Saturday, July 03, 2010

As Share of Income, Americans Have the Cheapest Food in History and Cheapest Food on the Planet

The USDA recently updated its data on "Food expenditures as a share of disposable personal income," and reported that in 2009, Americans spent 9.47% of their disposable income on food (5.55% on food at home and 3.93% on food away from home).  The share of income spent on food last year was just slightly higher than the 9.42% in 2008, which is the all-time record low (see top chart above).  

As just one example of many that explain why Americans have the cheapest foods in history (as a share of income), the bottom chart above shows the inflation-adjusted wholesale price of milk back to 1890.  The current wholesale price of milk, about $15 per hundred weight (cwt), is about half the price of 25 years ago, and about one-third the price of 50 years ago.     

And compared to other countries, there's no other place on the planet that has cheaper food than the U.S. (2008 data here). The 5.5% of disposable income that Americans spend on food at home is less than half the amount of income spent by Germans (11.4%), the French (13.6%), the Italians (14.4%), and less than one-third the amount of income spent by consumers in South Africa (20.1%), Mexico (24.1%), and Turkey (24.5%), which is about what Americans spent DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION, and far below what consumers spend in Kenya (45.9%) and Pakistan (45.6%). 

More proof that just being alive today in America, you've already "won the lottery of life."

103 Comments:

At 7/03/2010 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rarely have I seen so much "common sense" in one place, sir...

Bravo!

 
At 7/03/2010 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When one considers the diabetic and weight epidemics we have in America, the abundantly cheap processed foods we have come at a steep price: increased health problems that exacerbate the highest health care costs in the world. It also causes one to ponder why food is so cheap when compared to Germany and France, where diets are typically considered to be of healthier staples, but the populations are healthier.

Of course Mexico does has an obesity problem, and they too have high access to processed foods - so I'll give you that one. But their high food expenditure as a percentage of income is due to half of Mexico being dirt poor...

 
At 7/03/2010 11:43 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Oh dear, we have nagging nanny chiming in with a less than credible statement: "When one considers the diabetic and weight epidemics we have in America, the abundantly cheap processed foods we have come at a steep price: increased health problems that exacerbate the highest health care costs in the world"...

Well gee anon @ 7/03/2010 11:13 AM maybe you just go ahead and tell us what else you nanny staters want to do...

Meanwhile back in the real world we have this problem regarding the high cost of health care (courtesy of the NRO): Malpractice Litigation and the Cost of Health Care

Now that 'hero of the masses' and his like minded ilk have foisted off onto a foolish electorate we'll really see the price of health care go up:

45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul (courtesy of IBD)

Obama’s Great Health Care Bait-and-Switch

 
At 7/03/2010 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juandos,

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul (courtesy of IBD)"

Well, I'm not a fan of Obamacare myself, but I think you can sleep more easily tonight knowing that claim was long ago proven false:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/oct/15/glenn-beck/beck-says-45-percent-physicians-would-quit-if-heal/

 
At 7/03/2010 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juandos,

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul (courtesy of IBD)"

Well, I'm not a fan of Obamacare myself, but I think you can sleep more easily tonight knowing that claim was long ago proven false:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/oct/15/glenn-beck/beck-says-45-percent-physicians-would-quit-if-heal/

 
At 7/03/2010 12:14 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

This chart marks the triumph of socialism.
The US agriculture sector is the most regulated and subsidized on Earth. Output is regulated by the federal government, or states. Subsidies are paid to farmers--in Montana, farmers make more farming for federal dollars than they do from consumers.
There is a nationwide network of 7,000 agriculture extension (USDA) agents, paid for by taxpayers, who provide technical assistance to farmers. Farmers get help buying their homes through Farmers Home Loan Administration.
Rural roads, water systems, power systems are all subsidized by the federal government.
This is state-planning and control, and yet it often wins kudos from "right-wingers."
Sheesh, I met an State of Cal. ag agent once, and I asked why he was measuring grapefruit in a wholesale market. He answered that fruit smaller than a certain diameter was not supposed to be sold.
There is no more mollycoddled, knock-kneed, enfeebled sector of our economy that agriculture, less it be the defense sector.
Oddly enoug, both sectors are frequebntly lionized by right-wingers.
If you like our ag sector, then you will love Obama-care. It is the same thinking in action.

 
At 7/03/2010 12:29 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Benny/Benjamin: If you are so critical of socialism, then why did you vote for the socialist?

 
At 7/03/2010 12:36 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Next time anon @ 7/03/2010 12:11 PM try some credible sources...

Going to nationmaster is the same as going to wikipedia...

 
At 7/03/2010 12:47 PM, Anonymous The Fartmaster said...

Bill,

"Benny/Benjamin: If you are so critical of socialism, then why did you vote for the socialist?"

Socialist!? Pffftt.... please, the Wall Street choir boy who sucked up to the pharmaceutical companies? No, that guy is about as much of a socialist as Ghandi was a warmonger.

But I suppose there is Obamacare. That's got the same qualifications of being a good health care program as special ed. is a worthy prerequisite for a Masters program. Of course it's based on the insurance mandate, which originally was a Republican idea dating back to Nixon. In fact, the Heritage Foundation was pushing for it in the '90s.

 
At 7/03/2010 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juandos said,

"Going to nationmaster is the same as going to wikipedia..."

Those are big words coming from a man who cited the National Review. Good thing we found those giant stashes of WMDs in Iraq.

http://old.nationalreview.com/kurtz/kurtz083002.asp

 
At 7/03/2010 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our cheap food causes obesity. Not individual choice.

You forgot to mention that because so little income is spent on food, it gives us more discretionary income to spend on alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs, all of which have adverse health consequences. It also gives us more money to spend on leisure activities. Imagine all the unfortunate accidents that occur during leisure activities that could be avoided if food costs were higher.

Why don't we just outlaw automobiles while we're at it. Over 40,000 people die needlessly in vehicular accidents every year. If auto were outlawed, all those lives would be saved. And it would make the tree huggers happy. They think western industrialization that relies on petroleum is evil.

If only we were starving Ethopians struggling for suvival, we'd be in Utopia.

 
At 7/03/2010 1:07 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I think it was Dr Perry who showed life expectancy in the U.S. is higher than in the E.U. when the U.S. black population is excluded.

 
At 7/03/2010 1:14 PM, Blogger rufus said...

But. . . but . . . . but, ETHANOL! Food to Fuel!!!

Starving Babies!!!!

Aaack.

 
At 7/03/2010 1:27 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Bill-
Let's see, why did I (hold my nose) and vote for Obama.
Could it be we were trapped in two endless wars, at a cost of trillions of dollars, while running red ink? Could it be that no R-Party president has even proposed a balanced federal budget since Eisenhower?
Or maybe it was the Medicare Prescription bill. Or the hugely ramped up ethanol subsidy for corn farmers.
The Wall Street collapse? The collapse of our financial system? A Dow lower when Bush left office than when he got there? A GDP going down, not up?
The track record of the R-Party dominated years (2000-2006) is a train wreck into a sewage treatment plant.
Is Obama any better. I don't know. But I do not reward abject, complete and corrupt failure with reappointment.
Maybe next we can bring Karzai to the United States and make him the next R-Party president.

 
At 7/03/2010 1:28 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Texas A&M health economist Robert Ohsfeldt and health economics consultant John Schneider...Taking accidental deaths and homicides between 1980 and 1999 into account, they calculate that instead of being near the bottom of the list of developed countries, U.S. life expectancy would actually rank at the top.

 
At 7/03/2010 1:34 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The real Bush economy:

Bush inherited the worst stock market crash, since the Great Depression, and a recession. However, the Bush Administration turned the recession into one of the mildest in history, after the record economic expansion.

