Latest from Alan

Burning Down the Barn

If the prospect of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as president scares you, put down the television remote and pick up “Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity,” a new report from the United Nations Environmental Program. It makes the dour debaters look positively sunny. OK, sure, the report’s title suggests it will be as […]

Read More

There’s No “Future” In the Futures Market

As the food industry continues to consolidate into fewer, bigger players, the price risk it once hedged in Chicago and New York futures markets is being pushed back onto the very farmers and ranchers it buys from. The reason is simple: the Big Boys have the market power to do it. After decades of Big […]

Read More

The Last Free Trader in America

Can trade—free, fair, or otherwise—get some love this election season? Fat chance. In fact, the only national politician four-square in favor of global trade and its latest multi-nation deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is no one anyone could have seen in that role: Barack Obama. Holy cow, what’s next; the Chicago Cubs in the […]

Read More

New Ports or Old Bulls

In fat times and lean alike, farmers and ranchers know they have to spend money to make money. A worn-out combine, like a worn-out bull, is too costly to keep—even if you have to borrow the money to replace it. That’s the way it works with our nation, too; we need to continually invest in […]

Read More

Failure Isn’t Success

The most positive news about the most negative presidential campaign in modern history is that, in 80 or so days, we can forget to remember it. Or should that read “remember to forget it”? It’s hard to get the words right when it’s so easy for our political actors to get them wrong. In their […]

Read More