The Startling Economics of Corn--One Grain Affects Our Lives in Many Ways

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The importance of corn to the US economy is the focus of a column by LadybugFlights Financial Correspondent Beatrice Spreadmore. She minces no words in presenting the destructive effects of current policies and subsidies and delves into the implication of our present course of action.

If you have seen the commercials and heard the hype, you might have the impression that corn is the solution to all our problems; that it is a safe and natural substitute for oil and plastics made from oil. It seems that there is a lot we don’t know about corn.

Corn is by far the most important crop grown in the US. Its cultivation occupies about 20% of our arable land and produces tremendous yields. Thousands of uses exist for corn products in many diverse fields, from producing antibiotics to food products to ethanol for our cars. Corn has become a primary cattle and poultry feed. You would think that corn growers were getting rich from the sale of this golden grain, yet, corn subsidies total about $ 10 billion every year. These immense subsidies encourage growing more corn which means new uses need to be developed, creating a vicious cycle with no end in sight.

In the August issue of LadybugFlights, Financial Correspondent Beatrice Spreadmore follows the broad swath that corn plows through our society and explores the disastrous economic effects of our reliance on this one grain. In her article Our Symbiotic Vegetable, she states that “This unbridled use of corn has created problems that are not brought to the public's attention, but are as significant as the war on terror.”

The problems created by corn infest every aspect of our society, from the overuse of antibiotics to pollution and water quality. It highlights the inefficiency of many economic decisions, where subsidies fatally distort the economics of corn and send growers and manufacturers on wild searches to find uses. As an example, Spreadmore explores the questionable economics of replacing gasoline with ethanol from corn, which Spreadmore describes as a choice that would “bring the national economy to its knees.”

The tentacles of this dependence extend to health. Beef cattle have problems digesting corn, which causes infections, which are then made more of a problem because feedstock live in terrible conditions, so they are given antibiotics all their lives: Eight times the amount prescribed for patients to treat disease is given to livestock. This is one of the major sources of antibiotic resistance that plagues our society and it is a direct result of corn.

Check out the August issue of LadybugFlights for a wake-up call about the true impact of this grain and its place in our economic lives. “We are now very dependant on a food source that can not grow on its own, occupies a significant amount of the best available land, and demands that we heavily invest in chemical and biological solutions that have the potential to destroy our economy.”

Author’s Bio

Beatrice Spreadmoore, the Financial Correspondent for LadybugFlights magazine is just an average person with average luck and with an interest in achieving the American dream, to be rich. She has studied markets, invested, and watched the way economics affects our lives, and says: “Remember the government supports the rich.” To level the playing field, she generously shares her knowledge with her readers.


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