Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 612, March 27, 2011

"Once again one more time"

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Humongous Cloud, Leetle Tiny Silver Lining (I mean itsy bitsy)
by A.X. Perez

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Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

It would be ironic if the crewmen on the American ships off Libya are drinking Throwback Pepsi or Mountain Dew. 'Twould be ironic in many ways.

I happen to like Throwback Pepsi and Mountain Dew. Even wrote Pepsi an Email to pretty please keep them on the market just as Pepsi announced it was going to do just that thing. The reason I like TBP and TBMD is that they are made with sugar (sucrose ) rather than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar flavored soda tastes better to me (and a lot of other people apparently). It seems the price of cane and beet sugar has been dropping.

Remember how the price of oil and gasoline rose in the mid 2000's and people began looking for cheaper go juice for their motor vehicles? Well two of the alternative offered were ethanol and gasahol (alcohol/gasoline mixed). The government decided (congress voted) to subsidize the production of alcohol from from corn. Note that if you think about it ethanol could be made from corn husks, stalks, and cobs and the grain could have continued to be used to make food products. Instead the use of corn grain to make ethanol was subsidized. At least it's a mature technology, as any aficionado of fine sour mash (or even the other kind of mountain dew) can attest.

The result of this was a reduction in the supply of corn to make food products for human consumption and as feed for animals. This caused food prices to rise World wide, which is one of the triggers of the revolts in North Africa, including Libya. This also caused HFCS to become expensive enough that Pepsi went back to using sugar to make its two top products. Throw in some cool packaging and a decent word of mouth campaign and Pepsi Cola gas two hits. Wish the consequences round the World had been so pleasant.

Meanwhile as a result of all this the price of oil and gasoline, which collapsed in the Fall of 2008, are back up and an international coalition which includes the United States, are interfering in the current civil war going on in Libya. Arguably all the result of of a subsidy passed by the American Congress to replace gasoline with ethanol distilled from corn.

Now you will excuse me for saying that I do not trust morons capable of causing global hunger, civil wars, inflation at the gas pump and another American military intervention by subsidizing legalized moonshining to solve America's ecological, economic and social problems as well as the market place could.

Oh well, at least we got some nice soda pop out of it.


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