won’t farmers have to accept a lot of restrictions on how they operate? No. Comment: By signing up a farmer is guaranteed: 1) minimum price, 2) his/her share of the market, 3) restrictions will involve allotment, base price, permitted acreage and appraised yield. 
10)   Isn't inefficiency and poor management the reason for so many farmers to leave agriculture? No. Comment: Poor farm prices cost us lost farmers.  Good prices stabilize the farm population.
11)   How is PARITY figured? By a statistical means of hitching farm prices to farm costs.  If farm costs rise the PARITY figure will rise accordingly. If input costs go down, so will the PARITY figure. That is fair ie a base period is selected when the prices and costs were in a balanced relationship (1910-1914) was used in the 1942-52 price formulations.  Each month Agriculture Canada statistically determine the prices received index for the prices paid index (it would include all farm costs including interest and taxes).  The PARITY ratio the overall average of farm prices is determined by dividing prices received figure by the prices paid figure over a 5 year average figure. The formula is written – we just need to use it.
12)   What would be the effect of cheap food import invasion of our domestic PARITY prices? Comments: PARITY legislation would protect our domestic prices, food  imports would be subject to tariffs at the border which would parallel Canada’s PARITY price.

In conclusion

Food self-sufficiency must be the goal for our survival. Importing approximately 90% of our food when we could provide most of our requirement shows bad management of our resources.  PARITY is a way to correct this situation which if we do nothing, will effect a disastrous future for our generations to come. 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Blog 10 May 11, 2104 - Farming is at the heart of our economic problems and solutions - Parity is a viable solution.

Blog 10 May 11, 2014  
Farming is at the heart of our economic problems… and our economic solutions – Part 2 This is the story

To repeat: The current conundrum is that 50% of the people in Nova Scotia work for the government. This does not create wealth.  Of the remaining 50%, 25% cannot work because they are either too young or too old to create wealth.  Of the remaining 25%, supposing 5% cannot work for whatever reason, this leaves 20% to create the wealth to run Nova Scotia. This 20% is diminishing. Parity and agriculture can create wealth. Thus this is the story of Parity.

At the beginning of WWII, Wilken, who we mentioned before, went to congress.  He warned them that the USA would go bankrupt and loose the war if they did not have a means of paying for the war. Few believed him, however, he did convince the committee on banking and currency that agriculture provided 70% of the new wealth into the economy, and that agriculture could finance the cost of war.  So they drew up what was called the Steagall Amendment (see some links below) which guaranteed farmers PARITY. To insure that congress would not veto the amendment, they attached it to the National Defense Act. People were led to believe that war brought prosperity when in reality it has always been agriculture, and the other three basic resource industries, that foster economic prosperity. Historically, the farmers at the beginning of the 1900s were the bankers of  the local area.
What is happening now?

At the end of the war, as industry the world over converted from military to domestic needs, everyone prospered. People paid off their debts, very few were borrowing, and at that time the banks were only lending 37.5% for each dollar deposited. (Now the banks only keep a small amount (in more recently years I believe the rule has been 5-7 dollars for each $100.00; this means the banks have no money in the bank and nothing in reserve.)  That is when bankers said, “Look we have to take the fat away from the people.  There is too much prosperity.  We have got to force people to borrow more money from the bank.” And they have done just that.

Banks planned, thus to short change the monetary system.  If  fair prices to producers of new wealth brought prosperity to the nation, than the opposite will force a down turn of the economy.  Since agriculture provides 70% of the new wealth into the economy each year, that became the target industry to undermine.  In 1953, the bank lobby scuttled the Steagall Amendment.  Government switched to a sliding scale where by farmers would only get 90% of Parity. The next year they would only get 90% of 90% and down and down each year.  Farmers  were put in a position to borrow from the banks to cover lost income. Pretty soon it backed up the entire system until every segment of society was borrowing money. When the plot to scuttle agriculture was set in motion in 1953, that created the current situation now known to be the most fantastic debt infested economic situation the world has ever known. We have a global condition of government debt, business debt and people debt all because farmers were denied a fair price for their produce, and of course now, we have very few farmers left.

If you are still puzzled about farming parity, and its relationship to the economy, if you still wonder what this  has to do with employment and debt, just take a look at one piece of equipment the farmer buys and how it affects others: tractors.

In the last 30 years we have lost 300,000 Canadian farmers.  If they had remained in farming, each of them would most likely have bought a tractor about every 10 years. That means that there were 900,000 tractors that were never sold.  That represents millions of dollars that no farm equipment dealers earned one penny of profit on, the servicemen would not had them to service, no railway men or truckers moved them, no working man in any factory received a salary for building them.  It represents 3,600,000 tractor tires that no rubber company was able to provide.  It represents 900,000 tractors’ worth of steel that no steel company received a penny for producing. It represents tons and tons of iron ore that no miners ever mined.  Then, there were all the office workers, advertisers, sales people and so on who lost jobs.  All of this represents business, work, wages, profit and earned income that was gone, gone because farmers did not receive a fair price for their product. And of course now, we have to look at pension plans and realize that future generations may have no pensions at all. 

