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Eating America's Seed Corn
Townhall.com ^ | August 23, 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 08/23/2012 4:34:31 AM PDT by Kaslin

As gas prices climb back toward $4 a gallon, the Obama administration -- facing a tough re-election campaign and rising Middle East tensions -- is once again considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For years, administrations have bought and stored oil for emergencies, in fear of a cutoff of imported oil, as happened during the Arab embargo of 1973-74.

But since 2009, the U.S. government has declared most federal lands off-limits to new oil and gas exploration -- despite vast recent finds of energy and radically new means to tap it. President Obama also canceled the most vital sections of the Keystone pipeline, a proposed conduit from the Canadian oil fields into the heart of the oil-consuming U.S., while preventing production on existing oil and gas reserves in northern Alaska and offshore. In the midst of a crop-killing drought, we are diverting about 40 percent of our shrinking corn crop to produce high-cost ethanol fuels.

Apparently, Americans are not willing to produce enough new available oil to meet our always growing gasoline appetites. Yet to keep gas prices manageable in an election year, we will surely tap what our predecessors once banked for us.

The same shortsighted selfishness characterizes debates over entitlements and the deficit. Republicans accuse Obama of transferring more than $700 billion out of Medicare to help fund his new federal takeover of health care. Obama counters that Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plans would either privatize or end Medicare as we know it. But either way, without revolutionary changes, Medicare's costs will almost double in the next 10 years and bankrupt the system.

Periodic tax hikes to support Medicare have never quite caught up with ever-growing expenses, as the pool of elderly recipients exploded and the number of younger payers shrunk. Baby boomers insist that politicians keep Medicare payouts untouched, but that unrealistic demand will ensure that millions of mostly poorer younger people will pay more and receive less -- if anything -- themselves.

Since 2001, federal government has added more than $10 trillion to the U.S. debt. Even the supposedly toughest budget cutters admit that they cannot realistically balance the budget within the next 10 years, much less pay down what may soon reach $20 trillion in aggregate national debt.

The generation now in charge of the country can afford such reckless borrowing only because interest rates remain at historic lows. But should inflation mount, the cost to service this enormous borrowing will ensure that generations to come will have to sacrifice to pay back what others long gone spent so recklessly.

Americans have rarely questioned the value of a college education -- until now. Tuition costs are soaring and jobs for those with bachelor's degrees grow scarcer. Yet campuses have added layers of unnecessary administrative bureaucracy and offered student services more akin to spas than institutions of learning.

Teaching loads are generally less than they were 30 years ago, while opportunities for faculty travel and release time are far greater. The result is that collective student indebtedness has reached $1 trillion, with the cost of financing college similar to taking out a huge home mortgage.

Yet few universities seem willing to freeze or reduce tuition costs by slashing unnecessary administrators, having faculty teach more courses, and cutting back on perks like Club Med student unions, superfluous and trendy "studies" classes, or redundant campus "centers." Spiraling costs for the higher-education industry are serviced by ballooning student debt that will take decades to pay down.

There is more talk of our deteriorating roads, bridges and dams than there was during the 1960s, a far poorer era. But again, such erosion is no accident. While our grandparents sacrificed to leave us spectacular freeway interchanges and new airports, we allowed them to decay without worrying about who would restore them after we are gone.

Examine the annual rates of budget increases in Medicare, Social Security, unemployment and disability insurance, food stamps and public pensions. The common denominator is redistribution and consumption right now for us -- investment and maintenance later for others.

"Eating seed corn" is a metaphor for being forced into the no-win situation of imperiling the future to survive the present. So the allusion does not quite work with contemporary America. Unlike the proverbial farmer who loses his crop to drought or pests, and thereby is forced to live on next year's planting seed, Americans are under no such coercion.

We were not forced into our dilemmas by nature, but simply by choice -- and our own greed and foolishness


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: barackobama; burdeningthefuture; corn; debt; gasoline; gasprices; medicare; oil; oilreserve; seedcorn; spr; vdh; victordavishanson

1 posted on 08/23/2012 4:34:41 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
This guy is the dumbest president we've ever had. If he's serious about gas prices, he should issue an Executive Order and simply say: "Both off shore and deep water drilling are reinstated and the permitting process will not take longer than 60 days. Also, ANWAR is now available for lease. Have a nice day."

And to those idiots who say: "It will be 10 years before any of those changes affect price", I say BS. Just the announcement would cause the spot price of oil to crater. Nope...this guy doesn't give a damn about America.

