Monday, July 16, 2012

Will America Starve? (151 Bread Taxes)

I will never forget how taken back I was during an interview I was conducting with some bakery administrators in the Baltic Regions of Russia.

Part of the reason I was there was to help them develop some interesting product lines.

Each time I'd slide a formula across the table my interpreter would explain my ideas, while the Russian admin folks would crunch their calculators, and everytime their answer was the same....

"This would be many rubles too much."

What I didn't know at the time was under Russian law, bread has a guarenteed priced.

I just kinda scratched my head in bewilderment......

"How can Klecko, or free enterprise flourish over here if the people are not given a choice of products and price ranges?"

That was only 5 years ago, but that I look back, and now that I see what I see within my own country...I understand it, and I am humbled.

The Russians had to put a fixed price into effect because former leaders and businesses out priced its people from one item that really needed to be an entitlment.......


In America, we take things for granted, we assume we are above whatever mistakes more established countries have fallen into.

This scares the Bejeezus out of me.

What is one thing that the United States has in common with Russia (and pretty much every other country out there)?

We are run by corporations that are far more worried about turning a profit, than making sure your kids go to sleep with a full stomach.

OK...I can hear right now..."There goes Klecko again, the little drama queen must need some attention because now he is throwing down his conspiracy rant!"

Wake up America....WAKE UP!

Look what the housing market did over the last decade.

When you bought a house for $85 000 and the following year it listed for $200 000 didn't you wonder how that economic platform could withstand?

All of us know people who have lost their homes in the last couple of years because they couldn't keep up with the payments that they "qualified" for.

But now the topic turns to food.

I remember thinking what a drag it would be to not have options as to what kind of breads I would be able to make.

I lamented at the possibility of living in a world where honey, molasses, wild rice and imported grains might not be made available to me, and my accounts.

But I can say in al honesty, I have never gone hungry.

So when I pose the question.......

"Is it better to have a system in place that promises us a mundane staple loaf each day?"

I don't really expect or want you to answer this, but what I would like my fellow country men/women to know is......

The commodity markets are spinning out of control, I am sitting in a place of advantage where I can see the track being laid out.

Being hungry in America is happening now, but I am sad to report that I think its going to get worse....

A lot worse.

I will leave you with another mad rant, from the 40th President of the United States......

Ronald Wilson Reagan

(The 151 Taxes in Bread)
"If people need any more concrete explanation of this, start with the staff of life, a loaf of bread. The simplest thing; the poorest man must have it. Well, there are 151 taxes now in the price of a loaf of bread — it accounts for more than half the cost of a loaf of bread. It begins with the first tax, on the farmer that raised the wheat. Any simpleton can understand that if that farmer cannot get enough money for his wheat, to pay the property tax on his farm, he can’t be a farmer. He loses his farm. And so it is with the fellow who pays a driver’s license and a gasoline tax to drive the truckload of wheat to the mill, the miller who has to pay everything from social security tax, business license, everything else. He has to make his living over and above those costs. So they all wind up in that loaf of bread. Now an egg isn’t far behind and nobody had to make that. There’s a hundred taxes in an egg by the time it gets to market and you know the chicken didn’t put them there!"


  1. And yet, at each of these steps people are profiting and earning revenue. It raises the question, who should pay taxes -- just the end consumer? Many of these parties ARE the end consumer in their niche of the market.

    Contrariwise, if a loaf of Wonder Bread is taxes 151 times -- and dear Mr. Reagan was not above pulling statistics out of his duodenum -- why is Wonder Bread still cheap, by just about any measure?

    1. I hear ya Mike, but this post wasn't just about Reagan, it is the bigger picture I am concerned with. Wonderbread.....have you looked at how much it costs? I'll bet it's over 4 buck a loaf in many stores.
      All to often when ingredients like flour goes up, companies hoard these. People were killing each other in the Cairo streets just a couple years ago when bread was scarce. Several weeks later they found many Local companies had product in their warehouses, but they were waiting for a higher selling point.
      The same has happened with rice, it was off the shelve in 06, even at triple price, you couldn't find it. That shortage even reached the Twin Cities.

  2. The only person available to pay is the consumer. Everyone else (well, not the government) has to roll their taxes into the price they sell their product for, it is just another expense of doing business (legally.) If they don't, they go bankrupt.

    Wonder Bread. I never liked it. Sliced, bread-scented marshmallow.

    1. As a Pollack....we were weened on Wonderbread. All I am saying to my fellow Americans is to remember that other well to do countries have put themselves into situations where getting food wasnt certain.

      BTW....Htom, sometimes we'd squish the slices together and see hom many we could fit into our mouth at one time LOL.

  3. From a post that was left on my Facebook page........

    Anne Matano Don't even get me started on the wonderbread thing, one of America's most disgracefull products, flour and supplements ugh, how ever I do agree that there are many many people going hungry in the US right now, old folks children and dare I say it middle class america, with the cost of fuel, housing, taxes, etc. many people are opting to eat cheap starchy foods that fill you up, for little money or simply going with out in order not to run out of money at the end of the month...the average cost of a loaf of cmmmercial bread where I Live is aroung $4.59 a loaf, if you have two kids, in a two parent house hold, that is an average of three to five loaves a week easy, especially since the size of a loaf is getting smaller, even the "cheap" house brand breads are over $3 a loaf, thaat come to $25 a week or so without anything on or in the bread, $4 for a small jar of peanut butter that disappers in minutes it seems do struggling families afford this...and how much longer can families take it, for example, five loaves of bread, 2 gallons of milk, a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of jelly and a bag of apple comes to about $45 a week, CA food stamps for a family of four is about $70 a week, so what in hell can a family buy for $25 dollars that will cover breakfast and dinner, hungry anyone, and even if you aren't on food stamps, your budget for food alone can be killer, yes Klecko ther are many hungry people in the US, and one of the main reasons beside income disparity is the fact that people don;t know how to cook, from scratch...or how to plan and prepare inexpensive nuitritious food.

    1. Great post Anne, thanks for speaking your mind. Your observations line up with a lot of what I am hearing. Cottage Cheese.... $5.79. Sick huh?

  4. Here's another spin. People around the world are paying a greater percentage of their incomes for food than we are in the U.S. I had a friend in India who seldom bought basmati rice, grown and processed in her back yard. Too expensive.

    As global citizens we should be viewing food economies as an issue of justice and demanding our government be a real world leader.

  5. And if you would add all the costs for damaging our environment and our health to produce such cheap, highly processed foods, the retail price would be much higher.