Over a five-year period in the mid-2000s, U.S. corporations had a record 20 consecutive quarters of double-digit earnings growth, two million houses a year were built, 16 million autos per year were sold, U.S. real GDP expanded over 3% per year, in spite of 6% annual current account deficits (which subtract from GDP).

The U.S. economy was most efficient, while Americans stocked-up on real assets and goods, and capital was built-up. It was one of the greatest periods of U.S. prosperity, and in a structural bear market that began in 2000.

The Bush Administration was adept minimizing the recession in 2008, until Lehman failed in Sep '08, which caused the economy to fall off a cliff. However, subsequent appropriate policy adjustments were implemented quickly.

 
At 7/03/2010 2:00 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Unless there's a big improvement, the economic record under Obama will rank below Hoover and Carter.

 
At 7/03/2010 2:20 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Nice find fartmaster in quoting a Reason article...

I searched Heritage for 'Federal Employee Health Benefits Program' and the 'A National Health System for America' as mentioned in that Reason piece but couldn't find it...

Any ideas?

anon @ 7/03/2010 12:52 PM says: "Good thing we found those giant stashes of WMDs in Iraq"...

Must be a New York Times reader...

Sarin, Mustard Gas Discovered Separately in Iraq
Monday, May 17, 2004

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS IRAQ IN ‘MATERIAL BREACH’ OF DISARMAMENT OBLIGATIONS

 
At 7/03/2010 2:52 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Where does the food come from. Is it domestically produced or imported. If it is imported what countries is it imported from and what food items does each of them provide.
On a cost competitive basis could some of those items be competitively domestically produced.To create more jobs in the home market and consequently have some effect on reducing unemployment.

 
At 7/03/2010 3:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 11:23 said: - "When one considers the diabetic and weight epidemics we have in America, the abundantly cheap processed foods we have come at a steep price: increased health problems..."

Surely you agree that the "cheap processed foods" that you dislike are something that people choose to buy. If most people felt, as you do, that processed foods shouldn't be eaten, then they would soon cease to exist.

"But their high food expenditure as a percentage of income is due to half of Mexico being dirt poor..."

I think that's the whole point of the post. We in the US are wealthier than most of the rest of the world, therefore spend a smaller percentage of our income on food.

 
At 7/03/2010 3:14 PM, Anonymous grant said...

BENJAMIN:
why don't you get in and pay the taxes needed to support all of obamas social utopia of freebies without your usual bu-ls--t.

 
At 7/03/2010 3:30 PM, Anonymous grant said...

In Andrew Mellon's time he raised and installed tariffs on imported goods and cut all other taxes. Could this be done today and fit in with TARP payments,FDIC nationalized banks, exploded oil well cleanups, OBAMACARE,defense spending,cash for clunkers,trillions of debt,GM&CHRYSLER and FREDDIE&FANNIE buyouts or is it now impossible to spend anymore.

 
At 7/03/2010 3:32 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Grant-

Because I am overloaded paying for Bush's fevered utopian pipedreams in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Instead of democratic states, we have created corrupt, violent, Islamic states, the latter becoming the opium pushers of the world. Under Bush rule, btw.

US Marines propping up narco-state, protecting opium fields of those loyal to Karzai.

P.U.

 
At 7/03/2010 3:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

pseudo benny whines "Because I am overloaded paying for Bush's fevered utopian pipedreams in Iraq and Afghanistan"...

If you repeat a lie often enough does it somehow morph into a fact pseudo benny?...

You're overloaded as you well know from the incredible costs of maintaining the nanny state...

 
At 7/03/2010 4:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Let's see, why did I (hold my nose) and vote for Obama."

well, Benji, it seems he lied to you, and you fell for it. You didn't check out his background BEFORE election. If you had, you might have held your nose & voted for the other guy. I'll admit, we had terrible choices.

"Change we can believe in!" indeed.

You thought that "We are 5 days away from fundamentally changing the United States Of America!" was a GOOD thing.

 
At 7/03/2010 4:22 PM, Blogger juandos said...

""Change we can believe in!" indeed"...

Yeah, pseudo benny keep listening to Señor Hope & Fail...

If nothing else it can be occassionaly entertaining...

 
At 7/03/2010 5:21 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I would say spending $3 trillion of taxpayers money on a couple crap-holes like Iraq and Afghanistan rates as a first-class waste of money.
Why Obama wants to perp this stupidity....

 
At 7/03/2010 5:39 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I would say spending $3 trillion of taxpayers money on a couple crap-holes like Iraq and Afghanistan rates as a first-class waste of money"...

Yeah, you might have a point there pseudo benny but then again spending $9 trillion extorted tax dollars to pander to the parasitic has more than first class written all over it...

My own view is that if Obama and Bush before him are able to keep the jihadi terrorists over there in the middle east and involved then it might all be worth it...

 
At 7/03/2010 5:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos said...

"If nothing else it can be occassionaly entertaining..."

Yup, I enjoy it.

And, hanks for the "Hope & Fail" link - as if I need more reminders on that subject to aggravate me.

 
At 7/03/2010 5:45 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It's time to move NATO headquarters from Brussels to Riyadh.

We need to send more oil to the West and more terrorists to Allah.

 
At 7/03/2010 6:05 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"In Andrew Mellon's time he raised and installed tariffs on imported goods and cut all other taxes."

Mellon could easily become Secretary of the Treasury today, as he meets one of the requirements of an Obama appointee: It seems he had some trouble with his income taxes.

 
At 7/03/2010 6:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 12.59 said...

"Why don't we just outlaw automobiles while we're at it. Over 40,000 people die needlessly in vehicular accidents every year. If auto were outlawed, all those lives would be saved."

If autos were outlawed...only outlaws would have autos.

Perhaps a total ban would be a little harsh, but a national maximum speed limit of 15mph should reduce the number of needless deaths to around 4 or 5 per year.

 
At 7/03/2010 6:53 PM, Anonymous Craig said...

There is no more mollycoddled, knock-kneed, enfeebled sector of our economy that agriculture, less it be the defense sector.

Well, our food is cheap and plentiful. Imagine how good American agriculture would be without all that government "help"!

 
At 7/03/2010 7:13 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"Oddly enoug, both sectors are frequebntly lionized by right-wingers.
If you like our ag sector, then you will love Obama-care. It is the same thinking in action."

Speaking of Obama and agriculture,
your boyfriend is enthusiasticlaly spending billions via the Ag Department on laying broadband in rural communities. Hmmm, I'm at a loss to explain this given your assurances all this rural spending comes from right-wingers? Tell us, Benji boy, what sense do we make of this?



"Let's see, why did I (hold my nose) and vote for Obama."

Bullshit. You rode the hell out of that Hopeandchange bandwagon. You aren't fooling anyone.

 
At 7/03/2010 7:15 PM, Blogger Paul said...

oh yeah, forgot to mention, the cost of his stupid broadband initiative comes out to something like $150,000 per job. Obamanomics in action! Excellent work, Benji and other Obama voters.

 
At 7/03/2010 8:33 PM, Anonymous grant said...

BENJAMIN:
US debt is now at the highest level since WW11 what is going to happen if the US mainland is attacked by an aggressive enemy and ends up in a protracted war. How would you fund that? Just put it on Obamas account.Sooner or later he is going to run out of money.

 
At 7/03/2010 8:46 PM, Blogger JohnLloydScharf said...

I saw one comment where they claimed the low cost of food as a portion of income was a triumph of socialism. It is curious that other "socialist" and nationalist nations do not approach our level. Corporations produce most of our food on crop circles a mile in diameter with highly mechanized methods. We can afford the preservation of foods by refrigeration et cetera, preventing waste. This means less than 3% of our population engage in food production. If you factored out the cost of keeping sealanes open for trade, it has the highest per capita GDP in the world - meaning we are the most productive. Our wealth creation dwarfs our food costs and that is due to our CAPITALISM.