2 posted on 08/23/2012 4:45:25 AM PDT by econjack (Some people are as dumb as soup.)
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To: Kaslin

Real AMERICANS are willing to do what’s needed.

The Muslim ANTI-American Kenyan POTUS and his tribe want to bring us down to 3rd world status.
So far, they are doing a very good job of it.

How’s that there hope ‘n change stuff workin for ya?


3 posted on 08/23/2012 4:49:10 AM PDT by Flintlock (-THE TRUTH--It's the NEW hate speech.)
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To: econjack

Stupidity has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with it.

Barry’s tribe has been planning this destruction for DECADES. It has been very well thought out, FUNDED, and SOLD by experts.


4 posted on 08/23/2012 4:53:09 AM PDT by Flintlock (-THE TRUTH--It's the NEW hate speech.)
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To: econjack

You need to reevaluate your definition of “dumb”. Obama and company have been the most successful criminal enterprise in recent history. They have single handedly brought this country to its knees economically, looted the treasury of trillions, run roughshod over the law with absolute impunity, and mobilized an army of brain dead morons as their shock troops. We are the fools, not them.


5 posted on 08/23/2012 4:58:27 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Kaslin

The Greatest Generation started the gravy train rolling by voting for politicians who promised them they could live forever on their grandchildrens’ dime. The Boomer Gerneration eclipsed them by putting their every spending whim on credit cards and saving nothing for the future. The ones holding the bag are the Gen Xers and their children, if they have any. Many will never marry and will have video games and dogs.

When its citizens decided everyone could charge the future to someone else’s credit card, the USA began its decline.


6 posted on 08/23/2012 5:04:00 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Kaslin

When the tax rate exceeds the profit margin, who should really be deamonized? The ‘profiteers’ (any American or pensioner who is a stock-holder) or the confiscatory tax collectors who over-regulate, and spend more than they take in?


7 posted on 08/23/2012 5:06:01 AM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all.......)
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To: Kaslin

BTTT


8 posted on 08/23/2012 5:42:56 AM PDT by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Flintlock
Stupidity has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with it.

Barry’s tribe has been planning this destruction for DECADES. It has been very well thought out, FUNDED, and SOLD by experts.


Excellent point. Many are unaware how long the enemy within has been at it. Zero is just the icing on the cake.
9 posted on 08/23/2012 6:30:33 AM PDT by khelus
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To: Kaslin

I don’t know what Victor Davis Hanson was drinking before he wrote this article, but it’s obvious this is the worst article he has ever written.

Maybe he was smoking SEED CORN!

He should take a trip to a Seed Corn Farm and just see what goes on it’s totally different from any other type of farming, maybe he would get an idea!


10 posted on 08/23/2012 6:38:22 AM PDT by conservativesister
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To: conservativesister

Jeez..... ever hear of the term metaphor?


11 posted on 08/23/2012 7:01:30 AM PDT by X-spurt (It is truly time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: econjack
And to those idiots who say: "It will be 10 years before any of those changes affect price", I say BS

They were saying the same thing 10, 20, 30 years ago and will 10, 20, 30 years from now. Nothing gets fixed because these guys can't see pass the next election. Same with SS, medicaid, medicare etc.

12 posted on 08/23/2012 7:21:12 AM PDT by Starstruck (Only the wealthy and the poor can afford socialism)
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To: X-spurt

JEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, ever hear of an opinion!@


13 posted on 08/23/2012 7:57:15 AM PDT by conservativesister
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To: txrefugee
When its citizens decided everyone could charge the future to someone else’s credit card, the USA began its decline.

When Brokaw deemed the Rossevelt era generation as "the Greatest Generation" he was implying that it would all go downhill from there, as intended. These were the first suckers to buy into socialism, lock, stock, and barrel. Their Social Security will go untouched.

Hanson is wrong here: GenXers won't be the first to bear the brunt of the entitlement collapse; the boomers will get screwed first.

14 posted on 08/23/2012 8:25:02 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
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To: Kaslin; conservativesister
Thanks!

Any person who grew up on a small farm in Depression-era days or later understands their grandfather's cautions about not "eating the seed corn" as a means of assuring future food for the family.

Fast forward to post-WWII America and beyond.

Using the "seed corn" analogy, citizens needed to focus on preserving the kind of environment which would assure and secure the ability of their manufacturing sector to thrive, innovate, produce and compete, and grow into the 21st Century.

The "seed corn" of that future for their posterity was the foundation of freedom, rule of law, Constitutional protections, and the profitability of their industries.

Previous generations understood that in the American system of freedom of individual enterprise, "profits" (not "seed corn") constitute the "engine" that fuels growth, opportunity, and jobs.

