Food, inflation & social stbility

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Billy T, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... Throughout the world, China is buying up energy, food, water, mineral and any other natural-resource assets companies are willing to sell or lease into a long-term contracts. Chinese companies recently agreed to spend $15 billion to buy a major Canada-based oil-sands player and $1 billion for a natural-base pipeline that serves more than 7 million customers in the United Kingdom. China is snapping up or leasing natural-resource assets in Latin America, Africa and the Pacific region as well.

    And with $3.4 trillion in foreign reserves, the country can "shop til it drops" for a long time to come. Beijing sees this aggressive buying as necessary for China's continued growth. But most of these resources are finite - either in terms of reserves (oil) or in terms of how much can be created in any single year (food).

    So whether we're talking about the South China Sea, or the oil-sands purchase in Canada, there's only one conclusion to reach: All of these stories, taken together, demonstrate that future shortages of oil, gas, food, water and other natural resources are a mathematical certainty. ..."


    Billy T comment:While I agree with most of article (have been making same points for years) if "gas" refers to natural gas, instead of gasoline, then there will be no shortage for very long time, certainly not caused by China buying it up - China has more than the NG rich US does in it hydrocarbon rich shale. Major collapses / drastic changes in social stability are historically caused by shortage of food and excesses of its prices
    (I.e. too little food and too much inflation = social instability, even like France had with heads rolling.)

    With US´s current food production and distribution system, much more than half the cost of food on your table is directly the cost of oil. Oil´s price will surely rise significantly in the next decade. Already 1 in 7 is on food stamps & 1 in 6 is getting some form of government aid to survive. How high can those fractions climb (along with Social Security and medical costs for an aging population) before working producers rebel (or if they are borrowing instead of paying taxes, the lenders rebel)?
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  3. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Do you contend that industrialism is itself "sustainable," to begin with?

    Because stuff like this:

    Would indicate otherwise.
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "... Corn prices have surged 63% since mid-June, reaching an all-time high of $8.49 a bushel this past Friday, on the Chicago Board of Trade.

    Soaring temperatures are feeding this recent rise in the price of corn. Production in the US, the world’s largest grower and exporter of the grain, will drop 13% to a six-year low after the hottest July since 1936 damaged fields in the Midwest. Crop conditions on August 5 were the worst since 1988, and 69% of the US Midwest was suffering with moderate to exceptional drought conditions, according to government reports.

    This year’s corn harvest is expected to be just 10.78 billion bushels—down from 12.36 billion bushels in 2011. Dry weather in Russia and below-average monsoon rains in India are threatening to make the global grain situation a whole lot worse.

    Rising grain prices impact not only the price of your daily bread, but also the cost of milk and meat. Soybeans, corn, and wheat are used for cattle and pig feed—therefore, any rise in grain prices directly affects beef and pork prices.

    By some estimates, a 30% rise in grain prices translates into a 10% increase in livestock prices (with a three- to six-month lag). ..." From:

    billy T comment that time lag is too simple - there may even be some lowering of beef prices initially as more cattle are slaughtered for market, instead of feed high cost grains. The higher prices from the "echo effect" of fewer births will not show up for a few years.
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  7. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I work in retail grocery and prices have been creeping upwards all year on products that seldom change price, hence the reason it is noticeable to me. Small bags of dried staples such as buckwheat, soup mix and barley and a whole range of condiments.

    Rice prices were affected by global conditions about 5 years ago if memory serves, and coffee also took a big hit two years ago and the prices have never come close to recovering. With corn and wheat in such poor condition this year, a far greater range of products shall be affected as those two commodities are ubiquitous in processed foods.
  8. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    No, it directly affects beef and pork production costs. How that translates into prices depends on a variety of other factors, such as demand. It is possible that a bump in production costs can manifest not at all in prices, but only in profit margins.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    quadraphonics you are misrepresenting my post 123. I did not say:

    That is text I quoted from a source I gave. It was NOT my statement, but part of my quote of a source that I even was critical of in the section Billy T comments:

    Doing that is very dishonest. At least clearly show I am quoting that text - not the author of it.
  10. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Okay, I've edited the attribution. For your part, it would behoove you to do a better job delineating quoted material from your own comments - such as by using the "quote" tags (this would prevent material that you quote from showing up in "Reply with Quote" responses automatically) and/or the indent tags like others do. If you're going to persist with your poor delineation of quotes and original material, you can expect snafus like this to continue.
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense! I always (with very rare accidental exceptions) start a quote with: "... then here is the quoted text ..." From: xyz. Exactly as I did in post 123 from which you took a paragraph.