 
At 7/03/2010 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Junados said,

"Must be a New York Times reader..."

Ho-ho, a Fox News acolyte! This is getting better and better. What did the late William Buckley have to say about Iraq?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/22/eveningnews/main1826838.shtml

Oh, and about those WMDs again... From the mouth of the former prez himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_A77N5WKWM

And here's Cheney trying to weasel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJiNtpIpD6k

 
At 7/03/2010 9:00 PM, Anonymous The Fartmaster said...

"Nice find fartmaster in quoting a Reason article...

I searched Heritage for 'Federal Employee Health Benefits Program' and the 'A National Health System for America' as mentioned in that Reason piece but couldn't find it..."


Sorry, I don't have the actual link to the Heritage Foundation article. I'll give it to you if I find it.

 
At 7/03/2010 9:09 PM, Anonymous grant said...

BENJAMIN:
You are right about Iraq it does not need to be propped up by American funding.The economy is solid and even though GDP per capita is low the country is capable of singly by itself being totally self funded and run.
The problem with the country is that there is a huge ethnic and religious division in Iraqi society which makes it almost impossible for the Iraqi parliament to function. It hardly made a decision since it has been in operation just because they cant agree on anything.
Oil of course is the backbone of export income but amazingly most of the country remains unexplored for new oil reserves because apparently there is still huge potential for new discoveries. So far they wont let foreign explorers in.
The US army has been trying to train up a reasonable new Iraqi army and apparently this like everything else is progressing slowly.
The country of course is located next to Iran which is reported to be continuously sending various weapons into Iraq which is reported to make it unstable.
I believe that a large group of the people do not want the Americans to leave because they think the future is more certain as it is.
If you look at countries which the US has occupied,South Korea,Germany,Japan they have all done well after the US army has left.
Maybe the time has not yet arrived for Iraq but will when the people are ready.
In one of Obama's speeches he said we do not colonize other nations so maybe the army will leave when eventually asked.

 
At 7/03/2010 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Surely you agree that the "cheap processed foods" that you dislike are something that people choose to buy."

Or because they don't have much money to spend to begin with. Just consider where much of our obesity problems lie: the poor. People can say it's a choice, but most don't choose the higher health care costs that are a partial result to it.

"I think that's the whole point of the post. We in the US are wealthier than most of the rest of the world, therefore spend a smaller percentage of our income on food."

But part of that low expenditure comes from the cheap processed foods. Take away the high does of salt often associated with such items, and people will quickly learn what kind of crap "Cheezy Poofs" are made of - the puffs not only will taste like cardboard, but they flat out won't stay together.

 
At 7/03/2010 9:24 PM, Anonymous grant said...

JohnLloydSchaff:
Thanks for a good informative post.

 
At 7/03/2010 9:25 PM, Anonymous JIMMY HOFFA said...

Would you please be quiet i'm resting

 
At 7/03/2010 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:12
You could save yourself all your trouble and go and grow your own food. MAYBE THAT WOULD KEEP YOU OCCUPIED.

 
At 7/03/2010 10:03 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Some people prefer a world where Saddam Hussein and his two sons sit on trillions of dollars of oil and wait to seek revenge on the U.S., while the Taliban train more terrorists. However, these people don't:

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." Letter to President Bush, Signed by: -- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" -- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." -- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." --Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

 
At 7/03/2010 10:03 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Grant:
Oddly enough, we borrowed money to fund WWII, and I cannot imagine a more-serious calamity than that. Still, rich people did not want to be taxed to fund the war--they only wanted to lend money (while boys died by the hundreds of thousands).

Milton Friedman said we should go to progressive consumption tax to finance military mobilizations, and I agree with that. No borrowing for war or mobilizations. We have been mobilized since the Cold War, btw, and we now spend $1 trillion a year on Defense, VA, homeland security, civilian defense, and debt from earlier military expenditures. Time to get fiscally serious.

Grant, I agree with you, and Milton Firedman, that the time has come for a progressive consumption tax to fund the DoD, VA, homeland security, civilian defense and debt from previous military expenditures.

 
At 7/04/2010 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You could save yourself all your trouble and go and grow your own food. MAYBE THAT WOULD KEEP YOU OCCUPIED."

And maybe you could do something to keep people from belching about high health care costs partially associated to high obesity and diabetes rates, eh?

 
At 7/04/2010 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PeakTrader,

Lots of people were duped into Iraq, but the point is not to continue supporting a terrible mistake that was started because of assertions long ago proven false.

Iraq had no WMDs according toIraq Survey Group head Charles Duelfer...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3718150.stm

"Would the Iraq War have occurred without WMD? I doubt it." - Karl Rove

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7374390/George-W-Bush-would-not-have-invaded-Iraq-had-he-known-about-WMD.html

“On the question of whether or not Iraq was involved in 9-11, there was never any evidence to prove that.” - Dick Cheney

http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/06/02/cheney-no-evidence-iraq/

And in regard the prelude to America's longest war, here's something to ponder on...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/17/afghanistan.terrorism11

 
At 7/04/2010 2:03 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Just consider where much of our obesity problems lie: the poor."

Reference please.

"Or because they don't have much money to spend to begin with."

It looks to me like vegetables and fruit are cheaper than Cheese Puffs and lunchmeat, so you may want to choose a better argument, as you appear to be talking out of your ass.

"But part of that low expenditure comes from the cheap processed foods."

See above. Processed food costs more than fruits & vegetables. You can't use that argument.


"Take away the high does of salt often associated with such items, and people will quickly learn what kind of crap "Cheezy Poofs" are made of - the puffs not only will taste like cardboard, but they flat out won't stay together."

Are you saying that salt holds Cheese Puffs together?

ROFLMAO

You need to get some better arguments. No one can take this stuff seriously.

You are welcome to eat or not eat any food you like. Isn't free choice great? But don't expect to impose your values on everyone else.

 
At 7/04/2010 5:19 AM, Anonymous grant said...

BENJAMIN:
Yes you are right in the last big battle of the second world war against the nazie wermarct army,The battle of the bulge American casualties were running at about 43,000 a day absolutely staggering when you think for a moment.I agree hell on earth. Wars are a good thing to stay away from

 
At 7/04/2010 5:31 AM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
Mellon is the sort of guy needed someone smart enough to want to avoid paying the IRS.Maybe he would be quick enough to keep Obama at bay.

 
At 7/04/2010 5:43 AM, Anonymous grant said...

BENJAMIN:
There must be a time when you begin to believe that Osama Bin Laden [whoops nearly put Obama]may have pulled up his camp and moved to a safer place where aggressive enquirers about his whereabouts would not think to look for him particularly as he has stayed ahead and outsmarted them for so long.Maybe you are right Benjamin he's already left.They are chasing a ghost of Islam.

 
At 7/04/2010 5:56 AM, Anonymous grant said...

Heres's a futures prediction:-OIL falls to $55.00 or low $50.00 a barrel.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:15 AM, Anonymous grant said...

Hey!!!! just had a stroke of genius:-Maybe Obama is Osama after plastic surgery. What better place to hide a terrorist than in the Whitehouse no one would think to look there and he could carry on his normal duties unchallenged.

 
At 7/04/2010 8:40 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Ho-ho, a Fox News acolyte! This is getting better and better "...

So now you're admitting that you do want to be lied to...

"What did the late William Buckley have to say about Iraq?"...

Who cares what the faux conservative had to say about anything?

Learn how to do links...

 
At 7/04/2010 9:08 AM, Anonymous grant'sbetterhalf said...

Are the cross-country comparisons exchange rates or purchase power parity (PPP) rates?

The USDA tables are silent. Maybe Carpe Diem should buzz Birgit Meade.

For instance, it seems to me by interpolation that PPP food expenditures as a percentage of personal consumption have declined 15% in Germany and 25% in Japan since 2000. Less so in the U.S.

