Friday, December 27, 2013


Is it just me or does it seem like you can just about do the opposite of the common wisdom in the culture and prosper.

Opposite - a truth that is totally the reverse of the common wisdom.

Here are some opposites:

  • The US has one of the lowest saving rates on the planet. Saving for the future is one of the most prudent things you can do. We are the first generation in this country that is not saving. A good guideline is to save 15% of your gross salary for all your working years and invest it. It is also prudent to have a 3-6 months emergency fund.
  • Borrowing does not lead to prosperity, but we are one of the most indebted society in history. On a personal level credit card debt and student loans are at epidemic proportions. We need to teach our children to live within their means and save up to pay cash. Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, said, "the borrower is slave to the lender".
  • The US has had a policy of cheap food, which has been achieved using oil based synthetic nutrients to grow commodities. As a result we have some of the cheapest food prices of any nation in the world on based on the percentage of income spent on food. Isn't it interesting that the US also has the worlds most expensive health care system and it is increasing rapidly. Organic costs more, BUT wouldn't you rather spend money on better food than curing disease. OK I know I am making a big assumption here, that these two trends are correlated. But I think no one would deny that there is some correlation between the two.
  • One of the current agricultural paradigms is that we should confine herbivores (cattle and sheep) to large feedlots and feed them grain. We have cheap grain because we have cheap oil. Herbivores are meant to eat grass. We once had millions of herbivores on our prairies eating grass, with out the aid of grain, oil or machinery. Maybe we should reconsider this paradigm. 
  • In conjuction with the above opposite, did you know that if we stopped growing grain and put all our cattle out on grass that we could sequester back into the soil all of the industrial age carbon released into the atmosphere, in just 10 years. Contemplate that one for a few minutes. You will never hear that from the global warming coalition, but there is a solution and it is achievable with today's (or even yesterday's) farming technology. There are some very strong agricutltural interests that would NOT like to see this happen because they would go bankrupt, but this paradigm would also solve a many soil, water, and health problems.

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