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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

The High Cost of Being Cheap

The cost of gasoline and food is rising. There are a number of reasons for this increase, and outsourcing by United States corporations is one of these.

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The cost of gasoline and food is rising. There are a number of reasons for this increase, and outsourcing by United States corporations is one of these.

Our manufacturing jobs are being sent to China and information technology jobs to India. This creates wealth in the form of high-paying jobs in these countries. With this increased wealth comes a greater demand for goods, primarily gasoline-powered vehicles and more and better-tasting nutritious food. Oil for fuel and arable land for food production are limited resources. Thus, increasing demand for products from these limited resources is resulting in higher prices.

This situation is being made worse by the unconscionable practice in this country of producing ethanol for fuel from corn. Ethanol for fuel requires more energy in its production than is obtained using it as a fuel. Adding it to gasoline reduces the mileage obtained by trucks and cars, thus they use more fuel, which further increases the cost of driving. Obviously [using] corn for fuel reduces [the amount of] land available for food production, be it corn or some other crop.

What can be done about this? Probably not much. In the short term, people are resistant to meaningful change that reduces their living standard. Only when prices of fuel and food become very expensive will consumption be reduced, and this will mean a severe reduction in our current living standards.

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