If it is not a PPP cross-country comparison, the data belongs in the dust heap of the Big Mac Index.

In the aggregate, food is dirt cheap in the U.S. on a world wide basis in developed countries. However, it is not so cheap if one is in the first 2 quintiles of income.

 
At 7/04/2010 10:29 AM, Blogger Tobias said...

... of course it's cheap ... just taste it.

america has the worst food i have ever encountered and i am very certain that only american buy and eat this crap. it is, by fact, crap.

it's unbelievable what the industry (and the government who's just watching the process and ignoring the quality standards) did to this country and its people.

for me this is a bigger problem than the education system, gun laws, gay marriage or any oil spills. the food industry is poisoning american citizens over the past 20 years making them resistant to this low level mass produced garbage. nobody can even argue about the quality. mostly americans tend to defend their industries position (why do you really need to defend your food?) and say its because america is so big and has so many citizens. europe has almost double the amount of the population, its not as big as the USA but it feeds way more people, tough the food quality is light-years better. one of the arguments i hear sometimes is that you can buy good food you just have to go to whole foods and all the other, correctly called, fancy grocery stores. of course they're fancy because everything is 20% more expensive. which means that at least 80% of the citizens wont buy at those places. what sense does it make that it exists but the average joe can't afford it. those 80% have probably 90% of the countries children which grow up with not enough nutrition in their food and so on. it all starts with food.

just look at sugar - does anyone know why nothing has sugar in it? it's because corn is cheaper to produce and the corn industry pushed the sugar industry out of the business with the help of the government and its politicians. just look up the taxes on imported sugar ...

it's a shame and the worst of all is that nobody here understands the problem of low quality food. everyone just accepts it as "normal".

... but what do we know ...

 
At 7/04/2010 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juandos,

"So now you're admitting that you do want to be lied to..."

Sure, we can do links. I'm not sure why you want to be chain-yanked by Fox, but Jon Stewart roasts that channel on a nightly basis. How about...

Jon Ripping Fox for lambasting Obama's efforts to reduce nuclear stockpiles while giving Reagan a free pass?

Here's Glenn Beck getting exposed for lying about other networks' lack of coverage of the Israeli flotilla crisis.

Here's Jon blasting Sean Hanity for using fake video on his show (and here's Sean admitting Jon was right!).

Of course Jon's not one-sided: he's just anti-dumb. Here he is ripping into Obama for his failure to reverse George W. Bush policies.

"Who cares what the faux conservative had to say about anything?"

You mean the founder of the magazine you cited, the person who's widely regarded as the grandfather of the modern conservative movement, someone held with high esteem by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater?

 
At 7/04/2010 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tobias said,

"... of course it's cheap ... just taste it."

Bingo! Tobias gets it. As I said before... take away the heavy doses of salt from Cheez-It crackers, and not only will they taste like cardboard, they flat out won't resemble crackers anymore because they'll fall apart or transform into clumps of craps

You are what you eat.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron,

"Reference please."

Right here from above:

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Along with...

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"It looks to me like vegetables and fruit are cheaper than Cheese Puffs and lunchmeat, so you may want to choose a better argument, as you appear to be talking out of your ass."

You can buy a loaf of white bread and a package of lunch meat for about $3.50. A small 99 cent bag of carrots isn't going to fill you up - if you want to make a festive salad, you need an array of ingredients: a bag of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onion, a form of protein (otherwise you're going to be constantly hungry) and others; plus you'll probably want something else with that salad. In contrast, someone can get a Hungry Man for about 3 bucks (check out the sodium chocked into these suckers!) or gorge on the Dollar Menu at McDonalds. One can buy a box of Hamburger Helper for little more than a buck and a pound of ground beef for a $1.50 - a nice meal with ample MSGs.

"Are you saying that salt holds Cheese Puffs together?

ROFLMAO

You need to get some better arguments. No one can take this stuff seriously."


You, sir, are an idiot. Take note:

"As a demonstration, Kellogg prepared some of its biggest sellers with most of the salt removed. The Cheez-It fell apart in surprising ways. The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal."

Take a goddamn science class.

"You are welcome to eat or not eat any food you like. Isn't free choice great? But don't expect to impose your values on everyone else."

So the poor Mexican people of various African nations experiencing high obesity and diabetes rates because of processed foods is all due to choice, has nothing to do with income levels? Well, I don't choose to have my health care premiums jacked because of the high costs of dealing with our health problems. High health care costs is a collective consequence we deal with, not a choice.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron,

"Reference please."

Right here from above:

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Along with...

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"It looks to me like vegetables and fruit are cheaper than Cheese Puffs and lunchmeat, so you may want to choose a better argument, as you appear to be talking out of your ass."

You can buy a loaf of white bread and a package of lunch meat for about $3.50. A small 99 cent bag of carrots isn't going to fill you up - if you want to make a festive salad, you need an array of ingredients: a bag of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onion, a form of protein (otherwise you're going to be constantly hungry) and others; plus you'll probably want something else with that salad. In contrast, someone can get a Hungry Man for about 3 bucks (check out the sodium chocked into these suckers!) or gorge on the Dollar Menu at McDonalds. One can buy a box of Hamburger Helper for little more than a buck. Nicely processed with ample MSGs.

"Are you saying that salt holds Cheese Puffs together?

ROFLMAO

You need to get some better arguments. No one can take this stuff seriously."


You, sir, are an idiot. Take note:

"As a demonstration, Kellogg prepared some of its biggest sellers with most of the salt removed. The Cheez-It fell apart in surprising ways. The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal."

Take a goddamn science class.

"You are welcome to eat or not eat any food you like. Isn't free choice great? But don't expect to impose your values on everyone else."

So the poor Mexican people of various African nations experiencing high obesity and diabetes rates because of processed foods is all due to choice, has nothing to do with income levels? Well, I don't choose to have my health care premiums jacked because of the high costs of dealing with our health problems.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron,

"Reference please."

Right here from above:

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Along with...

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"It looks to me like vegetables and fruit are cheaper than Cheese Puffs and lunchmeat, so you may want to choose a better argument, as you appear to be talking out of your ass."

You can buy a loaf of white bread and a package of lunch meat for about $3.50. A small 99 cent bag of carrots isn't going to fill you up - if you want to make a festive salad, you need an array of ingredients: a bag of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onion, a form of protein (otherwise you're going to be constantly hungry) and others; plus you'll probably want something else with that salad. In contrast, someone can get a Hungry Man for about 3 bucks (check out the sodium chocked into these suckers!) or gorge on the Dollar Menu at McDonalds. One can buy a box of Hamburger Helper for little more than a buck. Nicely processed with ample MSGs.

"Are you saying that salt holds Cheese Puffs together?

ROFLMAO

You need to get some better arguments. No one can take this stuff seriously."


You, sir, are an idiot. Take note:

"As a demonstration, Kellogg prepared some of its biggest sellers with most of the salt removed. The Cheez-It fell apart in surprising ways. The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal."

Take a goddamn science class.

"You are welcome to eat or not eat any food you like. Isn't free choice great? But don't expect to impose your values on everyone else."

So the poor Mexican people of various African nations experiencing high obesity and diabetes rates because of processed foods is all due to choice, has nothing to do with income levels? Well, I don't choose to have my health care premiums jacked because of the high costs of dealing with our health problems.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron,

"Reference please."

Right here from above:

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Along with...

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"It looks to me like vegetables and fruit are cheaper than Cheese Puffs and lunchmeat, so you may want to choose a better argument, as you appear to be talking out of your ass."

You can buy a loaf of white bread and a package of lunch meat for about $3.50. A small 99 cent bag of carrots isn't going to fill you up - if you want to make a festive salad, you need an array of ingredients: a bag of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onion, a form of protein (otherwise you're going to be constantly hungry) and others; plus you'll probably want something else with that salad. In contrast, someone can get a Hungry Man for about 3 bucks (check out the sodium chocked into these suckers!) or gorge on the Dollar Menu at McDonalds. One can buy a box of Hamburger Helper for little more than a buck. Nicely processed with ample MSGs.