Here is a different example of how far far away from parity we have deteriorated. In 1973, 9300 bushels of corn would buy a large combine.  In 1983, it took a farmer 25,000 bushels of corn to buy the same sized combined. If Parity had remained in place, the farmer would still be able to buy a combine for the equivalent of 9300 bushels. Do a little calculating and you will be amazed at how this works out in bags of potatoes, litres of milk, pound of pork, etc. Society and government have lost touch with realities of where new wealth comes from, how vital it is, and how it will restore us back to national prosperity.  However, new wealth alone is not the answer. Parity prices on new wealth is the answer.  (Parity price = fair price for product.)  Agriculture is the backbone of the economy and farmers are the backbone of agriculture.  No longer can farmers go to the market place with nothing more than hope that they will be paid a fair price.  Farmers are the only people who have not joined the human race in putting the price on the product and a price on their labor. What should be the price of their labor? (will be addressed later in a blog

Any mathematician or economist studying the workings of any economy will discover that whenever farm income goes down, unemployment goes up.  For every 1% increase in interest borrowing rate 10,000 people become unemployed. We can no longer as a nation, or province, or as individuals borrow ourselves out of debt, you cannot borrow yourself out of debt. Parity will help create a better balanced world and a peaceful world. Do we want this? Or do we do nothing and let our world collapse.  PARITY – THE KEY TO NATIONAL ECONOMIC PROSPERITY.

Next blog – questions and answers about Parity.

Link re Steagall Amendment:

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Blog 8 March 30, 2014 Domestic Thoughts

Blog 8 March 30, 2014 Domestic Thoughts

At this time of year, it is wise to organize my thoughts as to what I
shall endeavor to do. Now the farm and gardens are still covered in
snow. The recent big storm left thigh high snow drifts making the
necessity of nearly continual use of the tractor driven snow blower.
The worst in years. Some locals remember years and years ago the
weather was so bad that no crops or gardens could be planted. I have
hopes it won’t be that bad this year.  A number of trees have fallen
down over the electric fences, and some steel roofing has been stripped
from buildings… the usual problems. Walking to and fro feeding the
farm animals is easier now than before when it was a sheet of ice.  We
have to wear studded clamp-ons our boots to navigate the ice. It was a
concern because I know I don’t bounce nearly as well as I use to.
Buildings are moving up and down from the frost creating problems with
doors.  Last year the 8 foot railway tie posts virtually all came out
of the ground around the livestock paddock.  These had been set 4 feet
into the ground (clearly not deep enough for our winters here) and had
to be replaced with 10 foot big round poles, foot + in diameter, set 6
feet in the ground. They are still there!

Seed catalogs are parroused and orders sent. I try to experiment
with new plants each year just for fun, and if they grow well –hooray!
This year a change in part for crops, as our youngest daughter has
just moved her business to a bigger premises on main street Amherst –
a deli The Art of Eating, and I am ordered to grow some of her food
for the deli.  This is a challenge as we get frost up to mid-June so
to sow seeds in May means either I have to warm up some of the beds
with plastic or grower’s fabric and hay mulch, plant under them, and
hope to protect the plants against frost. Likewise in the fall, the
risks are there as frost can occur in early September. At any rate we
will get something for the kitchen.  I am finding that gardening is
taking longer and bags of animal feed are much heavier than they use
to be. I am blessed with having Malkiel (co-author of Sacred
Stewardship) to help me in the gardens and occasionally others. This
year I shall use cover crops for some beds as a rest for the soil
planting winter rye which is alleopathic to weeds, buckwheat for soil
conditioning and in the fall maybe oats.

This year, I am considering an experiment with dandelions, they have
many uses, and I have many growing here and there.  To grow them on
purpose in one patch has advantages for both continuous salads in the
spring and easy access to roots in the fall.  However, I don’t know if
I can buy the seed anywhere?! If not, I shall have collect seeds from
the best plants for sowing next year. I hope I am not losing my mind.

I will be attending the Psychic Fair Halifax Forum April 12-13,
lecturing and demonstrating alternative ways of growing food, dowsing,
radionics, etc. I am taking some small packets of bean seeds that I
have been treating radionically.  In 12 days of treatment, the seed’s
energy (measuring general vitality and love here) increases up 8
times.  Hopefully these energies will be induced into the plants and
then to those who eat them. Consider starting your own seed selection
for the future and swap seeds with friends.

Next blogs
- Suggested solution to our economic problems
- Parity and new wealth


The Art of Eating Deli on facebook:

Psychic Fair in Halifax:

Our book Sacred Stewardship: