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Stay lucky

April 29, 2020
By David Kruse - Columnist , Farm News

We are so very lucky to live where we do. We have roofs over our heads, living mostly in single family dwellings. We are not stuffed in crowded apartment buildings or worse yet in highly concentrated population areas where folks are on top of one another. Social distancing is not that far from normal where we live. We have jobs. Millions are losing theirs. Unemployment registries are overwhelmed in every which way. State unemployment application computer networks crashed and when they hand out paper application forms the parking lot is jammed. Not much social distancing there. We have freezers and pantries that are full of food. We will get through this and find out what was in the freezers. For others, food banks are being drained of food. They are stuck in long lines of traffic waiting for their allotment from the food bank. Our kids get fed and do not need the school to deliver them lunch. That is not the case for many others for whom that school meal is their best or only for the day. We can go on-line and order food to be picked up or delivered. We can pay for it. How does someone get food stamps today?... and it not so easy to avoid personal contact using them. My wife bought food from a grocer for a food bank and is helping deliver it to them. A daughter is spending one day/week helping a food bank dispense food.

We have technology. That is a general statement that again leaves out many. They are lucky to have a cell phone. How can kids do school work from home or how does someone order from the grocery store without being on-line? We take all that for granted. You have to have a computer and be able to afford the internet service for just about everything. We shop on-line almost every day. I am able to work from home. A lot of people have jobs where that doesn't work. We are lucky that we can do that. Technology connects us, Our family has had regular ZOOM face-times. A granddaughter had a virtual 8-year-old birthday party that way. She still had presents to open and enjoyed it. I told my wife to keep paying the housekeeper and dog groomer even though we have not accessed the services. We washed the dog and it was kind of fun. I watched. I do not have the haircut thing figured out yet but I bought a trimmer from Amazon. We had church in the parking lot on Palm Sunday and we could take the dog. The parking lot service was cancelled for Easter because of the weather, having to go on-line. I still had a good ham and family on-line face time for Easter.

Washington D.C. cares about us, helping with money to sustain our economy. They are trying to get funds to those that are most desperate. More pointedly, they care about what we think of them. This is nowhere near the ag depression of the 1980's. Nor is it the Great Depression. Most social services available today evolved out of lessons learned from the 1930's. While it is being overwhelmed by the volume of users, we have a social safety net in place and a government that is willing to print an unlimited amount of money to fund it. Instead of taking interest rates to 18% like they did in the early 1980's, this time the Fed has taken them as near to zero as they are likely to get. They lowered our interest rate, loaned businesses tax free money with few strings attached that they may not have to pay back, and will give us cash to boot. And we have not had to beg for it. It will be rough for many but they should survive.

The public is actually starting to respect elected officials who have performed well earning the public trust in state houses and local governments, as well as scientists and educated people again, instead of wallowing in all the crazy. Thank you, Inspector Generals, for your service. We are lucky to have a very professional media that is dedicated to bringing us the truth defending our constitutional freedom of speech. I think that they have done a tremendous job of keeping the American people well informed through this crisis. I realize that these views contrast opposite of many. I believe that I am right as to how history will record these events.

Agriculture has been shaken but is lucky. Farmers are lucky because they will soon go to the field and plant crops, weather permitting. Farmers are being supported with an ag safety net that we never wanted to lean on but sure need now. Our industry is considered essential and the food supply chain that had been taken for granted is now being better appreciated today by the public. Our food supply chain, from farmers to packing plant workers to grocery store clerks, have stepped up to fill their critical roles in keeping American food moving from farm to table. While there are many disparities between Americans in how they are impacted by the coronavirus, no one has given up and said that we can't do this. We are the only developed country where all of its citizens are not covered under a comprehensive health care system. Yet, except under the most extreme conditions, the ill will be treated in the ICU wing if needed. We are so lucky for the health practitioners that we have. They are real heroes. Unfortunately there are casualties to the pandemic among them. Yet they are not deterred from their duties. I suspect that there will be a day ahead in the future when the country can honor the dedication and bravery of its health service providers with a national day of appreciation. America has the adaptability, the ingenuity and the intellectual and institutional resources to gear up for this challenge. American industry armed the world, itself and its allies, during the second world war defeating enemies of both Nazis and Japs. While I get America First, Americans have always played it forward. If we stop doing that, we will sorely regret it and no longer deserve what we have been blessed with.

Stay lucky.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

 
 

 

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