business news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a piece yesterday about how demographics and changing consumer tastes are creating a long-term problem for the beef industry.  MNB reader Monte Stowell responded:

Consumption of beef is down, why? Take a look at the price of beef, versus pork and chicken. What product do you think the consumer is buying? #1. Beef on a per lb. pricing is substantially higher per serving than either pork or fowl. #2. Stating the obvious, the consumer is looking at the healthiest type of meat.

Mrs. Housewife and many younger people are much more aware of their health. That being my POV,  my  wife asks if I want meatloaf or spaghetti with meatballs for dinner. So, we still have lean ground beef 85% lean to satisfy my desire to have beef. On special occasions, we still splurge on a good tenderloin steak. My favorite birthday dinner is fresh spring or fall Chinook Salmon caught out of the local rivers here in the NW. Every one of your readers have their likes and dislikes for beef, vs. fowl, or seafood.

From another reader:

We obviously need to do a better job of educating ourselves and our nation in biology and botany. Greenhouse gases are good for the environment! If we continue down this unrealistic and unscientific, pantheistic path, we will reduce the oxygen we need for optimal health as well as reduce our ability to produce food for a growing global population. It’s time to listen to true science instead of pseudo science and ignorance!

I am a person who eats limited beef. People should make wise and healthy choices, uninfluenced by those with profit motives and/or agendas!


On the possibility that we could have a "normal" economy in 2024, MNB reader Mark Heckman wrote:

While year over year inflation rate growth is slowing, food at home  and some energy sources are  still nearly 30% higher than it was just a couple of years ago.  On the positive side, interest rates will likely fall gradually in 2024 and election years typically find the incumbent administration doing all they can to mitigate the damage, the heavy damage is already done.  The real question in my mind is whether or not consumers will have the income growth and the discipline to begin to buy down their credit card debt and begin to save again.  It is hard for me to see that happening anytime soon with the current fiscal policies in place.  


Yesterday, I took note of the passing of Tom Smothers, and commented:

I have strong memories of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which caused all sorts of headaches for CBS with its irreverent humor and antiwar stance at a time when Vietnam was the center of a contentious American debate.  The show's unwillingness to water down the jokes or the politics finally caused CBS to cancel the show - which was a top 10 hit.

To be clear, CBS made that decision in part because of viewer reaction - but also because of pressure from the Nixon administration, which wanted the FCC to take action against what it deemed to be "inappropriate content."

I was a young teenager then, but I can remember being outraged by the idea that the government was going to try to censor - even indirectly - political opinion and speech.  I can remember thinking that people who did not want to watch the Smothers Brothers could always watch "Bonanza," and that CBS should've had the stones to stand up for the show, which was speaking to a new generation of viewers.  My generation.

I still feel that way.  And since reading about Tom Smothers' passing, I've spent a bit of time going back and watching some of the show's segments online.  They were very, very funny and tame by today's standards.  But they stand as a warning about what can happen when the government tries to censor what it deems to be "inappropriate content."

MNB reader Doug Galli responded:

You and I are the same age I believe. It was a family gathering on Sunday nights to watch the Smother's Brothers Comedy Hour. I recall the controversy over the content, but don't recall it being all that bad. I was an impressionable teenager and was certainly against the government getting involved in censoring a television show that I loved. I don't recall my parents being overly offended by the content at all. At least not in front of their kids. 

I have a lot of memories from my youth, but other than the occasional ballgame or news event, I have almost no memory of ever sitting in front of the television with my parents or siblings.  And I certainly cannot even fathom watching the Smothers Brothers with my dad - that is not humor that he would've appreciated.   And it likely would've poured gasoline on a fiery debate we already were having about politics and the war.

And, from Austin F Noll, Jr:

Couldn’t agree with you more.