"Are you saying that salt holds Cheese Puffs together?

ROFLMAO

You need to get some better arguments. No one can take this stuff seriously."


You, sir, are an idiot. Take note:

"As a demonstration, Kellogg prepared some of its biggest sellers with most of the salt removed. The Cheez-It fell apart in surprising ways. The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal."

Take a goddamn science class.

"You are welcome to eat or not eat any food you like. Isn't free choice great? But don't expect to impose your values on everyone else."

So the poor Mexican people of various African nations experiencing high obesity and diabetes rates because of processed foods is all due to choice, has nothing to do with income levels? Well, I don't choose to have my health care premiums jacked because of the high costs of dealing with our health problems.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron,

"Reference please."

Right here from above:

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Along with...

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"It looks to me like vegetables and fruit are cheaper than Cheese Puffs and lunchmeat, so you may want to choose a better argument, as you appear to be talking out of your ass."

You can buy a loaf of white bread and a package of lunch meat for about $3.50. A small 99 cent bag of carrots isn't going to fill you up - if you want to make a festive salad, you need an array of ingredients: a bag of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onion, a form of protein (otherwise you're going to be constantly hungry) and others; plus you'll probably want something else with that salad. In contrast, someone can get a Hungry Man for about 3 bucks (check out the sodium chocked into these suckers!) or gorge on the Dollar Menu at McDonalds. One can buy a box of Hamburger Helper for little more than a buck. Nicely processed with ample MSGs.

"Are you saying that salt holds Cheese Puffs together?

ROFLMAO

You need to get some better arguments. No one can take this stuff seriously."


You, sir, are an idiot. Take note:

"As a demonstration, Kellogg prepared some of its biggest sellers with most of the salt removed. The Cheez-It fell apart in surprising ways. The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal."

Take a goddamn science class.

"You are welcome to eat or not eat any food you like. Isn't free choice great? But don't expect to impose your values on everyone else."

So the poor Mexican people of various African nations experiencing high obesity and diabetes rates because of processed foods is all due to choice, has nothing to do with income levels? Well, I don't choose to have my health care premiums jacked because of the high costs of dealing with our health problems.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron,

"Reference please."

Right here from above:

Worldwide obesity rates:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

Along with...

Health care funding per citizen by country:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita

Diabetes mortality rate per country (Austria does beat the US):

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

"It looks to me like vegetables and fruit are cheaper than Cheese Puffs and lunchmeat, so you may want to choose a better argument, as you appear to be talking out of your ass."

You can buy a loaf of white bread and a package of lunch meat for about $3.50. A small 99 cent bag of carrots isn't going to fill you up - if you want to make a festive salad, you need an array of ingredients: a bag of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onion, a form of protein (otherwise you're going to be constantly hungry) and others; plus you'll probably want something else with that salad. In contrast, someone can get a Hungry Man for about 3 bucks (check out the sodium chocked into these suckers!) or gorge on the Dollar Menu at McDonalds. One can buy a box of Hamburger Helper for little more than a buck. Nicely processed with ample MSGs.

"Are you saying that salt holds Cheese Puffs together?

ROFLMAO

You need to get some better arguments. No one can take this stuff seriously."


You, sir, are an idiot. Take note:

"As a demonstration, Kellogg prepared some of its biggest sellers with most of the salt removed. The Cheez-It fell apart in surprising ways. The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal."

Take a goddamn science class.

"You are welcome to eat or not eat any food you like. Isn't free choice great? But don't expect to impose your values on everyone else."

So the poor Mexican people of various African nations experiencing high obesity and diabetes rates because of processed foods is all due to choice, has nothing to do with income levels? Well, I don't choose to have my health care premiums jacked because of the high costs of dealing with our health problems.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW everyone,

Sorry, Blogger was giving me difficulty earlier and wasn't posting comments as I requested. As a result, I put in numerous requests and then suddenly found my previous requests had been simultaneously posted. Again, I apologize.

 
At 7/04/2010 12:05 PM, Anonymous Vandle said...

To the "healthy" anon,

I think Ron H. wanted a link about obesity rates among the poor. Here's a good article about the subject.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207163807.htm

 
At 7/04/2010 12:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Heres's a futures prediction:-OIL falls to $55.00 or low $50.00 a barrel."

How about a narrower time frame for that prediction? Everyone knows that eventually the price of oil will be $0.

 
At 7/04/2010 4:05 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Various:
A tomato is a tomato so isn't the best you can do is to pick out a tasty variety and then grow it in a good jean pool of the necessary elements vitamins and minerals found in good bacteria and enzyme laden liquid animal manure so that all that flavor will be absorbed into the plant for your total new taste sensation enjoyment.
BTW I have no connection to grants better half poster.

 
At 7/04/2010 4:09 PM, Anonymous grant said...

ANON 10:57
"YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT"
well you better stop eating what you are eating now.

 
At 7/04/2010 4:20 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Anon 11:37
All you are doing is pissing everyone off.There may be some sense in your argument but you are boring everyone here to tears.Including me.
So why don't you take your boring arguments and piss off.

 
At 7/04/2010 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grant,

you better stop eating what you are eating now."

You mean a very healthy diet with a high mix of fruits and veggies, combined with enough fiber that would kill the average person - one that garners me yearly praise from my physican during my annual visit? I think I'll stick to what works.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Well, Anon, that link doesn't support your assertion that obesity correlates with poverty.

You said: - "Just consider where much of our obesity problems lie: the poor."

In fact, the only article I could find on that site that addressed differences in wealth came to the unusual conclusion that underweight people eventually had a higher net worth than normal weight people.

"...Cheezy Poofs" are made of - the puffs not only will taste like cardboard, but they flat out won't stay together."

You should learn to read your own reference more carefully. They didn't literally mean the Cheez-It crackers fell apart, they meant the things described next happened. Let me quote your reference with a colon in the appropriate place so you can understand it better.

"The Cheez-It fell apart in surprising ways:The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal."

"You, sir, are an idiot. Take note:"

Well, I see you are out of things to say, as you must resort to name calling.

"So the poor Mexican people of various African nations..."

I'm not sure that's what you really meant to say, but African nations have nothing to do with it. All of your references address developed countries in North America and Europe except Japan and South Korea. A pretty selective group.

A "festive salad"? I thought you were discussing nutrition. What does "festive" have to do with it?

You have thrown too many topics into these comments, and tried to make connections that don't exist.

The subject of this post is the decline in the percentage of income spent on food in the US over the years. You have added salt, obesity, poverty, diabetes, health care costs, processed food, and festive salads. You haven't made any valid connections, and if you have a point to make, it's sure not clear what it might be.

"Well, I don't choose to have my health care premiums jacked because of the high costs of dealing with our health problems. High health care costs is a collective consequence we deal with, not a choice."

If you are concerned with health care coverage premiums, you should perhaps direct your energies toward some of the things you can actually have an influence on. Among those are mandated benefits,
increased competition, and
tort reform

 
At 7/04/2010 6:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2010 10:22 PM, Anonymous grant said...

BENJAMIN:
You can still buy Milton Friedmans 1980's book FREE TO CHOOSE as it is still in print and very reasonably priced.On most bookshops shelves.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron H,

"In fact, the only article I could find on that site that addressed differences in wealth came to the unusual conclusion that underweight people eventually had a higher net worth than normal weight people."

I thought one of the articles I had up there linked the information but it doesn't.

Here's a study.

Here's an article that describes California's obesity rates that are prevalent among the poor.

In all honesty, I'm surprised you claim ignorance about the subject because it's fairly common knowledge.

