Friday, June 4, 2010

Sabbath eve blues

Sabbath eve, June 4, 2010

Leah spent the afternoon helping set up for a horse show that is slated for tomorrow. Money from the show goes to support LOPE, an organization that finds homes for retired race horses here in Texas. Our house is full of various buckets of produce. Squash, black-eyed peas, potatoes, cucumbers, okra and tomatoes. I decided to help her out and can some of the tomatoes while she was gone.

A whole afternoon of hard work over a sink and a hot stove yielded 7 quarts and 11 pints. I don’t know what a quart of tomatoes sells for, but I can tell you it isn’t enough.

I have decided I am not going to grow any more wheat. Despite what futures quotes say, wheat is selling for slightly less than $4 a bushel where I live. That’s 60 pounds for $4. Sixty loaves of the cheapest bread probably sells for about $120 and the farmer gets $4. After eating all the expenses involved in raising the shit. This year, that means I earned nothing. Nada. Zero, ziltch. Not a fucking grunion. Truth is, I probably lost money raising the shit. Remember that when you bite into your next sandwich.

I tell myself that if I can’t make money selling food, at least I can eat the stuff or give it to friends to eat. But I have celiac disease and can’t eat goddamned wheat. Guess the fucking chickens can eat the fucking wheat and then I’ll eat them. One guy down the road baled his wheat instead. The bales are worth more than the grain would have been and harvesting costs were significantly less.

My corn looks pretty good, but the futures prices for corn are also bad.

At least I’m not a Louisiana fisherman.

Or a Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida fisherman.

Or someone dependent on the Florida energy plants that need clean sea water to operate and may soon have to shut down. Can you imagine what’ll happen to the tourist industry when oil from the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico finds its way to those clean white beaches? Or what happens to the real estate market in the Southeastern quarter of this nation when the full impact of this catastrophe becomes evident?

I noticed the stock market gave up gains it had made earlier in the week. Unemployment numbers continue to be bad, especially when you realize that nearly all recent recovery is related to government giveaway programs that will have to be paid for at some point in our future.

Economists seem sure that all these bad loans will someday cure themselves. Hugh Hendry says I recommend you panic.

I think Hendry is right. I expect a rash of sovereign defaults. It’s not just Greece. We can deal with this now, or deal with it over the next 20 years, but it’s not going away. There is simply too much bad debt within the system.

I watched Robin Hood last week. The show didn’t get great reviews, but I enjoyed it.

Despite all the woes, I am glad to be alive.

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