Along the way, however, the blessed Americans, who had come through a World War, began to allow a determined, and so-called "progressive" movement to "change" and "transform" their "People's government" from an instrument for preserving "peace, liberty, and safety" (Jefferson's First Inaugural) into a tyrannical tool to "take" from them, all in the name of "helping" them.

The word "profits" became, in that tyrannical political setting, a perjorative--a word which denoted something sinister and to be disdained.

So it was that, gradually, the real engine which had fueled the prosperity and plenty America was known for, began to sputter. The things which should have been going up, were going down, and the things which should have been going down, were going up.

In other words, the "seed corn," along with the savings of previous years, began to disable the economy. As the "redistributionist" prophets preached their failed doctrines, they doubled down on the "taking" and "redistributing" until, today, America's light of liberty and freedom of individual enterprise are not even understood among those who need it most.

"Seed corn" may be an old and unfamiliar analogy, but "profits" should be reconsidered as a beautiful and desirable word as the only means to restore creation of wealth and prosperity.

The following cartoon, published in the 1980's, illustrates the consequences of the foolish and dangerous policies of so-called "progressives." Too bad Americans weren't heeding the cautions of Texan Eddie Childs and other business leaders of that time! Talk about "seed corn"! This hog is eating everything in sight!!

Cartoon - Spending

15 posted on 08/23/2012 8:31:10 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: Kaslin; conservativesister
"In other words, the "seed corn," along with the savings of previous years, began to disable the economy. As the "redistributionist" prophets preached their failed doctrines, they doubled down on the "taking" and "redistributing" until, today, America's light of liberty and freedom of individual enterprise are not even understood among those who need it most."

Ooops! Sorry, that paragraph should have begun: "In other words, using up the "seed corn," . . . ."

16 posted on 08/23/2012 8:39:00 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: conservativesister

Opinion? As a writer, don’t quit your day job.


17 posted on 08/23/2012 1:31:12 PM PDT by X-spurt (It is truly time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: X-spurt

so what you are saying is I’m sub human and not entitled to an opinion? or not entitled to be an American with an opinon?
Hope you don’t talk down to your family like this!
Have you ever even seen a seed farm? Bet not!


18 posted on 08/23/2012 3:51:02 PM PDT by conservativesister
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To: conservativesister

Might be good to defuse that high BP and reread last post. Lots of imagination to come up with your reply.

Matter of fact I have been on a seed farm south of Santiago, Chile. They produce seed sweet corn for US farmers. By the way you are on a big circular detour taking “seed corn” in the article, literally.


19 posted on 08/23/2012 4:52:42 PM PDT by X-spurt (It is truly time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: conservativesister

Might be good to defuse that high BP and reread last post. Lots of imagination to come up with your reply.

Matter of fact I have been on a seed farm south of Santiago, Chile. They produce seed sweet corn for US farmers. By the way you are on a big circular detour taking “seed corn” in the article, literally.


20 posted on 08/23/2012 5:58:03 PM PDT by X-spurt (It is truly time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: SpaceBar

Thank you, apparently some people could be robbed at gunpoint by a masked bandit and afterward say, “That guy was really stupid, he didn’t help me at all, he took all my money and left my debt.”

The real idiots in this country are the millions of voters who have voted to install in America that which our finest and bravest have been volunteering to fight against in other countries. Wake up people, those who have the resources are starting to flee America to go to places where there is some degree of freedom remaining.


21 posted on 08/24/2012 4:53:08 AM PDT by RipSawyer
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To: X-spurt

Your humor overcomes you.


22 posted on 08/24/2012 12:04:35 PM PDT by conservativesister
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To: conservativesister
Not one word humorously written, my dear. Unless you think its funny for USA sweet corn seed being grown in Chile.
23 posted on 08/24/2012 1:08:44 PM PDT by X-spurt (It is truly time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: X-spurt

never, just your ability with dry humor


24 posted on 08/24/2012 5:20:49 PM PDT by conservativesister
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To: Kaslin

I want him to drain the reserves to the last drop, as quickly as possible. The sooner the market comes to quiescence, the better. The threat to “release reserves” has been used to distort the market long enough, far out of proportion to the ability to really move crude oil prices.


25 posted on 08/24/2012 5:36:49 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: conservativesister

Have a great weekend!


26 posted on 08/24/2012 7:44:12 PM PDT by X-spurt (It is truly time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: X-spurt

God Bless!


27 posted on 08/25/2012 4:48:55 AM PDT by conservativesister
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