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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Latest economic threat to the Rust Belt states

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     We are hearing a great deal about how the Democrats lost the last presidential election because of the loss of Midwestern states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.  Trump spoke to their feelings about the loss of blue-collar jobs to overseas competition and automation.  This area is now looking at a future of another economic loss that is just beginning.  I am talking about the loss of dairy farms and meat production with the shift away from dairy and meat products.  This is a big problem for a state like Wisconsin.  The movement to plant-based substitutes for milk and meat is only beginning to have strong consumer demand.    Milk usage is dropping quickly.

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  Plant-based milk substitutes are rapidly increasing.   Foreign exports which had been picking up some of the loss of domestic demand has been hurt in the tariff war with China

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      Quickly following the switch to plant-based dairy products is the switch to plant-based meat substitutes.   You know when Burger King introduced its own version of the Impossible Burger that even McDonalds will have to follow with its own plant-based burger.   The next big thing is growing real meat in a lab rather than slaughtering animals.
      Recently the PBS NewsHour did a report on the difficulties of dairy farmers in the Midwest surviving falling demand and the competition from large factory type dairy farms.  After listening to this report it is not hard to imagine that the adjustment for dairy farmers will be as challenging as the adjustment to the loss of blue-collar jobs in this area of our County.   As the area has struggled to adjust to the loss of blue-collar jobs there are no easy answers to how to adjust to this new economic threat for the Mid West.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Blue Catfish

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    Recently I was introduced to Blue Catfish.  These fish can grow to over 100 pounds and are considered invasive in our local waters.  Wegman's carries this in their fish section.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Another side of the immigration debate for the US

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   Two posts on Canada in a couple of days.  I can just hear Trumpers saying "If you love Canada so much why don't you live there?"  So I will answer them first.  I like warm weather and it is too darn cold in Canada.
     I subscribe to a Facebook page called "The Faces of New York" that has stories from NYC mostly but sometimes they have postings from other cities.  Here is one I want to share that portrays a different angle to our Country's immigration situation.  While the focus of our debate is on the flow of immigrants on our Southern border, here is one impact that shows how our Country is losing out on high tech workers too.

"I came from India in 2011 to get my Masters, and ended up working for a major tech company in San Francisco. It was a lucrative job, but there was always a looming cloud of uncertainty. Half of the people in my department were international workers-- mostly Indian and Chinese. All of us were on visas, so our future in America depended upon keeping our employment. I don’t think the managers intended to push us harder. But the international workers were more afraid, so we took more abuse. It just became part of the culture. We were given extra work, and the only way to keep up was to kill yourself every day. I just couldn’t do it. Eventually, I burned out and moved to Vancouver. Canada was very welcoming. My wife and I have residency already. I’ve started my own business. I have all the clients I need. But most importantly I have a home. And I’m not talking about a brick structure. I mean a place that I’m allowed to be. Because once I had that, all my other problems seemed smaller. I could start thinking long term. Because no matter what happens, at least I know I’ll be here.”

       I said it before

Monday, July 8, 2019

Cost of medicine pushing more Americans to Canada to get their meds

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     It seems like every day we hear stories of Americans paying excessive amounts for their medicine because of the cozy relationship between drug companies and members of Congress.  It is outright bribery. The latest drug is insulin.   Here is a list of briberies.  It may be a secret but you can easily get your medicines from safe reputable pharmacies in Canada.  You don't even have to travel there as you can get them through mail order.  While technically illegal for Americans to get meds from another country no one has been prosecuted if it is for their individual use.  You find a legitimate Canadian pharmacy at this site.  This issue should be near the top of any presidential debate.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Opioid overdoses down dramatically in Howard County

    Through the hard work of Howard County personnel, the number of overdoses and death from opioids has seen a significant decline in our County.  We should all be thankful and praise the people who have worked very hard on this issue in our County.  Howard County has always been a great place to live with the high quality of services we get every day.