    My post which are not replying are extremely standardized with my comments 90% of more of the time clearly set off - i.e. proceeded by:
    Billy T comment (my comments) again exactly like in post 123.

    Sometimes I will preceed the quote with an introductory sentence or two stating how what is to come is tied to the thread´s topic.

    I don´t think any other poster is as consistent as I am in clearly doing what you say I need to improve. I challenge your to find two "non-replying" posts that do not follow this clear form of delineation.
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    No, you did not. You inserted a single, solitary quotation mark at the starting. The test all appears with the same font, justification, size, and typeface as your comments, so if one glances down to the middle of your quote there is nothing there to immediately delineate quoted material from original comments. One has to scan back up to the starting of the post and/or down to the end, and then deduce what was quote and what was not. Again, this is exactly why the "quote" and "indent" tags are included as standard on message boards: they make it immiedately, unambiguously clear what is quote and what is not - and that is why almost everyone here (and elsewhere on the internet) makes use of them. In particular, using the quote function for quotes automatically prevents any confusion when someone hits "reply with quote," as material in quote tags is excluded. If you would simply start using the "quote" functionality, this problem would never recur and your posts would be totally unambiguous.

    Again, that post was manifestly unclear. There would have been no issue otherwise. It is rather obtuse for you to harangue me about how clear your post style is in response to a complaint about exactly the confusion stemming from such. Which seems motivated by an insistence on your part on attributing malice to myself and rejecting any criticism - even the most benign and formal - of yourself.

    Consistently using a poor, ineffective posting style is not admirable. It is obtuse for you to insist that your posting style doesn't cause problems, when you encounter far more problems of this type than anyone else I can think of. It is likewise bizarre for you to congratulate yourself on the superiority of your style when it is among the worst examples to be found here. Just use the quote or indent functionality: this is exactly why it exists, and why everyone else uses it. You can refer to pretty much any of Tiassa's posts for excellent examples of good, consistent style in this regard - he never encounters these problems, note.
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Completely false. Post 123 is in my standard format. The end of the quote is indicated by the ... " which appear just before the word "From:"
    Post 123 has not been edited - it was always that way. That you don´t read well is not my problem.

    I went back three pages and found at least 7 other of my "non-replying" posts ALL OF WHICH are with this standard format. Post 94 is the first which does have (as I mentioned is sometimes done) a one sentence introduction tying what is to come to the thread´s subject.

    Again my non-reply post have this very clearly delineated format:

    {optional short introductory comment}
    "... Text I am quoting, which will contain ... to indicate any omissions I have made and

    may have continuations in different paragraphs as in the original

    And then the quoted texts ends with ..." From: source location {As post 123 did}

    Billy T comment: My comments or Billy T notes: if I am just trying to clarify or avoid confusion

    Again fact that you don´t read well or cannot follow a very clearly delineated, almost always used, format is not my problem.

    I also note that as in my post 120 replying to a post by RedStar, I do use the "Reply with Quote" option but it is not functional for my quotes of a sources not at sciforums. Most of my "non-reply" posts are quotes from sources I read at internet sites, so I use a very clear consistent format to indicate where my quote of the source ends as illustrated above.

    Furthermore, NO ONE but you has ever made any comment that my non-reply post were not completely clearly delineating between my quote of internet text and my comments.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2012
  14. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Dude, your format is confusing and problematic, for all of the reasons I've just told you. You don't even seem to be reading my posts correctly, as you are oblivious to my complaint that a single quotation mark at the beginning is insufficient.

    It is extremely obtuse to respond to a complaint from a reader that they find your post formatting confusing with chest-beating about how your format is perfect. It is furthermore very rude to insist that the confusion is a result of some mental deficiency on the reader's part. Having spent a considerable amount of time as a newspaper editor, I have a pretty good handle on editing and formatting, and I can say with confidence that you are doing a crap job on that front - not least because of your arrogant belief that you do not need to improve.

    But, whatever. You're obviously determined to cling to the pretense that your formatting is clear and excellent and remain pointedly oblivious to the fact that nobody agrees with you and that you are, actually, one of the worst formatters to be found on SciForums. This being obvious from the fact that you run into so many more problems with your formatting than anyone else here (when was the last time that, say, Tiassa, or Bells, or myself encountered any confusion with our formatting? Has it ever happened?) The irony of your arrogance and bluster is fairly amusing, pitiful as it may be.
  15. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    For what it's worth, I've also had trouble following your posts on occasion. Especially when you're quoting multiple paragraphs from the same source.