"You should learn to read your own reference more carefully. They didn't literally mean the Cheez-It crackers fell apart, they meant the things described next happened. Let me quote your reference with a colon in the appropriate place so you can understand it better."

Well, great. You get a "food" that loses it's color, texture and becomes sticky - not to mention tastes worst than dog food - without the miracle of sodium, and you're pounding your chest. Sign up for PR, man.

"Well, I see you are out of things to say, as you must resort to name calling."

Well, since you previously referred to me as "talking out of my ass," I figured you cut the cheese first with the juvenile badgering.

"I'm not sure that's what you really meant to say, but African nations have nothing to do with it."

Again, that's relatively common knowledge. Africa's has plenty of underweight and underfed people, but obesity is on the rise in certain regions of various countries. Why? Sugars and starches, sugars and starches.

Mexico's weight issue.

I wouldn't be surprised if you were one of these dupes who got suckered into supporting the invasion of Iraq.

"The subject of this post is the decline in the percentage of income spent on food in the US over the years. You have added salt, obesity, poverty, diabetes, health care costs, processed food, and festive salads. You haven't made any valid connections, and if you have a point to make, it's sure not clear what it might be."

 
At 7/04/2010 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron H,

(Continued)

The point I made was that cheap food is unhealthy, and therefore, comes with a steep long-term price caused by health complications related to weight and diabetes. Go look up how much heart surgery costs, how many needless cases of type 2 diabetes we have. Consider how fat the South is.

"If you are concerned with health care coverage premiums, you should perhaps direct your energies toward some of the things you can actually have an influence on. Among those are mandated benefits,
increased competition, and
tort reform."


As somebody who despises Obama's health care plan, I was surprised you suggested mandated benefits - are you saying this should be mandated on a state or federal level? I can't imagine you support Obama's insur

Anyway, those might be worthwhile ideas, treating problematic health complication related to weight and diabetes isn't cheap, and will continue to plaque the system unless seriously addressed. Here's an article that addresses the issue.

Anyway, laugh all you want about the numerous copies of my 2nd to last post. Blogger only allows commentators to delete posts through an account; anonymous posts cannot be deleted. My initial attempts to post kept referring me to some "URL error" screen, so I didn't think my comments were being posted.

 
At 7/05/2010 2:58 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon says: "I wouldn't be surprised if you were one of these dupes who got suckered into supporting the invasion of Iraq."

There were also many "dupes" who got suckered into not supporting the invasion of Iraq. The alternative of not invading Iraq could've been worse.

Also, you state "cheap food is unhealthy."

There are lots of healthy foods that are cheap. It's a matter of healthy diets.

 
At 7/05/2010 3:12 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Here's a study."

This study attributes lower incomes at all income levels to being obese, not the other way around. Do you even read these things before you link them?

"Here's an article that describes California's obesity rates that are prevalent among the poor."

Well, at least this obvious opinion piece says more or less what you think it does, although it doesn't link to a "study", but to a newspaper article. It also uses such shoddy journalistic tricks as "experts agree".

[Africa] "but obesity is on the rise in certain regions of various countries."

Didn't you read this one either? It says:

"Africans are proud to be obese. In societies stricken by decades of poverty and inequity, obesity is seen as beautiful and a sign of wealth and status"

Nowhere is income level mentioned.

"starches and sugars, starches and sugars."

Well, of course they can make you fat. No one is arguing otherwise, nor is anyone arguing that fast food or processed foods are preferable. The whole point is that you've made statements about low income and obesity that you can't back up.

"In all honesty, I'm surprised you claim ignorance about the subject because it's fairly common knowledge."

Apparently it isn't, or you wouldn't have so much trouble finding actual support for the idea instead of opinions.

"I wouldn't be surprised if you were one of these dupes who got suckered into supporting the invasion of Iraq."

I'm not sure how that bears on a discussion of food prices, nutrition, obesity, or even festive salads. Are you trying to change the subject? Is there something else you would rather talk about?

"I'm not sure that's what you really meant to say, but African nations have nothing to do with it."

You're not even reading your own comments correctly. Here's what I quoted you as saying:

"So the poor Mexican people of various African nations..."

"I was surprised you suggested mandated benefits"

Perhaps I wasn't clear. I don't support mandated benefits. I was suggesting that you might apply your efforts to defeating them.

After all this, it's still not clear what point you've tried to make. If you're concerned about insurance premiums, deal with the many reasons they are high rather than complain about obesity, and processed food which you can't do anything about.

 
At 7/05/2010 11:55 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Lots of people were duped into Iraq, but the point is not to continue supporting a terrible mistake that was started because of assertions long ago proven false"...

Yet another inane statement from the anon who can't figure out how to use links properly...

PT where were these people who are whining today about Iraq's supposed non WMDs doing back in the late ninties?

Note the words of slick willie Dec. 16, '98: Good evening. Earlier today, I ordered America's Armed Forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological programs, and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors...

Note the Democrats public pronouncements in this video clip at about the sametime: Democrats on WMDs Before the Iraq War

 
At 7/05/2010 12:14 PM, Blogger Chris Grande said...

Professor,

great data sharing for discussion. It's unfortunate that your comments page turns into the typical blog argument scenario where your original post data is briefly referenced if at all.

Keep up the good work.

Warmly,

Chris Grande

 
At 7/05/2010 1:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It's unfortunate that your comments page turns into the typical blog argument scenario where your original post data is briefly referenced if at all."

Chris, Is it possible that Prof Perry is getting exactly what he wants? I think he can predict what types of comments are likely, based on the subject matter.

If he wanted it to be different, for instance always on topic, I think it would be that way. He is, after all, the blog owner, and he has complete control.

 
At 7/05/2010 2:20 PM, Anonymous The Health Freak! said...

Juandos, Ron H and PeakTrader,

Hi, boys! I haven't forgotten about anyone of your, but I'm a little busy at the moment. I look greatly forward returning your "calls" later on...=)

 
At 7/05/2010 10:09 PM, Anonymous The Health Nut said...

PeakTrader,

"There were also many "dupes" who got suckered into not supporting the invasion of Iraq. The alternative of not invading Iraq could've been worse."

Again, the premise of invading Iraq was due to Saddam piling huge caches of WMDs - a premise long proven false. I was against the war before the start, and predicted the easy victory followed by the peace from hell that would nag our entire stay. If we remember correctly, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, along with with plenty of funding for Al Qaeda - should we invade them, too?

Anyway, we've spent piles of money, have a fragile situation which may fall apart after withdraw, a lot innocent people have died as a result and we lost a lot of credibility in the eyes of the world. 9/11 was a terrible tragedy that affected us all, absolutely; but we should use more cerebral judgment when deciding a course of action, rather than baser desires of revenge get the better of ourselves.

"There are lots of healthy foods that are cheap. It's a matter of healthy diets
."

I wish it was more of the case. I mean one can buy a bag of oranges for under $3.00, but it takes more than that. In contrast, a Hungry Man frozen dinner can be purchased for around $3.00; they're laden with preservatives, sodium and calories.

That's not to say all lower income individuals eat poorly: some are extremely intelligent of foods to purchases, where as an old housemate of mine, a computer programmer who earns $80,000 per year, lives off microwavable burritos and fast food - plus has the body to show it.

 
At 7/05/2010 10:38 PM, Anonymous The Health Nut said...

"Yet another inane statement from the anon who can't figure out how to use links properly..."

If you're talking about the first link, it again.

"PT where were these people who are whining today about Iraq's supposed non WMDs doing back in the late ninties?"

"Note the words of slick willie Dec. 16, '98: Good evening. Earlier today, I ordered America's Armed Forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological programs, and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors..."


Is Slick Willie suppose to be a model of virtue? I actually thought that was an odd choice given before the eve of impeachment. Last decade he stated the invasion was a mistake, but of course he also wanted his wife elected. Anyway, Hans Blix said the WMDs were destroyed long ago.

