That never happened. Progress did. Companies created new agricultural tools, herbicides were created that avoided resistance. Then we got GMOs. First in insulin, then they saved the papaya in Hawaii, and then we got common products like corn, soybean, and cotton. Food got more plentiful and more affordable.
Environmentalists and their media allies railed against progress every step of the way. One group even monetized that scaremongering. Non-GMO Project sells stickers for 70,000 products despite the number of actual GMO products being countable on your fingers. They claim their food is 'natural' despite including food made using mutagenesis while competitors of organic are "Frankenfood."
The Utopia they sell to wealthy elites just failed in Sri Lanka, which listened to White Saviors in foreign activists groups and abandoned common sense for the organic manufacturing process, and the US is also about to have higher costs for food due to supply chain shortages. Supply shortages that will lead to food shortages and higher costs like we'd have if we also adopted the organic food mantra.(1)
The signs are already there. The cost of generic glufosinate (Liberty) is up 300 percent while glyphosate(Roundup) is up about the same amount. It's not like farmers can switch to dicamba because a few farmers who applied it incorrectly got a whole new wave of regulations tacked onto it.(2) California, which practically has lobbyists for Environmental Working Group and others living in their Sacramento offices, even got it banned in the wilderness using a sympathetic San Francisco Court and the argument that the state did not do individual studies in dozens of different areas of California. 'Needs more testing' is a common refrain of anti-science activists. And it works when no science evidence is needed for a court decision.
Labor, supply shortages, distribution shortages, it was all avoidable but will take years to recover from, because weeds take years to kill. Farmers know that. Activists do not. The glib response from politicians and people who work in offices and spend too much time on Twitter is always some form of 'greedy companies need to pay more' but most farmers have contracts. They can't just tell grocery stores prices are going up 300% without members of Congress making them travel to DC to get yelled at while cameras are rolling. And 2 million farms are only companies in the strict sense of the word. They are instead family-owned farms whose only shareholders are members of the immediate family and an alarming number of them make just enough in profit to pay the taxes on their land.
What environmentalist would work if they paid 100 percent taxes on their income? Yet because their only tractor has been a keyboard playing Farming Simulator 2019 they can confidently tell farmers and companies supplying crop protection tools they need to do more with less.
We can hope this turns around but mismanagement by the Treasury Department, and Federal Reserve, and the White House to-date make the pro-science community hope they just get out of the way.
Companies, for their part, are trying to lock in raw materials now. They will still need trucks and boats to deliver products so that will be a bottleneck but they know they have to try something. Though critics will claim higher profits are a good thing, the same can be said for states that make more money in taxes when gas prices are high - the difference is that companies know a lot of demand means a company could come along and replace them. Just like politicians worry voters will do in November.
(1) Centralized control politicians are learning that economies are not knobs they can turn without impact. While it is great political theater to tell oil companies to cut supply - "or else" - telling them two months later they need to increase supply - or else - looks ridiculous. No CEO at any company is going to spend money on new plants when the party controlling both Congress and the White House summoned them to Washington, D.C. three times in four months to suggest they were going to jail if they didn't produce less oil. Such political theater costs House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY 12th District) nothing, she'll get 80 percent of the vote in her district because she'll brag about hating corporations - but it costs the public billions of dollars when she gets her way.
(2) California practically has lobbyists for Environmental Working Group and others living in their Sacramento offices and even got it banned in the wilderness - using a sympathetic San Francisco Court, the most overturned at the Supreme Court in the entire US - because the state did not do individual studies in dozens of different areas of California.
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