Bean Counting

Richard Knee at Cargo Business Newswire reported the following on April 22, 2014: “U.S. gives out $ 195.5 million to help boost ag products”

“The U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service says it is giving out 84 cash awards totaling nearly $ 196.52 million to help 65 industry organizations to market their products abroad this year and the agency is inviting applications for funding assistance in 2015.

“The FAS, part of the Department of Agriculture, is awarding roughly $171.87 million among 62 non-profit groups and cooperatives through its Market Access Program, in which it shares overseas marketing and promotional costs with trade associations, cooperatives, state and regional groups and small businesses to build export markets for fresh produce, nuts, processed foods, and bulk and intermediate commodities.

“The rest is being awarded among 22 agricultural producers’ and processors’ organizations through the Foreign Market Development Program, in which the groups work to maintain or increase the demand for U:S. agricultural commodities abroad. The organizations on average contribute nearly triple what they receive in federal resources, the FAS said.

“Funding amounts range from $45,759 to the Mohair Council of America to slightly more than$ 18.6 million to the Cotton Council International. The latter comprises awards of $ 15.42 million through the Market Access Program and nearly $ 3.2 million through the Foreign Market

Development Program. The groups include 19 that are receiving cash under both programs.

“Also among the 10 highest-amount MAP recipients are the U.S. Meat Export Federation, $ 14.07 million; the Food Export Association of the Midwest, USA, nearly $ 9.64 million; the American HardwoodExportCouncil,APA—the Engineered Wood Association, Softwood Export Council and Southern Products Association — nearly $ 9 million; Food Export USA Northeast, nearly $ 8.14 million; the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association, nearly $ 8.1 million; the U.S. Grains Council, $ 6.73 million; the WineInstitute, $ 6.32 million; U.S. Wheat Associates, $ 5.97 million; and the Southern United States Trade Association, $ 5.87 million.

“Besides the cotton group’s award, the top amounts through the FMD Program are going to the American Soybean Association, nearly $ 5.2 million; U.S. Wheat Associates, nearly $ 4.18 million; the hardwood export group, nearly $ 2.66 million; and the grains group, nearly $ 2.44 million.” —

That’s nice. On April 22″ of this year, $196.52 million was awarded by the Department of Agriculture for agricultural products — mostly to feed people.

That’s nothing. On that same April 22″, $216.15 million was awarded by the Department of Defense (?) for weapons — mostly to kill people.

Here’s the GENERAL STATEMENT we sent to President Reagan on March 15, 1982:

“T propose that the U.S. Government begin construction of a canal along the U.S.-MEXICAN border, connecting the GULF OF MEXICO with the PACIFIC OCEAN.

“This canal will be approximately 1,600 miles long and 4 mile wide, will provide a continuous coast line for the U.S., and will be able to accommodate the largest ocean-going vessels.

“At least eight major cities and 15 seaports will be required on the U.S. side of the canal along with similar facilities on MEXICO’s side. Fifty or more bridges will be required to handle the flow of traffic and commerce between the newly-developed regions in southwestern U.S. and northern MEXICO.

“Low-lying areas can be transformed into man-made lakes and reservoirs by means off looding and the use of aqueducts. A rainy regime in place of the present heat regime will be the natural consequence of this action, and lush vegetation and a more temperate climate will prevail over what is now hot, arid wasteland.

“Approximately two dozen underground powerplants will provide electricity and water to the U.S. communities. These dual-purpose facilities should be patterned along the lines of the nuclear desalinization plant at SHEVCHENKO on the northeast shore of the CASPIAN SEA. At least a billion gallons of fresh water each day will be provided to the region, and much of it would be used for irrigation. Thousands of acres of land will be made arable, and the coming food crisis will be postponed indefinitely.

“The availability of fresh water through such desalinization plants will make it possible for SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, and other areas, to avoid the expected water shortages in the coming years.

“The development of this region will require airports, transportation and freight terminals, manufacturing facilities, commercial and residential structures, and high-speed trains linking the new southwestern cities with those on both coasts and in the Midwest.

“This project will require the resources of several hundred of the nation’s largest contractors. Supporting facilities and firms throughout the country will be fully engaged for many years.

“The project will bring employment to millions who are presently jobless. Increased revenues and reduced welfare obligations will enable the federal government to balance the budget, amortize the national debt, restructure Social Security and maintain the nation’s defenses.” —

So that’s the GENERAL STATEMENT we sent to President Reagan. Did we miss anything? Food, electricity, water, jobs, affordable transportation facilities, a balanced budget, amortization of the national debt — every potential disaster anticipated and averted. And, yes — this “project” would have put the kibosh on illegal immigration and drug trafficking. How different life would be today!