Anyway, I'm convinced Prez. Hopie-Changie will see Afghanistan become his Vietnam. Here's a nice update of the wars' total costs.

 
At 7/05/2010 10:54 PM, Anonymous The Health Nut said...

Ron H.,

Here, let's try these:

Study: Obesity rises faster in poor teens.

"Older American teenagers living in poverty have grown fatter at a higher rate than their peers, according to research that seems to underscore the unequal burden of obesity on the nation's poor.

Today the percentage of adolescents age 15-17 who are overweight is about 50% higher in poor as compared to non-poor families, a difference that has emerged recently," said Johns Hopkins' sociologist Richard Miech, the study's lead author."


Americans Are Fatter Than in 2008; Poor People More Likely to be Fat than Middle Class or Wealthy.

"Poorer Americans are more likely to be obese than those in the middle class or with higher incomes, the survey showed.

In the first quarter of 2009, the obesity rate for American adults was 26.2%, said Gallup. In the first quarter of this year, it was 26.7%. For all of 2008, the obesity rate was 25.5 percent compared to 26.5 percent for all of 2009.

Americans earning $90,000 per year or more are the least likely to be fat, with an obesity rate of 21.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Americans earning in the next highest income bracket in the Gallup survey—$36,000 to $89,999 per year—were the second least likely to be fat, with an obesity rate of 27.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Americans earning between $6,000 and $35,999 are the most likely to be fat, with an obesity rate of 31.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Americans earning less than $6,000 were the second-most likely to be fat, with an obesity rate of 31.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Gallup's survey was based on interviews with more than 670,000 adults since 2008."


I have a bit on Africa that I'll share in a second post.

 
At 7/05/2010 11:18 PM, Anonymous The Health Nut said...

Ron H,

(Continued)

Studies show obesity taking hold in Africa and UK (for this article, I will only cite information pertaining to Africa, though you're free to read about Britain, too).

Obesity is becoming more common among poor city dwellers in Africa because of easier access to cheap, high fat, high sugar foods, scientists said on Tuesday.

Researchers looking at data from seven African countries found the number of people overweight or obese increased by nearly 35 percent between the early 1990s and early 2000s and the rate of increase in obesity was higher among poor people.

"Given the chronic nature of most diseases associated with obesity and by extension the huge cost of treatment, the prospects look grim for the already under-funded and ill-equipped African health care systems unless urgent action is taken," said Abdhalah Ziraba, who worked on the research with the African Population and Health Research Centre in Nairobi.

The study, published in the BioMed Central Public Health journal, found that while rich people in urban areas of Africa were more likely to be overweight or obese than others, the rate of increase in obesity was higher among the poor.

The data chimes with findings from the World Health Organisation, which said in October that being overweight has now overtaken being underweight among the world's leading causes of death. [ID:nLQ171347]

"Despite being the least urbanised continent, Africa's population is becoming increasingly urban and its cities are growing at unprecedented rates," Ziraba said in the study.

"In spite of rampant poverty in urban areas, access to cheap foods with a high content of fat and sugar is commonplace."


And, a couple of paragraphs I'd like to add...

Obesity levels are rising across the world and threatening to overwhelm health care systems and government health budgets with the costs of handling the high number of cases of diabetes, heart disease and cancer that being overweight can cause.

The number of people with diabetes -- one of the major chronic diseases caused by excess weight -- is already reaching epidemic levels, with an estimated 180 million people suffering from it around the world.


Of course, if I had to choose between being skeletal or blubbery, I'm sure I'd opt for some ballast, too. Regardless, this doesn't take away potential long-term implications.

Anyway, if you want to do a very simple experiment, I'd suggest you spend time shopping at Costco, Target and Walmart, look at the customers and figure out which store attracts the most waddling parade floats.

 
At 7/06/2010 1:59 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

HealthNut, almost everyone believed Saddam had WMDs, even the Europeans. Afterall, he actually used them (at least) 10 times in the past. In the Gulf War, in 1991, Saddam sent his fighter jets to Iran for safety. Perhaps, he also sent his WMDs.

9/11 was so diabolical, that the terrorists wanted to start a war between the U.S. (the largest oil consumer) and Saudi Arabia (the largest oil producer) by using Saudi hijackers.

More innocent people would've died if Saddam stayed in power (based on past killings). The U.S. has much more credibility now by following through with its tasks. The world is not as simple as many believe.

Americans could eat three highly nutritious, well-balanced diets on less than $10 a day, and they could even do that without cooking at home. Yes, some people are "extremely intelligent" about some things and extremely ignorant about other things, including diet.

 
At 7/06/2010 2:30 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Test

 
At 7/06/2010 9:58 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If you're talking about the first link, it again."...

Good one nanny statist you point to a libtard site and its not even a good link: Page not found

"Is Slick Willie suppose to be a model of virtue? I actually thought that was an odd choice given before the eve of impeachment"...

Yeah, sure you did...

"Hopie-Changie will see Afghanistan become his Vietnam. Here's a nice update of the wars' total costs"...

Great! You point me to yet another tard site...

Thanks for playing...

 
At 7/06/2010 3:23 PM, Blogger Apolloswabbie said...

"Surely you agree that the "cheap processed foods" that you dislike are something that people choose to buy. If most people felt, as you do, that processed foods shouldn't be eaten, then they would soon cease to exist."

I'm way late to this dance, but you can't adequate address this post without including the discussion of the US Govt's many and significant impositions on this market. There's the price I pay at the register for milk. There's also the price I already paid in taxes for government expenditures FOR the Department of Agriculture (200,000 strong) and FOR the money they send to the Kings of Agriculture. We pay people not to raise food. We subsidize production of foods that are not healthy for even animals, much less humans. We spend 25% of all the oil we use in this country on production and distribution of the food by industrial production methods that are very costly to the environment, both at the point of farming and downstream (fertilizer and pesticide run off). Never mind that the process is not sustainable due to the inevitability of salinization during irrigation. We have subsidized production of food which is unhealthy to consume (grains, and grain fed cattle/pork/chicken). The DoA (why IS the DoA making nutrition guidelines?) tells us to eat a diet rich in subsidized food in spite of the fact that such a diet is absolutely not supported by the science. This is a Frankenstein of a food production monster – it gives tax payer money to the wrong people to do the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Thank goodness the price at the register is low, but it's hardly anything to triumph from the perspective of those who love liberty. It's an example how a system, rotten and wasteful and toxic from stem to stern, can show one positive aspect in spite of nearly complete corruption of any rational outcome.

The incentive to grow corn and soy beans exclusively, and to grow our meat sources from those crops, would disappear if the government were not spending our tax dollars manipulating that market. Even worse, folks who are willing to pay more money for foods produced through sustainable agriculture – such as Polyface Farms – are paying for the exorbitant costs of DoA compliance in butchering despite the fact that only grain-finished cattle have the deadly forms of e-coli.

The situation is so bass ackwards, I could make a sane argument for the case that the DoA has deliberately sold Americans on eating a diet designed to make them sick in order to justify further government control over health care due to the “health care crisis” – which consists, primarily, of the fact that there’s an infinite amount of money that may be spent to keep people alive who are sickened by eating the food the DoA advocates.

The biggest hole in this ‘conspiracy theory’ is that the government has spent nearly a billion dollars trying to prove the DoA diet is healthy, and all the experiments failed. However, that certainly has not prevented their further advocacy of their diet (tell me again why DoA makes dietary recommendations?).

 
At 7/06/2010 5:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

The Health Nut

I give up. Once again you're confusing opinion with actual data. I can address this one last time, then I'll have to move on.

First of all, thank you for choosing a name. You can imagine how confusing it can get when several ANONs are all talking at once on a thread.