    Generally speaking, I find when quoting multiple paragraphs from the same source, at a minimum indenting the quoted portions makes them easier to follow - as does bracketing the quoted portions with [ quote ] [ /quote ] tags.
  16. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    From: Why the Deflationists Are Wrong

    This argument starts out as thus:

    An inflationist is someone who believes that price inflation is the result of two things: (1) monetary inflation and (2) central-bank policy.
    A deflationist is someone who believes that deflation is inevitable, despite (1) monetary inflation and (2) central -bank policy.

    No inflationist says that price inflation is inevitable. Every deflationist says that price deflation is inevitable.
    Deflationists have been wrong ever since 1933.

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    He ends a bit snippy too:

    But, there's direct support for BillyT's prediction.

    Interesting times.....
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I am not sure what you are saying / suggesting.

    As any grammar book will tell you, a propperly done quote Always is preceded by " and then terminated by " To make the end and beginning easier to notice by the busy reader, I always start with "... and end with ..." This end of the quote is ALWAY immediately followed by: From: {source localtion of non Scifourms source just quoted}

    For example: "... The buck stops here. ..." From: Harry Truman at the White House desk.

    I can hardly believe it but you seem to be suggesting that a better format is:

    [ quote ] The buck stops here. [ /quote ] From: Harry Truman at the White House desk.

    Surely this is me not understand your intent - just following what you stated and applying it.

    I am equally sure that no English Grammar book suggests that.

    I admit my grammar books are more than 50 years old, but think they are still a good guide to clear English style and form. Certainly logic requires quotes have well marked start and end, although the end could be marked by the word "From" in stead of the ..." but both as I use is better.

    Of course when the quote I make has been taken from a post at Sciforums, I always use the "Reply with Quote" option to get the quoted text with blue back ground and author identified, all with one click (as I did to start this post).
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2012
  18. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I often use 'cut and paste' to bring in a piece of an article etc. Then I add the author or source, either by typing or pasting, highlight everything I'd like to be on a blue background and hit the little quote box on the menu.

    It gives good visual separation and makes it easy for people to see what is my own writing and what I am offering in support or for discussion.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    My remark at end of post 123 may not be as sure as I thought it was. Still true that meat production farmers will tend to reduce their costs despited record high grn costs, but they can do that by feed less as wells as post 123´s suggestion that they slaughter more animals.

    20 minutes ago Bloomberg Brazil was speaking with hog framer. He normally took 180 lbs hogs to market, now is taking 140 lbs hogs there to save $15 per hog in feed cost. I assume the prices he gets for the smaller hog is not also $15 less, perhaps only $10 less, for net saving of $5 (adn slightly quicker return on hos capital).
  20. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I of course use "cut and paste" too for non-Sciforum text read a some web site; but have a different use of [Color=blue} {/color]

    When my quote is long and has several separate statements in it I want to make short comments on, I insert my short comment in color into the quote between {Billy T notes: ...... } brackets immediately after the sentence I commenting on. Doing it this way is less destructive of the line of thought / argument in the quote as the reader can just continue and come back later to see my comment. "Less destructive" than the other alternative, which is to break the quote up into many separated subquotes, separated by both my short comments and the block of white space Sciforums computer puts before and after every end of every separate quote etc.

    Where is this "the little quite box on the menu"? I may try you method to add background color to my non-Scifourms quotes as probably I can still make my short insert comments in still another color, but too many colors may be worse.
  21. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I have used the 'snipping tool' to capture an image of the reply window and outlined the 'quote button' in red.
    Once you have cut and paste in your material, you then right click and highlight the part that you want inside the quote box and click on the icon I have circled in red.
    It will be highlighted and blocked just like when you hit the 'reply with quote' button. Hope this helps. I'm still learning many techniques myself.

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    P.S. - Thanks for catching my typo.

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  22. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Remove the spaces between the words and the square brackets, and try again.

    IE - to use your example - type:
    From: Harry Truman at the White House desk

    To have it come out:
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes; As I can still make clearly identified inserts into the quote, that is better, but I think the enclosing quote signs are needed (and best if one space is used after first). Thanks.

    Here it is without the quote signs:
    If someone later quotes your text with a quote in it, then their quoting makes the background blue. Then the conventional quote signs are essential as the blue background everywhere in their quote no longer sets your quote off from your comments on text you quoted.

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