Since most of our previous discussion seems to be missing, I will only address your recent link to the Africa article.

The type of news article you quote often contains some amount of valid information as well as the opinions of the reporter. Let me explain using your first quote:

"Obesity is becoming more common among poor city dwellers in Africa..."

This is undisputed: no one doubts it.

"...because of easier access to cheap, high fat, high sugar foods, scientists said on Tuesday."

This part includes conjecture on the part of the reporter. Read the actual study. It doesn't say that.

You quoted the actual conclusion of the study, as it was reported, but apparently didn't understand it. I will highlight. Pay close attention.

"The study, published in the BioMed Central Public Health journal, found that while rich people in urban areas of Africa were more likely to be overweight or obese than others, the rate of increase in obesity was higher among the poor.

In other words, the percentage of rich people who are fat is higher than the percentage of poor people who are fat, but the poor are catching up.

This is an indication of an improved standard of living for poor people in urban areas. They can now eat more than they need, and they are doing so. Some are PROUD to be obese as I pointed out previously. It's considered a sign of prosperity.

The idea that "the poor" are helpless victims of evil processed food and fast food is a fashionable meme among elites who think they know what's best for all of us, but it just ain't so. Healthy food may be less accessible in poor neighborhoods, but it's not unavailable. Many can & do eat healthy. It is mostly a choice.

The news report goes on to make further politically correct but unsupported assertions that aren't related to the study. Here's a sample:

"Obesity levels are rising across the world and threatening to overwhelm health care systems and government health budgets"

There's the crux of the problem, and should be the focus of your complaint. Governments shouldn't be involved in health care. If you are tired of having money taken from you to fund these budgets, then attack that issue, as well as the insurance premium issues I mentioned before, not food. You have gotten it backwards.

 
At 7/06/2010 9:52 PM, Anonymous The Health Nut said...

Juandos,

"Good one nanny statist you point to a libtard site and its not even a good link: Page not found."

Well, that is indeed embarrassing. I'm going to have to throw the towel in on this one and give you the link via cut and paste - it really is a good one:

http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/jon-stewart-rips-fox-extolling-reaga

There! It worked! I checked it. Moving on...

On the other hand, amigo, while you bitch about "tard" sites, you evidently bit into the hook, line and sinker of Fox News, and gobbled that juicy WMD worm dangling in front of those kissing lips. In fact, while a number of my hard-headed friends who supported the war with unquestioning zeal, have over the years second guessed the purpose of the war and have asked the question many of us asked long ago: "Where's the WMDs?"

I'd recommend getting off the Fox News regime and try giving our sources a try - even the Daily Show. I guarantee you'll learn more from Jon's phony news in one show, than watching "real news" from Fox News' entire evening lineup. You might learn not to get duped into war of false pretense next time...

 
At 7/06/2010 10:33 PM, Anonymous The Health Nut said...

Peak Trader,

"HealthNut, almost everyone believed Saddam had WMDs, even the Europeans."

While lots of Americans believed Saddam had WMDs, many Americans, myself included, questioned the claims validity months before the war's start. As time went on, many of my conservative friends who were adamant supporters - ones whom I engaged in strenuous debates about - questioned the rationale for war and became disillusioned by the lack of WMD material; some have come to believe the war's a mistake.

While Britain was an enthusiastic ally with many citizens supporting invasion, many Europeans did not and questioned validity of our claims.

"Afterall, he actually used them (at least) 10 times in the past. In the Gulf War, in 1991, Saddam sent his fighter jets to Iran for safety. Perhaps, he also sent his WMDs."

Yes, Saddam had WMDs in the past - we gave them to him. In fact (and I know this sounds like it's from the "Blame America first" crowd), after the Gulf War, the US forced Saddam to destroy his cache - something Hans Bix confirmed. Also, Iran and Iraq are bitter enemies: if Saddam did ferry his WMD stash over to Iran, it's doubtful he would have gotten his weapons back as Iran simply confiscated the Iraqi jets flown over.

"9/11 was so diabolical, that the terrorists wanted to start a war between the U.S. (the largest oil consumer) and Saudi Arabia (the largest oil producer) by using Saudi hijackers."

Some scholars have theorized one of the rationales for the attacks was to enrage America into sending a military presence to the Middle East, thus enraging Muslims into rising up and sparking a "holy war." Anyway, Iraq didn't supply a single hijacker, nor was responsible for planning, supplying material or funding of the act. In contrast, some of the planning occurred in Germany where some of the hijackers stayed for a while.

Anyway, 9/11 was an abhorrent tragedy that will not be forgotten by anyone who experienced it, Saddam was a tyrannical human being; still when lives, resources and large quantities of money are at hand, one needs to tread carefully when seeking appropriate avenues justice rather than take quick and irrational paths to satisfy desires for revenge. That way, we could have focused more on obtaining the sheep herder of this atrocity: Osama bin Laden.

 
At 7/06/2010 11:09 PM, Anonymous The Health Nut said...

Ron H,

"Since most of our previous discussion seems to be missing, I will only address your recent link to the Africa article."

????????

Otherwise, you are conceding some of my points, and that's a start. I'm going to hit on a couple of other things...

"In other words, the percentage of rich people who are fat is higher than the percentage of poor people who are fat, but the poor are catching up."

In pre-industrial European societies, being fat was considered beautiful and many affluent individuals took deliberate efforts to pack on pounds. I saw the point about rich people generally remaining fatter than poor; however, the gains lower income citizens of African nations have made is become problematic.

"The idea that "the poor" are helpless victims of evil processed food and fast food is a fashionable meme among elites who think they know what's best for all of us, but it just ain't so. Healthy food may be less accessible in poor neighborhoods, but it's not unavailable. Many can & do eat healthy. It is mostly a choice."

As I said to Peak Trader, an old housemate of mine from college is an $80,000 per year computer programmer who scarfs microwavable junk. Some lower income people are very sensitive eaters, defiantly. The peculiar thing about psychology and sociology is that neither can be used to predict certainty: like quantum physics, both can only hope to predict likely outcomes. Humans seem to have a tendency to drift (though not all) with the river flow of environmental circumstances.

Again, one simply has to compare the shoppers of Costco, Target and Walmart. Obviously, there's the matter of choice and self-responsibility, but still, it's interesting to observe how husky sizes are statistically high in lower income levels. While I don't advocate suppressing free will to choose diet, at the same time, we can also choose or not choose to take proactive steps in combating the problem without taking away freedom of choice - and incorporate this into a clever, multi-prong strategy (and I'm opened to your ideas) aimed at lower health care costs

 
At 3/21/2012 7:33 AM, Blogger auntiegrav said...

You say this like it's a good thing. Cheap food has done no long-term good for our country. The shift of economic usefulness from the local to the central has destroyed our base of towns full of skilled workers. The detachment of people from the actual costs of being alive has turned us into mindless automatons eating sugar and wandering around in a foggy haze of ignorance and emotions. Those emotions are amped up by marketing until people shoot each other on the street for the color of their CLOTHES, for chrissake. One of the BIGGEST problems with this country is cheap food. The other is our death wish for convenience. I don't think the government (corporations) should determine our food choices, but I also don't think we should be kept in the dark as to the costs. Eliminate subsidies for agriculture. Let the corporations see the risks of farming instead of having guaranteed price floors. Get rid of income and property taxes and put all costs up front where people make decisions: sales taxes. Nanny state? Well that's better than the Rubber Room of Consumption we have now.

 
At 8/17/2012 1:44 PM, Blogger Joel M-H said...

Common sense? I can't say I agree with that at all.

Simple economic arguments such as these are incredibly shakey foundations to draw conclusions such as "[being born in America is to have] won the lottery of life".

Pretty much all Scandinavian countries spend over 10% of their income on food, but on average they're reported to be happier people than Americans.

http://atlasembraced.blogspot.co.uk/

 

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